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Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848): Le Duc dÆAlbe (The Duke of Alba), opera / Angela Meade, soprano; Michael Spyres, tenor; Laurent Naouri, bass-baritone; Gianluca Buratto, bass; Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder

Album Summary

>Donizetti, Gaetano : Il Duca d'Alba
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Le Duc d'Albe stars the glorious American soprano Angela Meade, making her début recording for Opera Rara. A rising star, Meade is one of the most exciting singers in the opera world today. Joining her, following his astonishing performance on the label's award-winning recording of Donizetti's Les Martyrs, is tenor Michael Spyres, as well as Laurent Naouri, who sang on Opera Rara's recent recording of Gounod's La Colombe. Le Duc d'Albe was composed to a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier in 1839, but Donizetti set it aside after completing only two acts, never to return to the score. It is those two magnificent acts that are recorded here.

Financial Times, 26th February 2016
Imaginative casting brings together authoritative soprano Angela Meade, stylish tenor Michael Spyres and elegant French baritone Laurent Naouri. Mark Elder conducts a cultivated performance with the Hallé.

The Guardian, 3rd March 2016
Under Mark Elder's propulsive baton, the highlights keep coming...Spyres's clarion tenor shines throughout as Henri. Angela Meade's soprano is squally in Hélène's act one rabble-rousing, but commanding in all the right ways in act two, and Laurent Naouri and David Stout are excellent as the Duke and his snarling henchman.

Sunday Times, 6th March 2016
Certainly, this recording is worth hearing, above all for the thrilling male leads. Is there a better tenor today than Michael Spyres? He makes Henri's fiendish music sound easy. Laurent Naouri as the Duke and Gianluca Buratto as the Flemish leader, Brauer, are superb, too.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2016
Opera Rara has decided here only to record what is largely Donizetti's own music, which means just the first two acts... so what we have is but a torso, tantalising and inevitably positing several major what-ifs. And it's all the more tantalising since the first two acts are dispatched with all the style and Tlan we've come to expect from Mark Elder in this music, here with the HallT. He brings conviction, stylistic nous and a wonderful airy clarity to the score.

Opera, May 2016
Elder's complete command of Donizettian atmosphere...and pacing...makes it clear that the essential grand opera conflict...stimulated the composer to even greater directness and iommediacy...than are apparent at the start of Les Martyrs...[Spyres] produces a peerless combination of eloquent French utterance. fearless musicianship and unfailingly beautiful tone.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Hallé St. Peter's, Ancoats, Manchester (06/2015).


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Works Details

>Donizetti, Gaetano : Il Duca d'Alba
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: Hallé Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1839