OP3200. PARISINA (Donizetti), w. Bruno Bartoletti Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Mariella Devia, Giorgio Zancanaro, Dalmacio Gonzales, Dimitri Kavrakos, Tiziana Tramonti, etc. (Italy) 2-Bongiovanni 2569/70, Live Performance, 20 May, 1990, Teatro della Pergola, Firenze, accompanied by elaborate 64pp Libretto-Brochure. - 8007068256921
Nowadays, it must be said that it's difficult to hear a rare opera like this performed by a cast of such high quality. This recording, coming from the archives of Maggio Musical Fiorentino, boasts a singing company of a rare artistic level. Mariella Devia, who sings the title role, is one of the best loved bel canto queens much appreciated both from critics and public in all the bel canto roles she has sung in her long career. The extremely difficult role of Ugo, which puts together the grace and the elegance of the light genre with the qualities of the dramatic operas, was sung in this performance by Catalan tenor Dalmacio Gonzales, who reaches easily the top of the stave. Giorgio Zancanaro is stylistically at ease in the role of Azzo, which marks the birth of the modern baritone from the very beginning of the opera, requiring the most powerful sound obtainable from such a voice, here is put to the test in the most difficult tessitura.
- Ned Ludd
Divadom, like the price of gold, thrives on scarcity. The most elaborate mystiques and fervent cults build up around singers one rarely hears live. Any artist sounds better in a mixture of memories and hopes than in life. In New York, the aura of absence has had ample time to condense around the Italian soprano Mariella Devia, 66, who on Thursday returned to the city as Elizabeth I in the Opera Orchestra of New Yorks concert performance of Donizettis ROBERTO DEVEREUX at Carnegie Hall. A regular at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1980s, Ms. Devia last sang with that company in 1994. Since then she has had a few appearances with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Her fans have caught her on YouTube and bided their time as she underwent a reputational transformation from respected to revered. She was greeted as a conquering heroine, with an ovation before she had sung a note, a louder one after her first aria and a tumultuous reception at the end, spurred by her final note, a clear high D. It is remarkable that Ms. Devia is still in possession of a high D at all, let alone one so penetrating. She has carefully husbanded her resources over the decades, and she can still deliver a classy, effective performance. Sure of pitch and elegant in its phrasing, her modest-size voice has taken on a melancholy wistfulness.
- Zachary Woolfe, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 June, 2014
Giorgio Zancanaro has had a solid European career despite a complete lack of formal training. He was a policeman when he began singing. His major roles are Rigoletto, Escamillo, Germont Pére, Enrico Ashton (LUCIA), the High Priest (SAMSON ET DALILA) and Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. He was particularly known for his Verdi roles, and for EMI recorded RIGOLETTO, ATTILA, LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, and LES VESPRES SICILIENNE."
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com