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Album CDs, Complete Opera CDs, DVDs & Books


Album CDs

Anna's first album ...

John Steane reviews the album in Gramophone's November 2003 issue on p. 113.

"...this first solo recital comes not before time and is most welcome--a little saddening, however, to read in the biographical introductory notes that she 'does not consider herself a particularly persuasive champion of Russian opera' * and prefers to devote herself (as here) to French and Italian....Certainly she has made a good selection. Everything suits the voice....In Bellini and Donizetti she shows the primary strength of drawing a firm, even melodic line, and when she rises above the stave it is without that tendency to hardening and shrillness which has so often beset Italian sopranos. In the French repertory the free, glistening high notes are a great asset to her Manon..., and the Benvenuto Cellini aria is a joy...."  --John Steane

*Anyone who has heard her in Russian opera, and especially her Natasha in War & Peace, knows that this is a statement of the singer's personal preference rather than a true statement that she lacks "persuasiveness" in Russian opera. --P.W.

Gramophone's James Jolly picks the album as one of his 10 "Editor's Choices" and the accompanying Gramophone CD features Anna's take on Rusulka's "Song to the moon".

Hugh Canning profiles Anna on p. 15; there's a great rehearsal photo.

Anna's second recital album, Sempre libera




                                              Complete Opera CDs

Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila
recorded live in the Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg 2/1995

John Steane in the May 1997 Gramophone (p.113):

link to full Gramophone review

"Let's get things completely out of proportion, in the way for which we canary-fanciers are notorious, and draw attention first to a marvelous new soprano. At least, Anna Netrebko, the Lyudmila here, is, as far as I can see, new to the Gramophone Database and, as far as I can remember, new to me. She is delightfully pure in tone, even and steady in production, highly accomplished and at ease in florid passages, ranging widely and 'taking' cleanly, expressive as well (though perhaps less strikingly so). It would no doubt be rash to call her a new Nezhdanova, but I daresay that listening in suitable company I might have risked it, at least as an observation with question-mark.

" I say, the Lyudmila of Netrebko is outstanding...."

[Ruslan and Lyudmila was in the short-list for the 1997 Gramophone Opera Award but lost out to the Gheorghiu/Alagna La Rondine.]

Alan Ulrich in the San Francisco Examiner (2/7/97):

Glinka: "Ruslan and Lyudmila." Anna Netrebko, Galina Gorchakova, sopranos; Larissa Diadkova, mezzo-soprano; Konstantin Pluzhnikov, Yuri Marusin, tenors; Vladimir Ognovienko, baritone; Gennady Bezzubenkov, bass; Kirov Chorus and Orchestra, St. Petersburg, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Philips 446 746 (three compact discs).

The S.F. Opera's 1995 co-production with the Kirov of this 1842 Russian classic remains one of the singular triumphs of General Director Lotfi Mansouri's regime. The War Memorial staging was preceded by the St. Petersburg mounting, which Mansouri directed; and one can only wonder why Philips' Dutch bosses waited so long for a release.

In any case, this live Mariinsky Theatre performance from February 1995 abounds in the energy and style Gergiev displayed at the War Memorial. Stage noise abounds, too, but it sure beats a cut-and-paste studio run-through, and the dry patches of this 3 1/4-hour "magic opera" seem less daunting on disc.

A few of the singers who performed in St. Petersburg reprised their roles in San Francisco, preeminently Netrebko, whose silvery Lyudmila proved the evening's greatest discovery. Gorchakova, who did not sing here,makes a lovely Gorislava. And Ognovienko's Ruslan is a notable improvement over the S.F. Opera's Jeffrey Wells.

In all, another distinguished achievement for Gergiev's Kirov's forces. Still, there is cause for complaint about Philips' cheeseparing policies. When the company published "Ruslan" in Europe in November, the sumptuous package also included a free video of the spectacular production with the same cast. Not in America, where PolyGram has determined that opera aficionados don't need the visual component. And you wonder why the classical music business is stagnant.

Prokofiev's Love for Three Oranges



Prokofiev's Bethrothal in a Monastery
Release Date: 3/17/98



Verdi's La Traviata





John Steane reviewed the video, not too favorably, in the September Gramophone. The 5 MTV-style videos featured jagged-edge cutting and terrible lip-synching, but the interviews with the artist were informative and insightful. It sold like hotcakes in Europe, beating out Beyoncè and Britney Spears.


(in German; click on the book covers to be taken to

Two celebrity bios from Germany

"Soprano Anna Netrebko is the subject of not one but two fawning new celebrity bios published in Europe. The books, both by German journalists, portray the Russian-born singer in the breathless prose of Hollywood fan magazines, mixing 'banal facts' and manufactured hype, according to one German newspaper...." 

...from Playbill, 5/15/05

Each of the books has appeared with two versions of the cover art.

Dolak book

Reissinger book


Debuts | Photos | Early Reviews
Early Performance History
| Early Interviews
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