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Bellini: Il Pirata (Opera Rara: ORC45) [Box set]

Carmen Giannattasio Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £35.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product Description

Product Description

* The third opera by the 27-yearold Sicilian Vincenzo Bellini, Il Pirata marked an important step forward in his career. His first score written for the brand leader of Italian opera houses, La Scala, Milan, it also represented his first collaboration with Felice Romani, the leading librettist of the day.

* After its première in 1827, it soon went on to win acclaim in Vienna, Dresden, Paris, London and New York. Its comparative neglect in our day is inexplicable, but Opera Rara rectifies this situation with this all-star cast. David Parry conducts this exceptional example of early romantic opera at its most dramatically potent.

* The 3 CD set, studio recording, comes with a lavishly illustrated book including a complete libretto with an English translation by Jeremy Commons and comprehensive article and synopsis by Dr Benjamin Walton.

Review

Il pirata is the least known of Bellini's mature operas a work of some charm and beauty, overshadowed by the superior originality of Norma, La sonnambula and Il puritani. The plot, an early romantic tale of love shipwrecked by the tides of life, cries out for a radical modern interpretation in the theatre. Here, at least, we have the music, stylishly conducted by David Parry and uniting a cast that, while not outstanding, maintains an acceptable standard. The chief interest is Giannattasio an exciting artist on stage (as her Covent Garden debut this month La bohème will doubtless confirm) but inclined to squally touches and a hard edge that are exposed in the glare of the recording studio. Perhaps because of that, her Imogene radiates a Violetta-like quality, relying on technique, temperament and Italianità to shape a dramatic portrait. *** --Financial Times, 05/05/12

The complete opera sets studio-recorded by Opera Rara are works of reference: using the latest scholarship to rediscover notoriously corrupted scores, they are lavishly documented at a time when some of the mainstream companies put out opera sets, especially on DVD, with the most perfunctory information about the work. Sumptuously illustrated, Benjamin Walton's 25-page essay brings the history behind Bellini s third opera vividly to life. Il pirata (The Pirate) was Bellini's first commission for La Scala, Milan, and was written for the great Rubini, the tenor who had created the male title role of his earlier Bianca e Gernando (1826), and went on to headline the cast of his final masterpiece, I puritani. Bellini demanded stratospheric notes Es and even an F above top C from this virtuoso, making his roles almost impossible to cast until very recently. The titular pirate, Gualtiero, is in love with Imogene, who, believing him dead, has married his mortal enemy, Ernesto. After recriminations on both sides, Imogene loses her mind her Mad Scene was a Callas speciality and Gualtiero, having killed Ernesto, commits suicide. David Parry keeps the dramatic temperature high, and even if the principals, Carmen Giannattasio (Imogene), José Bros (Gualtiero) and Ludovic Tézier (Ernesto), occasionally force when bel canto is required, they have the histrionic measure of their roles and mostly rise to the music s technical challenges. CD OF THE WEEK --Sunday Times,20/05/12

Another success for Opera Rara --Gramophone,Sept'12

Another success for Opera Rara --Gramophone,Sept'12

Product Description

Ludovic Tézier (Ernesto) - Carmen Giannattasio (Imogene) - José Bros (Gualtiero) - Mark Le Brocq (Itulbo) - Brindley Sherratt (Goffredo) - Victoria Simmonds (Adele)... - Geoffrey Mitchell Choir - London Philharmonic Orchestra - David Parry, direction
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