Arthaus presents a production of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri by renowned opera stage director Andrei Serban and conducted by Bruno Campanella from the prestigious Opéra National de Paris.
The excellent cast of singer-actors was led by international mezzo-star Jennifer Larmore who, with her unaffected contact with the audience, beautiful voice and excellent acting, is central to this staging. The American singer has acquired a reputation as a Rossini specialist, and is no stranger to inventive stagings of the composer’s comedies…
This DVD version of Donizetti’s comic opera zooms right to the top of any list of essential videos for opera fans. It may not be the composer’s best work, but given a top-notch production with world class singing actors, it brings vocal thrills and an abundance of laughs, a combination that’s hard to beat. The stars are Juan Diego Flórez and Natalie Dessay, both unbeatable in bel canto roles, and both in top form here. Flórez’s mellifluous tenor is flexible enough to make child's play of the terrifying (to other tenors) nine high C’s in Ah! mes amis," and supple enough to make his tender love arias moving…
This performance of LA CENERENTOLA was taped at Houston Grand Opera in 1995. The performances marked Cecilia Bartoli's American debut, and as Angelina she completely justified all the "hype" that surrounded her at that time. She sings beautifully and acts nicely, creating a put-upon yet spunky "Cinderella." Opposite Bartoli, Raul Gimenez gives a sincere and sensationally sung Prince Ramiro. His love duet with Bartoli in Act I ("Un soave non so che") is an oasis of calm in a witty Rossinian fairy tale. The supporting cast includes Enzo Dara (Don Magnifico), Alessandro Corbelli (Dandini), and Michele Pertusi (Alidoro, the "fairy godfather"). Corbelli's Dandini has since become famous (a British critic called it one of the finest operatic characterizations of our day), and here one can see why: it is subtle, humorous, and richly sung… By A Customer
“Serreau knows how to use her mostly young cast to get a laugh without being silly and it was the right theatrical touch for this delicious masterpiece. With singing that ranged from good to great, it made for an appealing evening.” MusicWeb International
At the outset, I have to say that this opera is one of my least favorites. Somehow, it just doesn't communicate with me. I lived with the Sutherland-Pavarotti recording on London for a long time, listened to it occassionally, and then left it on the shelf. I know that both of them were acclaimed for their performances on this London recording, and of course, Sutherland and Pavarotti's singing certainly merit such acclaim. That said, however, I found both of them very ungainly in this music.
By L. Mitnick
A top ranking performance, only found in Japan, with an excellent Cedolins who is in a far better condition than in her Liceu's performance (Arthaus, 2007): beautiful voice, adequate play, sustained by good singers (excellent Adalgisa too), and Campanella is conducting with a great sense of the score. Only one limit: the orchestra which has difficulties to play piano when required (or maybe the recording is too close of the instruments?)