- Gregory Kunde (Tenor)
- Robert Gleadow (Bass Baritone)
- Francesca Sassu (Soprano)
- Kenneth Tarver (Tenor)
- Mark Wilde (Tenor)
- Carmen Giannattasio (Soprano)
- Patricia Bardon (Mezzo Soprano)
Notes & Reviews:
Rossini's La donna del lago was not only the first Italian opera to be based on a work by Sir Walter Scott (the narrative poem The Lady of the Lake), it was also a milestone in the development of romanticism in Italian opera. Still to this day, we cannot fail to respond when Rossini writes an enchanting aubade for his Elena as, making her first appearance, she rows her skiff across the placid mountain waters of Loch Katrine. Recorded at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival, this performance features the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maurizio Benini. Opera Rara's three CD set comes with a lavishly illustrated book including a complete libretto with an English translation. Bel canto specialist Jeremy Commons gives a superb account of the story behind the opera and its composition.
Gramophone Classical Music Guide
One of Rossini's most attractive scores, La donnadel lago is both bold and delicate, at one moment looking ahead to Verdi, at several others suggesting a Mozartian affinity. The orchestral writing offers colour, adornment and a steady supply of additional interest. For the voice, opportunities for brilliance are matched by passages of sustained lyrical elegance. Dramatically, the construction is effective, the tension well contrived, with characters and situations that can touch the heart.
Live in Edinburgh's Usher Hall, Gregory Kunde, in the fearsome role of Rodrigo, sounded at times foggy, almost as though singing through a cold, his tone breaking free with startling clarity on the high notes. The recording is more evenly voiced, the low notes clearer, the top not quite so exciting. And whereas the memory of Carmen Giannattasio as Elena is of something very special, the recorded sound seems not quite to catch the distinctive beauty of her tone throughout the range. Also the recording is without applause: and there was much. It was an evening of general rejoicing in the singers' art. Perhaps the greatest enthusiasm of all greeted Kenneth Tarver, especially after his solo at the beginning of Act 2: and that comes out on record exactly as remembered, a model of legato singing from the start and blissfully even and precise in florid work later on.
Though this was a concert performance, all was fully expressive and, if one couldn't claim a high degree of dramatic involvement, at least as a member of the audience one felt interest and sympathy. The orchestra is well to the fore, and its playing is certainly a main strength, Maurizio Benini conducting with spirit and finesse. Offstage band and chorus are also effectively recorded, and a well-chosen version of the text is presented. Opera Rara also bring its habitual generosity and scholarship to the accompanying booklet, with a handsome box and stylish packaging.
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Rossini: Adelaide de Borgogna / Carella, Cullagh, et al
Paer: Sofonisba (Highlights) / Guidarini, Larmore, et al
Lully: Thesee / O'Dette, Stubbs, Crook, van der Kamp, et al
Verdi: Don Carlos / Matheson, Tremblay, Vilma, et al
Mercadante: Maria Stuarda (highlights) / Allemandi, Howarth
Rossini: Ciro in Babilonia / Fogliani, Württemberg PO, et al
Verdi: Les Vêpres Siciliennes / Rossi, Brumaire, et al
Salzedo's Harp - Music of Carlos Salzedo / Kondonassis
Opera in English - Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel / Mackerras
Works DetailsRossini, Gioachino : La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake), opera
- Performers: Gregory Kunde (Tenor); Robert Gleadow (Bass Baritone); Francesca Sassu (Soprano); Kenneth Tarver (Tenor); Mark Wilde (Tenor); Carmen Giannattasio (Soprano); Patricia Bardon (Mezzo Soprano)
- Conductor: Maurizio Benini
- Ensemble: Edinburgh Festival Chorus
- Running Time: 123 min. 56 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1819
- Studio/Live: Live