Betrothal in a Monastery Import
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Prokofiev composed his last complete opera, Betrothal in a Monastery, as the Nazis were invading Russia and the country descended into a period of political repression and terror. However, the opera, a romantic comedy loosely based on Richard Sheridan's 1775 play, The Duenna, was according to Shostakovich `one of Prokofiev's most radiant and buoyant works'. Betrothal in a Monastery highlights the cultural divisions between the faded glamour of the impoverished aristocracy and the new wealth of the lower classes. Ostensibly the plot concerns the trials of two pairs of lovers, Louisa and Antonio, and Clara and Ferdinand, but ultimately it is the fishmonger, Mendoza, who in the great tradition of the anti-hero, wins our empathy. The predominantly Russian cast is led by Viacheslav Voynarovskiy, with Sergei Alexashkin as Mendoza. Alexandra Durseneva sings The Duenna, with the two sets of lovers sung by Vsevolod Grivnov (Don Antonio), Lyubov Petrova (Louisa), Andrey Breus (Ferdinand), and Nino Surguladze (Clara) making her notable Glyndebourne debut. Established UK artists Alan Opie (Don Carlos) and Jonathan Veira (Father Augustine) make up the cast. Recording of rarely performed work with consummate Russian conductor and cast. **Contains full libretto translated from the original Russian (Cyrillic) into English, French and German. **Extensive accompanying booklet including a commissioned article about the opera, and a synopsis in English, French and German. **Recorded live at Glyndebourne on 12, 15 & 22 August 2006. **2 discs in 250-page hard-bound book.