Anna Karenina: An Opera by David Carlson, Libretto by Colin Graham

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Anna Karenina: An Opera by David Carlson, Libretto by Colin Graham

World Premiere Recording


Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a masterwork of 19th Century literature; a parable on the struggle for personal freedom against the conventions of a hostile society, played out in a tragic love-story. With a libretto by the distinguished director Colin Graham after the novel by Leo Tolstoy, David Carlson's opera vividly captures the drama and message of the original work. This double-disc set is a world premiere recording of the opera, with commanding performances from members of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stewart Robertson.


What people are saying

“…there is a lot to admire in this dramatic, expressive score"

Opera Now Magazine

Opera Theatre of St Louis
St Louis Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Stewart Robertson

- 2 CD Set -

Release date: 30th Mar 2009
Order code: SIGCD154
Barcode: 635212015421

1.ACT I: Prologue - The Station, Moscow, Winter 1874
2.Part 1 - Scene 1: A sitting room in Stiva's house. That day.
3.- Scene 2: A ball at Princess Betsy Tverskoya's house.
4.- Scene 3: Karenin;s house, St Petersburg. That night.
5.Part 2 - Scene 1: Stiva's house. A few days later
6.- Scene 2: Lenin's house in the country
7.- Scene 3: Karenin's country house outside St.
8.Part 3 - Scene 1: A box at the races. Tsarskoe Selo.
9.- Scene 2: Karenin's study, some days later.
10.ACT II: Part 4 - Scene 1: The Admiralty Gardens, St Petersburg. Early autumn.
11.- Scene 2: A supper party at Oblonskys'.
12.- Scene 3: Anna's bedroom, that night.
14.Part 5 - Scene 1: Levin's house. Six months later
15.- Scene 2: Anna, writing.
16.- Scene 3: Seriosha's bedroom. Early morning on his birthday.
18.Part 6 - Scene 1: Anna's apartments at an hotel. That evening.
19.- Scene 2: The Station Platform.
20.- Scene 3: (Epilogue). The garden of Levin's country estate. Months later.

Opera Now Magazine, July 2009

Back in 2007 when David Carlson’s Anna Karenina premiered in Florida, the reception was generally positive. Here was a meaty operatic subject with a meaty symphonic score (and sumptuous staging). The adaptation of the novel is cleverly done, balancing the Karenin/Vronsky/Anna unhappy triangle on one side, with the Kitty/Levin happy ending on the other. The music itself is grand, symphonic, and rather generic. The prologue instantly reminded me of Danny Elfman’s 1989 score for Batman, and it was a difficult first impression to shake. That is a bit unfair on Carlson; there is a lot to admire in this dramatic, expressive score. For this late 19th-century sound world though, it is woefully short on melodies.

Kimon Daltas