Notes & Reviews:
Paul Salerni's award-winning opera with a libretto by Dana Gioia takes place in a classical music radio station on the last night of its operations. Its last program, 'Opera Lover', is hosted by Antonio Caruso, who remembers his early dreams of artistic fame as the 'second Caruso' and is visited by three ghosts - his dead mother, Maria Callas, and a mysterious woman. Praised for his "resplendent vocalism" ('American Record Guide') and his "lusciously sweet voice, with its ringing, perfectly-tuned high notes" ('Opera Now'), the young tenor Eric Fennell sings the title role.
Scott found the singers to be first-rate, and so do I. They sing with such clarity of diction that a libretto is scarcely necessary. The ensemble also plays impeccably, and I would guess that the present recording of this work will be the standard for the foreseeable future. The economy of orchestration that Salerni employs (only 23 players) is hardly noticeable due to his skill in using his forces. This, then, is a work with memorable tunes, colorful and imaginative orchestration, and an interesting storyline that should appeal to anyone with the slightest interest in tonal American opera.
Recording information: Red Rock Recording Studio, Saylorsburg, PA (04/11/2009); Star City Recording, Bethlehem, PA (04/11/2009); Red Rock Recording Studio, Saylorsburg, PA (06/03/2009/06/07/2009); Star City Recording, Bethlehem, PA (06/03/2009/06/07/2009).
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Works DetailsSalerni, Paul : Tony Caruso's Final Broadcast, opera in 10 scenes
- Performers: Jacquelyn Familant (Bass Baritone); Jan Opalach (Bass Baritone)
- Conductor: Jung-Ho Pak
- Notes: Star City Recording, Bethlehem, PA (04/11/2009); Red Rock Recording Studio, Saylorsburg, PA (04/11/2009); Star City Recording, Bethlehem, PA (06/03/2009/06/07/2009); Red Rock Recording Studio, Saylorsburg, PA (06/03/2009/06/07/2009)
- Running Time: 50 min. 56 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 2004