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An important release from Opera Rara, filling a gap in the market and providing us with the opportunity to experience this work, oft-cited but little performed. And it is definitely worth hearing, with some top- drawer Donizetti to relish and a major role for a prima donna. Gencer and Caballé both had the opera revived for them; Carmen Giannattasio essays it here. I find her a frustrating singer as she is certainly not shy in interview to tell us how fabulous she is, and this recording reveals an interestingly coloured voice with some effective phrasing and efficient coloratura. But she is prone to shrillness, doesn’t overly relish the text and the performance seldom takes flight – worrying tendencies for a young soprano. Colin Lee provides bel canto grace as Gerardo, Troy Cook a suave baritone as Lusignano and Vuyani Mlinde menaces elegantly as Mocenigo. Add idiomatic and spirited conducting and playing from David Parry and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and this release is well worth adding to the collection of anyone interested in nineteenth century Italian opera.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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