This studio recording was made in 1989 coinciding with a memorable production from the Metropolitan Opera, later captured on DVD. It's a delightful performance, and a wonderful highlight of Pavarotti's later career. Kathleen Battle's sparkling soprano is a brilliant accompaniment to Pavarotti's still-ringing tone.
"Pavarotti's voice was still beautiful and pliable, his phrasing exquisite. And he loved the role of Nemorino and always seemed happy with both its comedy and pathos–he steals every scene he's in, and no one minds…Kathleen Battle sings Adina with perfect, pearl-like tone, absolute fluency and commitment, and a trill to die for…Enzo Dara is an ideal Dulcamara, just the right combination of huckster and sentimentalist, with ease in every register and with fast music."
– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
From Dynamic comes the riveting opera performance of Olivo e Pasquale, a fan favorite that has delighted audiences for years. Known also as Melodramma giocoso, or romantic comedy opera about the title character brothers and their conflicting lives with those around them, this is the 1827 Neapolitan version with slight revisions and recorded for the first time at the 2016 Donizetti Festival of Bergamo.
This new Dynamic opera, Elisir d’amore was performed in Donizetti’s native city of Bergamo, during the most important world festival dedicated to the Italian composer. The opera is set in a rural environment and the action takes place in a country farm. It is a brilliant comedy with many points of contact with semi-serious operas. The choice of this subject must have been strongly influenced by the successes of Vincenzo Bellini’s La Sonnambula.
The opera is performed by a talented cast. Dulcamara is interpreted by young and talented bass Alex Esposito, who makes his debut here in the theatre of his native city. In 2006 he was awarded the Abbiati Prize as best opera singer of the season. Dulcamara steals the show thanks to Esposito’s dynamism and charismatic interpretation, adding to the opera a touch of freshness and modernity.
Lucia di Lammermoor catapulted Joan Sutherland to international fame in 1959. It is a role with which her name is now inextricably linked and one which provides a perfect showcase for her remarkable vocal agility and acting ability. Set in the misty moors of Scotland, Lucia di Lammermoor is based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott. It is a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers separated by a family feud. In Gaetano Donizetti's dark, romantic opera, the forces of hate tear the young couple apart, leading to madness and murder. Richard Greager, Malcolm Donnelly, Joan Sutherland. Directed by John Copley, conducted by Richard Bonynge.
This famous production of Donizetti’s Mary Stuart was one of English National Opera’s most memorable from the 1980’s. Dame Janet Baker chose the title role of Donizetti’s Scottish queen for her farewell to the London operatic stage in 1982. It was a triumph for Dame Janet, in one of the most rewarding of operatic roles. As Mary, she displays her full range as a great singing actress, at times imperious and confrontational, yet during the quieter reflective moments intensely moving. Her adversary Elizabeth is sung by Rosalind Plowright, in one of the best performances of her career, both intense and passionate in this demanding role. The famous, though entirely fictional, encounter scene between the two Queens is extremely powerful. The cast also includes John Tomlinson I commanding voice as Talbot, and David Randall as an ardent Leicester. The Performance is gloriously conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.
The Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli is one of the most charming and talented singers to appear on the scene in recent years, and this collection of Italian songs by three great opera composers–Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini–is a most deserving bestseller. There are many small pleasures in the selections, which reflect the bel canto predilections of their authors, and Bartoli renders them artfully. Some will be familiar even to casual listeners (Rossini's La Danza, the famous tarantella); others will be new to most, but equally deserving of a hearing. The sensitive and skillful accompaniment is by conductor-pianist James Levine.
Ugo, conte di Parigi is widely regarded as Gaetano Donizetti's most obscure opera, having closed after only four performances in 1832. Its first modern revival was not given until a concert performance held in London in 1977, on which occasion it was recorded and issued as the first in Opera Rara's survey of Donizetti's complete operatic output, garnering considerable acclaim. In more recent times the Italian label Dynamic has instituted its own Donizetti series and has now gotten around to Ugo, conte di Parigi. For its recording, Dynamic has utilized a live performance from Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo held in October 2003 and featuring exciting young Romanian soprano Doina Dimitriu.