Ivar Bolton conducts the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg. Performers: Julia Novikova, Julia Lezhneva, Antonio Poli, Andrei Bondarenko (all Rossignol), Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczala, Alexei Markov, Evgeni Nikitin, John Relyea u.a.
What most will not find surprising:
- That Iolanta is a role perfectly suited to Anna Netrebko´s darkly coloured soprano, and Tchaikovsky´s somewhat squared phrases suit her perfectly
- Though Piotr Beczala by all means did well, he was pulverized by Netrebko, both dramatically and vocally, especially in the duet. That he used the score, as opposed to her, did not help either
- Alexei Markov (Robert in Iolanta) was stunning and deservedly received the biggest ovation of the evening (Netrebko excluded)
- Also in live concerts(as opposed to on DVDs) John Relyea comes off as wobbly and shaky, but he gets point for his acting and for having learned the part by heart
- Julia Novikova (the nightingale) has a too big vibrato especially in the middle register, preventlng the Nightingale from sounding truly beautiful
- On the other hand Julia Lezhneva was impressive as the cook
- Andrei Bondarenko, the newly appointed winner of the Song prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, whom many felt should also have won the main prize, used his warm lyrical barytone to portray the Emperor of China.
- Both Evgeni Nikitin and Antonio Poli mad the most of their relatively small parts