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Thread: Great opera on Blu-ray recorded in outstanding surround sound audio?

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    Default Great Blu-ray recordings with surround sound audio?

    I want to build a collection of great opera performances on Blu-ray recorded in very high quality surround sound audio. I realize that this will of necessity exclude historical recordings, but I am hopeful that there are enough fairly recent good performances with HD video and maybe even HiRes audio in surround sound that people can recommend.

    I have found it hard to locate a simple listing of highly recommended Blu-ray opera recordings anywhere on the internet, so I am wondering if the forum moderators would support creating polls for each Blu-ray disc that could supplement the review threads to make it easier to identify outstanding recordings?

    Recommendations are welcome.
    Last edited by Kurvenal; Sep-06-2016 at 07:31. Reason: Make title shorter for ease of viewing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurvenal View Post
    I want to build a collection of great opera performances on Blu-ray recorded in very high quality surround sound audio. I realize that this will of necessity exclude historical recordings, but I am hopeful that there are enough fairly recent good performances with HD video and maybe even HiRes audio in surround sound that people can recommend.

    I have found it hard to locate a simple listing of highly recommended Blu-ray opera recordings anywhere on the internet, so I am wondering if the forum moderators would support creating polls for each Blu-ray disc that could supplement the review threads to make it easier to identify outstanding recordings?

    Recommendations are welcome.
    You can make a poll yourself, however take a look at the opera threads, lots of lists there.

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    Thanks for the reply. From what I can tell, most of the lists do not distinguish between DVD and Blu-ray, and it is also not obvious whether multichannel audio is available, and even more important, if it is available whether it is mixed well. Or am I missing something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurvenal View Post
    Thanks for the reply. From what I can tell, most of the lists do not distinguish between DVD and Blu-ray, and it is also not obvious whether multichannel audio is available, and even more important, if it is available whether it is mixed well. Or am I missing something?
    In that case you are right, however if on articular DVD comes out on top you can look at Amazon/ Presto ( U.K) or JPC.de if these are available.
    I am not speculating how other member's think about a new list, but we did have quiet a few lately.
    We do also have a special thread in the classical music thread about special ( audio) recordings in multichannel.
    Will add when I find it.

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    As mentioned before, you can start this list yourself. In fact, we can use this thread as repository.

    Well, I think that many opera fans are not at the same time great lovers of quality television images. CDs are very popular, and even DVDs are bought over Blurays many times (not to speak about streaming).

    About audio quality, yes, one would think that this is *very* important for music lovers, but again, also many opera fans love historical recordings, with decent to average sound quality.

    I don't think that there are that many "great opera performances" available in Bluray, really. If we relax a little bit the "great performance" part, then we got more candidates.

    But I do think this is an interesting subject, and I commit to review some Blurays myself, if we decide to go ahead.

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    Your points are well taken. Maybe we can relax the "great performance" criterion, and also consider DVDs as long as the audio is multichannel, the production values are high and the sound mixing is skilfully executed?

    To kick things off, what about some recommendations for Otello, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Tristan, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, Porgy and Bess as well as any others that stand out for their overall quality?
    Last edited by Kurvenal; Sep-06-2016 at 20:51.

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    I believe that you will find that many of our opera afficionados would rather have a well sung, acted and staged performance than one which has great HD video and multi-channel audio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurvenal View Post
    Your points are well taken. Maybe we can relax the "great performance" criterion, and also consider DVDs as long as the audio is multichannel, the production values are high and the sound mixing is skilfully executed?

    To kick things off, what about some recommendations for Otello, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Tristan, Lohengrin, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, Porgy and Bess as well as any others that stand out for their overall quality?
    This isn't easy as you ask, if I say artist one on brand A is excellent someone else is saying the opposite.
    I suggest you browse trough the most recommended and see f the winners are available on Blue Ray .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    I believe that you will find that many of our opera afficionados would rather have a well sung, acted and staged performance than one which has great HD video and multi-channel audio.
    I can see that I may not have been clear. My presumption was that I could find good performances with high technical production standards. Although I said I could relax the "great performance" criterion, I never said that I would be happy with lackluster ones. The world would be a much poorer place if we all had identical preferences!
    Last edited by Kurvenal; Sep-07-2016 at 07:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    This isn't easy as you ask, if I say artist one on brand A is excellent someone else is saying the opposite.
    I suggest you browse trough the most recommended and see f the winners are available on Blue Ray .
    True. But if someone is passionate about a particular recording that he/she knows is available on Blu-ray, that at least would give me a head start and would be easier than trawling through the lists. I assumed there might be audio enthusiasts using the forum who would be willing to share their favorites.

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    Okay, for starters; Verdi; La Traviata, if you want great sound and good singing look at this one.

    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/A...2BMusik/101344

    It's a wonderful "classic" production with good singers as well.

    You could also go for this one:

    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/O...Arte/OABD7076D
    I am sure you will enjoy this also, it's the one Gheorghiu made her debut s Violetta in London, this time with Fleming and Calleja

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Okay, for starters; Verdi; La Traviata, if you want great sound and good singing look at this one.

    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/A...2BMusik/101344

    It's a wonderful "classic" production with good singers as well.

    You could also go for this one:

    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/O...Arte/OABD7076D
    I am sure you will enjoy this also, it's the one Gheorghiu made her debut s Violetta in London, this time with Fleming and Calleja
    Thanks for the recommendations. Both look great. I have confirmed with Amazon that I can return anything sold by them within 30 days, so I am looking forward to comparing the two and then deciding whether to keep them both or just one.

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    I have some recently released Blu-ray discs of recent productions, but I cannot speak to these technical details, really. My TV is not that large and early HD. My receiver is even older and I only use it for stereo sound; it is not capable of running true surround sound. So my scale for evaluating technical details is not fine enough that I can distinguish between most professional releases recorded in the last 15 years or so.

    Perhaps more helpful might be one of the opera blogs I follow, operaramblings. In addition to writing about live opera in Toronto, etc., he also has reviews of over 400 DVD/Blu-ray releases.

    As part of each review he discusses the audio-visual quality of the disc along with the singers, orchestra, and production. For example, for his review of the 2013 Dialogues des Carmélites from Théâtre des Champs Elysées, this is the second-to-last paragraph:

    The picture on Blu-ray is fine and it needs to be as this is a pretty dark production much of the time. It’s not absolutely crucial as video director François-René Martin films most of the action in close up. I think this is justified. The production is quite static and there’s some serious acting going on. He also uses some odd angles; for example in de Croissy’s death scene but, for once, they seem perfectly justifiable. The sound options are Dolby 5.1 and LPCM stereo. It seems odd that, on Blu-ray, one of the HD sound formats wasn’t used but the surround track sounds very good, if not quite demonstration quality. There are no extras on the disk and the booklet contains just a synopsis, albeit more detailed than usual. Subtitle options are English, French and German.
    You can't sort the reviews by these technical details, but this may be a good reference.

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    Default Don Giovanni

    So here are two Don Giovanni recordings on Blu-ray:

    ROH with Simon Keenlyside and Joyce DiDonato - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    ROH directed by Kasper Holten includes Mariusz Kwiecien, Alex Esposito and Véronique Gens - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Both get good reviews, although Keenlyside's portrayal seems to turn some off.

    Comments on either choice would be welcome, as would any other recommendations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    I have some recently released Blu-ray discs of recent productions, but I cannot speak to these technical details, really. My TV is not that large and early HD. My receiver is even older and I only use it for stereo sound; it is not capable of running true surround sound. So my scale for evaluating technical details is not fine enough that I can distinguish between most professional releases recorded in the last 15 years or so.

    Perhaps more helpful might be one of the opera blogs I follow, operaramblings. In addition to writing about live opera in Toronto, etc., he also has reviews of over 400 DVD/Blu-ray releases.

    As part of each review he discusses the audio-visual quality of the disc along with the singers, orchestra, and production. For example, for his review of the 2013 Dialogues des Carmélites from Théâtre des Champs Elysées, this is the second-to-last paragraph:



    You can't sort the reviews by these technical details, but this may be a good reference.
    Great resource! Many thanks. I knew that someone out there must have produced a list like this.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to respond.

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