OP0091. ELENA DA FELTRE (Mercadante), recorded 1997, w.Maurizio Benini Cond. Wexford Festival Ensemble; Monica Colonna, Nicola Ulivieri, Elena Rossi, Luigi Petroni, etc. (Germany) 2-Marco Polo 8.225064/65, w.Elaborate 51pp. Libretto-Brochure in Italian & English. [An exceptionally welcome issue. The score is a delight, the conducting is exceptional and Monica Colonna is to the manner born - a 'find'] Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 636943506424
"Saverio Mercadante wrote much: almost sixty operas to begin with - among them an AMLETO (1822) - and possibly more instrumental works than any of his contemporaries. Many of his operas were performed throughout the 19th century and some received far more performances than those of Verdi’s early productions. ELENA DA FELTRE which was his 43rd, was premiered in January 1839 - Verdi debuted with OBERTO in November the same year - and was regarded as advanced for its time. The aria from the first act begins with a long beautiful flute solo, which reminds me that Mercadante wrote a number of concertos for flute and string orchestra. The aria is well shaped and Monica Colonna sings it well."
- Göran Forsling, MusicWebInternational
"After Benini's debut at Teatro Comunale in Bologna started a career at the highest levels with many commitments in belcanto and Verdi’s repertoire in such theaters as the Paris Opéra, the Staatsoper in Vienna, the ROH Covent Garden in London, the Liceu in Barcelona, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, The Fenice in Venice and in festivals such as the Glyndebourne Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, the ROF in Pesaro, Italy, having conducted performances of Fidelio, Don Giovanni, Aida, La Bohème, Tosca & Semiramide for the Met, Benini was to have conducted Maria Stuarda & Il Pirata at the Met in 2020, but Covid 19 caused the Met to cancel. Many are his recordings with the Opera Rara label and with Deutsche Grammophon."
“Mercadante, you may recall, was a major transitional figure between the bel canto of Rossini and the melodramma of Verdi. Influenced by French grand opéra, he attempted to create a more dramatic, less musically conventional Italian opera, one that united French declamation, German harmony, and Italian melody.”
- Z. D. Akron