Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel (Le Coq d'or) is based on a Pushkin folk tale, but the opera's Orientalism, comedy and sultry elements go far beyond its original influence. The composer saw in the story of a Tsar, punished for his cowardice and despotism, an opportunity to employ satire to condemn Russia's autocratic ruler, Nicholas II. This new production premiered in May 2021 and was staged by the Australian director, Barrie Kosky, a specialist in Russian opera. Critics hailed the 'glorious' singing of Dmitry Ulyanov and the 'exquisite' performance of Nina Minasyan calling the event 'a triumphant evening for all concerned' (Bachtrack.com). Daniele Rustioni has been principal conductor of Opéra National de Lyon since September 2017 and from the 2021-22 season has been principal guest conductor of the Munich Opera. His previous Naxos recordings featured the symphonies of Elisabetta Brusa. Of the stage direction, Bachtrack.com wrote that 'Barrie Kosky rises to the challenge with dark wit spiced with surreal burlesque.' It added that the role of Tsar Dodon was 'Gloriously sung by Dmitry Ulyanov' and wrote of Andrey Popov, in the role of the Astrologer: 'It's a stratospheric tenor role but Andrei Popov coped valiantly with its demands.' Nina Minasyan as Queen of Shemakha 'was the vocal star of the performance, negotiating the chromatic contours of the Queen's Hymn to the Sun with aplomb, her sensual singing nuanced with an exquisite pianissimo and secure top notes; with a voice like that, she could wrap any monarch round her little finger' (Bachtrack.com).