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L.A. Opera's Recovered Voices productions released on DVD

November 1, 2010 |  2:12 pm

Jugdwarfdvd Los Angeles Opera's Recovered Voices series is currently on hiatus, but now some of the past productions will live on in DVD format.

The company said that it has released this week a DVD of its productions of Viktor Ullmann's "The Broken Jug" and Alexander Zemlinsky's "The Dwarf," which were produced on a double bill in 2008 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In addition, the company's 2009 staging of Walter Braunfels' "The Birds" will be released on DVD on Nov. 16.

Recovered Voices, which was the brainchild of L.A. Opera music director James Conlon, seeks to highlight operatic works by composers whose careers were cut short or supressed by the Third Reich. The series began in the 2006-07 season but has since been placed on hiatus due to budgetary and other concerns, the company said earlier this year.

The double bill of "The Broken Jug" and "The Dwarf" is conducted by Conlon and directed by Darko Tresnjak. It features tenor Rodrick Dixon, soprano Mary Dunleavy and baritone James Johnson. "The Birds," also conducted by Conlon and directed by Tresnjak, stars soprano Desiree Rancatore, tenor Brandon Jovanovich and baritones Johnson and Martin Gantner.

Naxos is releasing the operas on regular DVD as well as Blu-ray, under the Arthaus Musik label.

Times music critic Mark Swed wrote in his 2008 review that "The Broken Jug" and "The Dwarf" were written in "a Romantically accessible style and, I think most important of all, L.A. Opera music director James Conlon has a passion for them. His enthusiasm ... was infectious."

Of "The Birds," Swed wrote in 2009 that the company's production "looks inexotic, inelegant and inept. But Conlon nevertheless convincingly reveals the opera is a moving relic of a lost world."

-- David Ng

Photo credit: Los Angeles Opera 

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