The legendary and controversial productions, first performed at the State University of New York at Purchase in the late 1980s, relocate the action to the 20th-century United States: Figaro is set in the glitz of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York; Don Giovanni in Harlem; and CosÐ in a diner called Despina's.
Previously released on VHS, the recordings have been remastered in surround sound for the DVD release on Universal/Decca; the English subtitles were contributed by Sellars. The three operas are available separately or in a six-DVD box set.
The casts include baritone Sanford Sylvan as Figaro and Don Alfonso in CosÐ, soprano Dominique Labelle as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson—then Lorraine Hunt—as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. The twin brothers Eugene and Herbert Perry play Don Giovanni and Leporello.
Craig Smith conducts the Vienna Symphony and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir.