Notes & Reviews:
The operas of Nicola Vaccaj, renowned as a vocal teacher and still known today for his Metodo di Canto, employ a similar bel canto style to that of his rival Bellini. Based on a tragedy by Friedrich Schiller, the powerfully dramatic plot of La sposa di Messina deals with the inescapable and, in this case, destructive nature of destiny. Vaccaj's own 1839 première was dogged by bad luck, and the subject proved too controversial for Venetian audiences despite its numerous superb set pieces. After one complete and one partial performance, it was not staged again until the 2009 revival heard on this live recording. Antonino Fogliani's many conducting engagements have taken him to leading international opera houses and concert halls. For Rossini in Wildbad he has directed Ciro in Babilonia, L'occasione fa il ladro, Mosè in Egitto, La scala di seta, Il signor Bruschino and Otello, as well as Vaccaj's La sposa di Messina.
Vaccaj is an attractive, if not particularly original, melodist. But his dramatic sense is exceptional, and the opera has an implacable momentum that makes it compelling...Wakako Ono's Beatrice sounds suitably alluring, but the star is Jessica Pratt as Isabella, fearsomely impressive in a big role bel canto divas should, by rights, have been queuing to sing for decades.
International Record Review
[Wakako Ono gives] a neatly sung performance of a woman who seems to be a gentle creature...Ono and Jessica Pratt create a lovely blending of tones...Pratt begins her role not too impressively, with some unsupported low notes, but before long she is well into her part...Isabella's plea to heaven to end her suffering makes a powerful conclusion...and Pratt delivers it in full and steady voice...Lovers of bel canto opera should be interested.
Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2012
The sound is very good. The booklet contains a listing of the tracks and an essay by Jeremy Commons, who also contributes a plot summary, and there is an article on each singer, as well as the conductor, the choir, and the orchestra. Anyone who enjoys 19th-century Italian opera should have this rare issue. I recommend it heartily.
Recording information: Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany (07/15/2009-07/18/2009).
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Works DetailsVaccai, Nicola : La sposa di Messina, melodrama in 2 acts
- Conductor: Antonino Fogliani
- Ensemble: Virtuosi Brunensis
- Notes: Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany (07/15/2009-07/18/2009)
- Running Time: 2 min. sec.
- Period Time: Romantic