Notes & Reviews:
Caterina Cornaro was the last of Donizetti's operas to be premiered in his lifetime, and the only opera of his later period not to have had a quality modern recording. Conductor David Parry explains, “The opera requires a prima donna with a wonderful voice, extraordinary technique and exceptional histrionic ability... The story is resonant and believable, a woman forced into a political marriage with a king who is assassinated, leaving her to rule on her own. This calls up from Donizetti one of his most deeply felt, atmospheric and dramatically truthful scores.” Opera Rara's two-disc set is accompanied by a complete libretto with an English translation alongside an article and synopsis by the eminent 19th-century musical scholar, Jeremy Commons.
The Guardian, 4th July 2013
Powerhouse performances by Colin Lee (Gerardo) and Troy Cook (Lusignano), whose big duet together is very classy indeed. Carmen Giannattasio's Caterina is too detached for my taste. David Parry is the no-frills, forthright conductor.
Sunday Times, 30th June 2013
The drama moves at a breathless pace in this first studio recording under David Parry's seasoned baton...Giannattasio is fierce under pressure, but has the requisite "sacro fuoco" for the title role, while Colin Lee and Troy Cook offer Italianate plangency and vigour as her lover and husband.
International Record Review, July/August 2013
[Lee] is up to his usual high standard. His bright, high-placed voice is in fine condition...there are some meaty morsels for the middle of Giannattasio's compass, which she treats to the occasional touch of chest-voice, yet she can take upward flight with flowing ease...She completes a fine cast, in which there is now weakness.
BBC Music Magazine, September 2013
Giannattasio brings an easy confidence to the rich lyricism of the writing, though a cleaner attack on the text would stamp more personality on the role...Colin Lee is sweet and graceful...and Vuyani Mlinde impresses...Parry secures a fine overall performance, drawing out the subtle drama of the piece.
Gramophone Magazine, September 2013
Giannattasio shows once again how admirably suited she is to the bel canto repertoire. Her opening Romanza encapsulates her virtues: a good legato line wih no Sutherland droopiness, followed by an equally expressive cabaletta...I have heard Colin Lee described as 'the poor man's Florez'...he is very much more than that.
American Record Guide, January/February 2014
Caterina Cornaro was one of Donizetti's last operas, and it was written under difficult circumstances. The composer was working simultaneously on Maria di Rohan and Dom Sebastien, he was collaborating with librettist Giacomo Sacchero for the first time. Under better circumstances, Donizetti might have written more interesting music. The performance is a fine one. Giannattasio has a sultry voice with a raw patch or two in it. She utters her words with feeling and authority. Lee's bright tenor is gracefully deployed, and Cook is a smooth Lusignano.
Recording information: BBC Maida Vale Studios, London (11/2011/12/2011).
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Works DetailsDonizetti, Gaetano : Caterina Cornaro, opera
- Conductor: David Parry
- Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
- Running Time: 84 min. 14 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1842-1843