Alzira (Verdi)  (Gardelli;  Ileana Cotrubas, Jan-Hendrix Rootering, Renato Bruson, Francisco Araiza)  (2-Orfeo C057 832)
Item# OP0113
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Alzira (Verdi)  (Gardelli;  Ileana Cotrubas, Jan-Hendrix Rootering, Renato Bruson, Francisco Araiza)  (2-Orfeo C057 832)
OP0113. ALZIRA (Verdi), Recorded 1982, w. Gardelli Cond. Bayerischen Rundfunks Ensemble; Ileana Cotrubas, Jan-Hendrix Rootering, Renato Bruson, Francisco Araiza, etc. (Germany) 2-Orfeo C057 832, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure in Italian, French, German & English. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy!


“ALZIRA is very distinctive early Verdi, similar musically to, say, MACBETH. While it lacks block buster numbers, it has many fine passages, including the large ensembles. Its libretto is weak and the opera is very short -- this production lasts about 1.5 hours.

The three principals sing well. Renato Bruson provides a fine rich tone, and Ileana Cotrubas contributes some lovely singing. Francisco Araiza handles the principal tenor role very ably, though he is recorded with a rather remote acoustic, particularly relative to Bruson. The chorus and orchestra do a good job, while the underrated conductor, Lamberto Gardelli, achieves a performance that strikes one as just right. This is not LA TRAVIATA -- or even LUISA MILLER -- but given the weakness of the libretto, this is a most enjoyable recording. It has good studio sound.”

- John Cragg

“Cotrubas made her stage debut with the Bucharest Opera as Yniold in Debussy's PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE in 1964. She subsequently expanded her repertory to include roles such as Oscar in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, and Blondchen in THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO and began appearing in productions throughout Europe - the Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Berlin State Opera and Salzburg Festival, and the Frankfurt Opera. In 1969, she also made her British debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Mélisande, and sang two succeeding seasons there in the title role of Cavalli's CALISTO. She made her début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971 as Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN. Cotrubas signed a three-year contract with the Vienna State Opera in 1970. During her time there, she learned the roles of Susanna in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Zerlina in DON GIOVANNI, Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, Mimi in LA BOHÈME, and Sophie in DER ROSENKAVALIER and made her La Scala debut on January 7, 1975, when she replaced Mirella Freni at La Scala as Mimi. She had to fly from her home in Kent and arrived 15 minutes before curtain time. Her interpretation was acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

Cotrubas made her Metropolitan Opera debut on March 23, 1977, as Mimi in a production with José Carreras and Renata Scotto. While with the Met, she appeared as Gilda, opposite Plácido Domingo and Cornell MacNeil, in a televised performance of RIGOLETTO on November 7, 1977, and as Violetta, again opposite Domingo and MacNeil, in a televised performance of LA TRAVIATA on March 28, 1981. She sang a total of three other roles at the Met: Ilia in Mozart's IDOMENEO (in its Metropolitan Opera premiere), Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN, and Micaëla in Bizet's CARMEN, the role of her final performance with the company on March 26, 1987.”

- Wikipedia

"Bruson was one of the foremost bel canto and Verdi baritones of his generation, and while this side of his artistry is lesser-known in the United States, he was also an accomplished song performer, specializing again in Romantic-era Italian works. He frequently championed the songs of Tosti, and was named an honorary citizen of Cortona, Tosti's home city, in recognition of this. While his Verdi roles are perhaps his best-known, especially Macbeth, Rigoletto, Renato (UN BALLO IN MASCHERA), and Simon Boccanegra, he sang in no fewer than seventeen Donizetti operas during the 1970s and 1980s, just ahead of the crest of a great resurgence of interest in lesser-known nineteenth-century works.

He made his opera debut as the Conte di Luna in IL TROVATORE at Spoleto in 1961. He appeared at the Met for the first time in 1969, as Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, and made his La Scala debut in LINDA DI CHAMONIX in 1972. In 1973, he made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, and in 1975 he made his Covent Garden debut in the same role, substituting for Piero Cappuccilli. His Vienna State Opera debut was in 1978, as Verdi's Macbeth. He sang with Riccardo Muti for the first time in 1970, and over the years became an adherent of Muti's insistence on singing come scritto, without singer-interpolated high notes, believing that this focuses attention on the music and drama rather than the singer.

His RIGOLETTO on Philips captures one of his major roles quite well, and among his many Tosti recordings on Nuova Era, 'Romanze su Testi Italiani' is one of the strongest."

- Anne Feeney,