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Mercadante: Virginia / Benini, Patterson, Antonucci, Clarke, Castronovo, et al

Album Summary

>Mercadante, Saverio : Virginia, opera
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Many 19th century Italian operatic composers had problems with censors. Verdi's disputes over Rigoletto notorious, but many other works by Rossini and Donizetti were rewritten to appease the arbiters of what was deemed morally, religiously or politically correct. Another victim was Saverio Mercadante. 'Virginia', completed in 1850, was not performed until 1866 because the composer refused to make alterations. The work is set in ancient Rome where the heroine, daughter of the soldier Virginio, is assailed by the corrupt and powerful Appio as part of an ongoing conflict between patricians and plebeians. It ends with Virginia's father stabbing her rather than relinquish his daughter to their oppressor.

BBC Music Magazine
Maurizio Benini draws a strong and stylish performance from the London Philharmonic, and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir makes vivid contributions. Susan Patterson... delivers her opening cabaletta with bravura and generally discloses a soprano of impressive amplitude.

Gramophone Magazine
Maurizio Benini conducts with appreciative understanding of the traditions and his players bring out the full flavour of Mercadante's imaginative score. ... the only soloist of whom much is asked in the way of florid singing is the soprano, and Susan Patterson has mastered the technical difficulties of her role with impressive success.



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Works Details

>Mercadante, Saverio : Virginia, opera
  • Performers: Charles Castronovo (Tenor); Mark Le Brocq (Tenor); Stefano Antonucci (Baritone); Katherine Manley (Soprano); Andrew Foster-Williams (Bass Baritone); Susan Patterson (Soprano); Paul Clarke (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Maurizio Benini
  • Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic