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Donizetti - La Favorite | Naxos - Opera 866054951

Donizetti - La Favorite

£28.47 £22.78

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Label: Naxos - Opera

Cat No: 866054951

Barcode: 0730099054973

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 12th April 2024

Contents

Artists

Annalisa Stroppa (mezzo-soprano)
Javier Camarena (tenor)
Florian Sempey (baritone)
Evgeny Stavinsky (bass)
Edoardo Milletti (tenor)
Caterina Di Tonno (soprano)
Alessandro Barbaglia (tenor)
Coro dell’Accademia Teatro alla Scala
Orchestra e Coro Donizetti Opera

Conductor

Riccardo Frizza

Works

Donizetti, Gaetano

La favorita

Artists

Annalisa Stroppa (mezzo-soprano)
Javier Camarena (tenor)
Florian Sempey (baritone)
Evgeny Stavinsky (bass)
Edoardo Milletti (tenor)
Caterina Di Tonno (soprano)
Alessandro Barbaglia (tenor)
Coro dell’Accademia Teatro alla Scala
Orchestra e Coro Donizetti Opera

Conductor

Riccardo Frizza

About

Written for the Opéra in Paris, Gaetano Donizetti’s La Favorite contains some of his most famously enthralling arias. While its much-reduced Italian version has continued in popularity, this superb production from the Donizetti Opera Festival in his birthplace of Bergamo returns the work to its rarely heard 1840 French grand opera origins. Set in 14th-century Spain, the tragic story is of a pious novice (Fernand) who falls in love with a noble lady and abandons the cloister, meeting her in secret. He becomes a war hero and asks the King for her hand, later finding out to his horror that she is Léonor de Guzman, the King’s beloved mistress.

This uncut performance uses the critical edition of La Favorite by Rebecca Harris-Warrick, and the recording therefore has all of the original ballet music, and also includes the cabaletta of the duet between Léonor and Alphonse, originally cut only as its content created political friction in its day. The cabaletta finally received its first modern performance at the 2022 Bergamo festival. The audiovisual recording of this performance is available on the Dynamic label (DVD: DYN37992; Blu-ray: 57992): ‘The lovers are played by Annalisa Stroppa and Javier Camarena. Both are pretty much ideal. Leonor (…) requires power, precision and beauty of tone… Stroppa doesn’t disappoint. She’s vocally compelling, nails the big numbers and is a terrific actress. …Camarena is a proper mid-19th century tenor with plenty of oomph and super high notes. When these two duet, it’s very impressive’ (operaramblings).

‘The musical performance was in the capable hands of Riccardo Frizza, a specialist and musical director of the Donizetti Opera Festival. La Favorite has enjoyed long years of success in its Italian version as La favorita, without the ballet and with several cuts. Here Frizza presented an integral rendition of the whole score in French, which is not often heard in modern times. We got all the recitatives, all the repeats of the cabalettas – it was wonderful!’ – bachtrack.com

‘The singing cast was one for great occasions. Javier Camarena sang Fernand with an elegance and a mastery of the bel canto style which I honestly had never heard from him at this level. His tenor was still brilliant and exciting, explosive in moments of rage, with laser-like high notes, but he managed to shape each phrase with delicacy and intent. Even a tiny frog in his throat at “Ange si pur” was turned in a sob, an expression of grief. What a performance!’ – bachtrack.com

Cast:
- Léonor de Guzman: Annalisa Stroppa (mezzo-soprano)
- Fernand: Javier Camarena (tenor)
- Alphonse XI: Florian Sempey (baritone)
- Balthazar: Evgeny Stavinsky (bass)
- Don Gaspar: Edoardo Milletti (tenor)
- Inès: Caterina Di Tonno (soprano)
- Un signeur: Alessandro Barbaglia (tenor)

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