Behind The Scenes of Donizetti's "Les Martyrs" on Opera Rara
Sir Mark Elder and the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment's new release of Donizetti's Les Martyrs is due out on May 12 on Opera Rara. Starring Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Spyres and David Kempster, the little-known grand opera was recorded just before a live performance on November 4, 2014 in the UK, the first performance of this masterpiece in its original form for over 150 years. After being originally being banned for its religious content in Italy, Donizetti rewrote the play for the Parisian opera, where its premiere was a success, but afterwards it fell into obscurity. This new release is based on a new critical edition by Dr. Flora Willson, which restores the opera’s original French text and reinstates numerous musical passages.
Opera Rara, which just earned the Best Opera Recording Award at the International Opera Awards for Offenbach's Fantasio, has released a series of videos and stills from the rehearsals, featuring El-Khoury, Spyres and Kempster as well as Wynne Evans, Brindley Sherratt and Clive Bayley. Here is episode one of "We're making an opera":
CAST REHEARSAL PHOTOS:
"Mark Elder conducts with fervour, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment plays superbly and the cast is excellent...this is a first-rate recording."
- 5 Stars, Opera Now
"glorious stage instruction...a roaring hit"
- 4 Stars, The London Times
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