Rossini - Semiramide
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Label: Opera Rara
Cat No: ORC57
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: 7th September 2018
David Butt Philip
Opera Rara Chorus
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
An immediate success at its première in 1823 at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Semiramide was kept in the public consciousness through much of the 19th century by leading sopranos of the day such as Adelina Patti and Nellie Melba – singers who thrived on tackling the challenging part of the Queen of Babylon. Rossini wrote some of his most demanding vocal music for the title role, which he created for his wife Isabella Colbran. The opera was also at the forefront of the revival of Rossini’s serious operas in the 1960s and 1970s, during which time the famous Decca recording featuring Joan Sutherland as Semiramide and Marilyn Horne as Arsace was released.
Fifty years on, Opera Rara has tried to make the opera speak in a different way by recording the work without any of the cuts that have accompanied almost all modern revivals, and by using historical instruments. This will also be the first studio recording of the opera for over twenty years.
The studio recording of Semiramide was immediately followed by a concert performance on 4 September 2016 the BBC Proms which received raving reviews in the press.
“Thrilling, every second of it” – The Guardian
“Conductor Mark Elder was the evening’s hero. From the menacingly urgent crescendo that launches the Overture, he took every note of the opera seriously, whipping the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on like a champion jockey to produce a sound that was grainy, pungent and forceful” – The Telegraph
- Semiramide, Queen of Babylon: Albina Shagimuratova
- Arsace, Commander of the Army: Daniela Barcellona
- Assur, an Assyrian Prince: Mirco Palazzi
- Idreno, an Indian King: Barry Banks
- Oroe, High Priest of the Magi: Gianluca Buratto
- Azema, an Assyrian Princess: Susana Gaspar
- Mitrane, Captain of the Royal Guards: David Butt Philip
- L’ombra di Nino (Nino’s Ghost): James Platt
Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, August/September 2016
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