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Rossini’s Sigismondo remains one for the operatic trainspotters, never recovering from having flopped at its premiere in Venice, 1814. Seemingly the audience didn’t know what to make of it, with its themes of madness and deception. It’s one long nervous breakdown, as King Sigismondo has his wife Aldimira killed, changes his mind when it’s too late – whoops – then curiously fails to recognise her when he encounters her still alive but disguised, and woos her again, a plot given a good stir by the baddie, Ladislao. All of this is expressed through a welter of exciting coloratura arias, and some fine ensembles such as the Act II quartet. Keri-Lynn Wilson’s conducting is solid and the sound is excellent – this is a live concert recording. Marianna Pizzolato is wonderfully fluent as Sigismondo, but her mezzo has a soft-grained texture that sometimes fails to ignite. Hera Hyesang Park’s high-lying soprano is true and confident. And Kenneth Tarver tackles the excruciating tenor role with bravura.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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