Handel: Xerxes (Arthaus: 100077)
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Nicholas Hytner's highly innovative production of Handel's comic opera won the coveted Laurence Olivier Opera Award. This live recording from the English National Opera stars Lesley Garrett and Ann Murray as Xerxes, whose love for Romilda, sung by Valerie Masterson, sets off a series of love intrigues. The designer, David Fielding, has produced a stunning and elegant series of curious and absorbing images, creating a world of its own and recreating the culture of Vauxhall Gardens in Handel's own time. Sir Charles Mackerras conducts the English National Opera orchestra in an edition prepared by himself.
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