Bryn Terfel is, of course, by any standard a great opera singer. He is also very good at singing popular music of many kinds, particularly songs from the shows and inevitably Welsh music. Coupled to this he has a fantastic personality and he is a great visual performer both in and out of costume. He is, therefore, an ideal live concert performer and here we get all of these aspects of his skill in abundance. The programme begins with the heavy operatic material, Wagner, Mozart and Verdi. As Bryn himself says in the accompanying interview, in a long concert he has to pace himself and get the huge singing required for such music in at the start of the programme. There are very significant performances here. He opens with 'Song to the Evening Star' from Tannhauser and he then performs the biggest item here, 'Wotan's farewell' from the closing scene of 'Die Walkure'. The Mozart arias are 'Non piu andrai' from 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja' from 'The Magic Flute'. The operatic section concludes with an aria from Verdi's Falstaff, a role for which Bryn is extremely well known. We then get a sequence of show songs and finish with encores of Welsh songs. The final item is a beautifully gentle performance in Welsh of Suo Gan, made famous in the film Empire of the Sun and usually sung by a boy soprano. Here Bryn shows his superb artistry by providing all the delicacy and emotion required by such a lovely song.
Bryn is accompanied by the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edo de Waart and they are excellent. In addition to accompanying Bryn they play two popular orchestral items, the Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner and Mozart's overture to The Marriage of Figaro. Bryn has a long history of performing with Edo de Waart and the rapport between them is excellent both musically and also in the entertaining way in which Bryn involves Edo in the action. This really enhances the enjoyment of the concert.
The concert is excellent, although it is only 78 minutes in duration. The rest of the time is made up of an extensive collection of extras with a further running time of 79 minutes. There are three performance items filmed elsewhere including the Pearl Fishers duet with Andrea Bocelli in the Royal Albert Hall, a duet from Porgy and Bess with Renee Fleming and an evocative campfire video with Bryn singing Shenandoah. There are also several promo films for Bryn's CDs which include significant performances and it is also fascinating to see him in the recording venues. All of these extras are well worthwhile and there is another very interesting bonus in the form of an interview with Bryn discussing the concert and some of the items he performs.
The DVD is in 16:9 format and has PCM stereo or DTS 5.1 soundtracks. One enormous bonus here which is rarely available on concert DVDs is that there are optional subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese, although the subtitles are not present in the language being sung. There is just one DVD not the two indicated in the Amazon listing.