While costs versus sales ensure that complete opera recordings remain a relative rarity on disc, on DVD and Blu-ray it’s a different matter. My pick of the month is a 2019 production of Gluck’s Alceste from the Bavarian State Opera staged by the inventive Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui ( C Major DVD 756708 or 756804 for Blu-ray). There’s a natural synergy between contemporary dance and French Baroque opera with its divertissements and ballets and Cherkaoui does an impressive job of integrating a fine solo cast with dancers from his own company Eastman, based in Antwerp. An appropriately ritual approach is full of imaginative, fluid choreography culminating in visual set pieces that arise naturally out of the action. Props consist of a few ceremonial vessels, some flower petals and some swathes of cloth, yet nothing here feels minimal. As Alceste, Dorothea Röschmann is gold-star casting, her generous soprano thrilling in the mighty prayer of renunciation, Divinites du Styx. This should appeal to opera and dance...

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