JOHN CORIGLIANO (b.1938): The Ghosts of Versailles (Premiere Recording on CD).
Catalogue Number: 04R068
Reference: PTC 5186 538
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera to celebrate its 100th anniversary, this premiered 1991 and was an instant success. Because of the unique situation, a large cast and extravagant orchestral forces were made available, but aside from that specific context, both Corigliano and librettist William Hoffman conceived of Ghosts as a work of music theater that celebrates and even takes as one of its principal themes the artistic power of opera: it puts into use lavish operatic resources precisely to introduce a contemporary audience to grand opera. More particularly, a ”grand opera buffa” is what the composer decided to create, to combine his love for opera buffa, with the requirements of a grand opera house. As the Los Angeles Times put it, “It's comic and serious, entertaining and erudite, silly and thoughtful, emotional and mysterious, harrowing and uplifting, intimate and over-the-top — and the more times you see it, the more you'll find in it and the more you'll get out of it.” 2 CDs. Libretto included. Patricia Racette, Guanqun Yu (sopranos), Lucas Meachem, Christopher Maltman (baritones), LA Opera; James Conlon.