Joseph Mechavich - Wuthering Heights: An Opera In Three Acts/Carlisle Floyd

 (Florentine Opera Company with The Milwaukee Symphony)


Reference Recordings



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UPC: 030911272128
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Hybrid Multichannel SACD

No. of Discs: 2

Hybrid Multichannel SACD

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World premiere recording from the Florentine Opera Company with The Milwaukee Symphony!

Opera composer Carlisle Floyd's operatic masterpiece brought to life

Based on the classic English novel by Emily Bronte

"Maestro Joseph Mechavich leads his Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the choral forces of the Florentine Opera Company, one of America's oldest such vocal organizations, in a precedent-setting performance that will make listeners unfamiliar with this work sit up and take notice. Composer Floyd writes beautiful vocal lines and the cast led by stunning soprano Jarman takes full advantage of them. Vocal colleagues Markgraf, Rideout, Buck, and Shelton provide excellent support and credible recreations of their characters. Veteran mezzo-soprano Suzanne Mentzer turns in a great rendition of the old serving woman Nelly Dean. ... Like Carlisle Floyd's big hit Susannah, the star soprano gets a virtuosic monologue in Act II that sums up, with an economy of words and music, her deep feelings for Heathcliff: 'Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.' This recorded première may finally set the operatic record straight regarding 'Wuthering Heights,' particularly with a cast as good as this one. Audio values are tops and I doubt that we will get a better recording of this neglected masterpiece any time soon. Highly recommended!" — Lawrence Devoe, TheaterByte

Carlisle Floyd's canon of operas is among the most performed by any living American opera composer, however four essential operas have never been commercially released. "Wuthering Heights" was first performed by the Santa Fe Opera in 1958, but never recorded until now. With the composer acting as artistic advisor, this Florentine
Opera premiere recording was made in January 2015 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, in Brookfield, Wisconsin. It features conductor Joseph Mechavich, soprano Georgia Jarman (Cathy), baritone Kelly Markgraf (Heathcliff), soprano Heather Buck (Isabella), tenor Vale Rideout (Edgar), tenor Chad Shelton (Hindley), mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer (Nelly), tenor Frank Kelley (Joseph), The Florentine Opera Chorus and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Reference Recordings is proud to release this exceptional recording.

General Director William Florescu states, "This is a unique and exciting Florentine Opera recording. Carlisle Floyd's
'Wuthering Heights,' an unjustly neglected American gem, made its Florentine debut in this world premiere recording. We had the honor of welcoming Carlisle Floyd to guide this exceptional creative team and shape the concert and recording. Noele Stollmack (director of design and production), conductor Joseph Mechavich (conductor for the Florentine productions of La Traviata 2013 and Carlisle Floyd's Susannah 2012), Blanton Alspaugh and John Newton, along with all of the production engineers and recording specialists from SoundMirror assembled their talents to bring this premiere recording and concert to life-for live audiences and the world to experience."

Carlisle Floyd, 90 years of age in June 2016, is still creating new operas (his newest, Prince of Players, was presented to great acclaim by Houston Grand Opera in March 2016), and is intent on having commercial recordings of all his operas released during his lifetime. Describing the music of "Wuthering Heights" as highly dramatic and quite melodic, Floyd has said he is thrilled to have it recorded. The Florentine has released plans to follow Wuthering Heights with recordings of Floyd's Willie Stark and Bilby's Doll.

"Wuthering Heights" was recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 70 Grammy nominations and awards.

Disc 1
Scene One
Scene Two
Act Two: Scene One
Act Two: Interlude
Act Two: Scene Two

Disc 2
Act Two: Scene Two – Part II
Act Three: Scene One
Act Three: Scene Two
Act Three: Scene Three

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