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Susannah (2017)

Carlisle Floyd’s 1955 opera has long been a staple of regional opera companies, but it has only rarely been staged by the major urban companies – and, incredibly, this release marks the first time that has ever been presented on DVD. In this new release from the Naxos label, a 2014 version by Florida’s St. Petersburg Opera offers an intelligent interpretation that captures the raw emotional power of Floyd’s imaginative updating of the apocryphal Biblical tale of Susannah and the Elders into an early 20th century Appalachian setting.

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Boris Godunov (2016)

Modest Mussorgsky’s opera receives a lavishly imaginative interpretation in this production from Bulgaria’s Sofia Opera and Ballet. Director/producer/stage designer Plamen Kartaloff brings the work to an open air setting in front of Sofia’s towering Aleksandr Nevskj Cathedral, and he fills his stage with an opulent parade of grandly costumed figures of the monarchial and religious hierarchies, offering a visual feast worthy of conductor Konstantin Chudovksi’s presentation of Mussorgsky’s towering music.

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