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Donizetti: Maria Stuarda / Carminati, Cedolins, Ganassi, Bros [DVD]

Album Summary

>Donizetti, Gaetano : Maria Stuarda
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This recording was made at Venice's beautiful Teatro La Fenice. With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester. Maria Stuarda is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.

"Maestro Carminati looks an amiable, gentle soul as he enters the pit but he unleashes a firestorm of tension and passion in the big duets and his judicious tempi bind Donizetti's not-so-easy recitatives into flowing music-drama. Ganassi is in superb fettle throughout, encompassing both power and agility...An outstanding release, and a great relief to be removed from the static period costume displays normally inflicted on this drama." - Gramophone (DVD of the Month - May 2011)

"Carminati leads La Fenice's orchestra in a powerful reading yet with a supportive flow of sound in more reflective passages. All the acrimony, antagonism and enmity can be felt...Ganassi makes a strong figure, strongly sung, her voice full toned as she encompasses the scalework of her opening aria...[Cedolins] brings a dramatic intensity to her performance." -International Record Review

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 140 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian


Incredible Drama
This production of Maria Stuarda is interesting in that the set is non-traditional – it consists of mazelike structures colored by lighting, portions of which are movable, representing the intrigue and circuitous paths that the various characters move through while attempting to get what they want. Central, of course, are Elizabeth (played by Sonia Ganassi), and Maria Stuarda (Queen of Scots, played with depth by Fiorenza Cedolins), each of whom possesses a strong personality and absolute sense of “this is how things should be”. And as any Donizetti opera lover knows, Maria does not win this particular competition.

However, the dialog and drama between the two, as well as the interplay between Roberto and Giorgio, make for a fine dramatic feast. Ms. Cedolins shows a range of emotion ranging from incense to vulnerability to pride in sense of self. As Lord Guglielmo Cecil, Marco Caria does a fine job as the manipulator of the interaction between Elizabeth and Leicester, who loves Maria and does his level best to convince Elizabeth to meet with Maria in the hope that she can be convinced to free her.

While it can be argued that Maria Stuarda is the weakest of Donizetti’s trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens, the palpable jealousy and hatred between Ganassi’s Elizabeth and Cedolins’ Maria makes for a wonderful operatic feast. This production proved itself to be a worthy addition to this opera lovers Donizetti collection.

Submitted on 10/10/11 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Donizetti, Gaetano : Maria Stuarda
  • Performers: José Bros (Tenor); Marco Caria (Baritone); Fiorenza Cedolins (Soprano); Pervin Chakar (Soprano); Sonia Ganassi (Mezzo Soprano); Mirco Palazzi (Bass)
  • Conductor: Fabrizio Carminati
  • Ensemble: Teatro La Fenice Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1834