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Rossini’s Zelmira is long, pretty static, and requires virtuosic vocalising and a plethora of set changes (obviously not a problem on CD). It is a strange piece. A new recording is solid but doesn’t particularly thrill. It was recorded live from the Rossini in Wildbad Festival in 2017, and perhaps if you were there it was more exciting. Two singers stand out. Silvia Dalla Benetta in the title role, sounding a confident dramatic coloratura with interesting colours in her voice and some interpretative bite, especially in her final scene. And tenor Mert Süngu, whose bright tone sails through some excruciating and high- lying coloratura with seeming ease, which I am sure in fact took years of hard training. Gianluigi Gelmetti’s conducting is correct and respectful of his singers, though orchestra and chorus are not top drawer.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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