Originally intended as a live recording, COVID-19 scuppered those plans as it did most everything in 2020. This Fidelio comes to us from two socially distanced studio sessions instead, pulled together with much ingenuity of planning. The result is a delight, the cast top notch, and the playing of the Dresden Philharmonic under the baton of Marek Janowski inspired.

Janowksi

Listeners will be most intrigued to hear the rising star soprano Lise Davidsen commit her acclaimed interpretation of Leonore to disc, and I can assure them they won’t be disappointed. Ardent singing is married to formidable technique in Davidsen, and her Leonore is touchingly human, at once full of conviction and self-doubt. You never forget just how afraid she is, a quality that’s lost in some of the more storied, superhuman takes on the role. The long phrases of Abscheulicher are dispatched with thrilling ease, the top notes all in place, and the line attended to with care. It’s utterly fantastic singing.