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Extraits d'opéras (en version anglaise) / Susan Patterson & Mary Plazas, sop. - Colin Lee & Dennis O'Neill, tén. - Jonathan Summers & Robert Hayward, bar. - London Philharmonic Orchestra - Opera North Orchestra - Dir. David Parry & Gareth Hancock
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The selections are well chosen, and provide the listener with a solid overview of Puccini's artistry. The singers are all first rate, beginning with Mary Plazas' rendition of "O mio babbino caro" ('Darling Papa,...'), from Schicchi, on the opening track. Jane Eaglen, as Tosca, is another of many wonderful discoveries in this set. A long list of great voices, and interpretations, throughout.
Puccini is 'light' stuff in the world of opera, and it translates better than most Italian musical works for the stage. His music is direct, raw, emotional. The orchestration can be complex, however, increasingly so in his later operas, and the Philharmonic Orchestra under David Parry do a superb job. The sound is excellent.
A real find if you like Puccini, and a superb introduction to one of the great masters of Italian opera. Oh, did I fail to mention, that listening to this collection is just great fun ! And, a bargain.