Divas on DVD

It seems that, after 400 or so years, opera is all the rage. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City is currently offering its first production of a Handel opera, and HD performances from the Met, as well as other major companies, have proven very successful when broadcast to theaters. Get in on the action with these DVDs available from your Kansas City Public Library.

Madame Butterfly DVD cover

The Death of Klinghoffer by John Adams
Not all operas deal with tubercular heroines; this is one that deals with the politically charged 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists. The score by John Adams is not your standard hummable one either.

Hercules by Georg Friedrich Handel
A spare production but with musically overpowering performances featuring Kansas City mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, with Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie.

Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
This cinematic production features Ying Huang and Richard Troxell in Puccini’s very hummable score.

Otello by Giuseppe Verdi
A “collaboration” between Shakespeare and Verdi with Placido Domingo as the title character, and Kiri Te Kanawa as Desdemona, under the musical direction of Georg Solti. Enough said.

Porgy and Bess DVD cover

Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin
This classic American opera stars Willard White as Porgy and Cynthia Haymon as Bess. Simon Rattle conducts the London Philharmonic.

Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner
Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen sing the demanding title roles under the direction of the Met’s James Levine.