Notes & Reviews:
This score of Donizetti had given rise to conflicting reactions in Italy: a triumph on occasion of its debut in Florence (Teatro della Pergola, March 17, 1833), a fiasco in Milan, a success in Naples; in Venice a terrible flop and, four years later, a great success. The explanation? Simply the cast. Nowadays, it must be said that it's difficult to hear a rare opera like this performed by a cast of such an high quality. This recording, coming from the archives of Maggio Musical Fiorentino, boasts a singing company of a rare artistic level. Mariella Devia, who sings the title role, is one of the best loved "bel canto queens", much appreciated both from critic and public in all the bel canto roles he has sung in her long career; the extremely difficult role of Ugo, which puts together the grace and the elegance of the light genre with the qualities of the dramatic operas was sung in this performance by catalan tenor Dalmacio Gonzales, who reaches easily the top of the stave. While Giorgio Zancanaro is stylistically at ease in the role of Azzo, which marks the birth of the modern baritone from the very beginning of the opera, requiring the most powerful sound obtainable from such a vocal cord, here put to the test in the most convenient tessitura.
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