OP0632. DEMETRIO E POLIBIO (Rossini), Live Performance, 27 July, 1992, w. Carraro Cond. Bratislava Ensemble; Christine Weidinger, Dalmacio Gonzales, Giorgio Surjan, Sara Mignardo, etc. (Italy) 2-Dynamic CDS 171/172, Slipcase Edition w.50pp Libretto-Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 8007144601713
“DEMETRIO E POLIBIO was Rossini's first opera, written during his late teens but not performed till 1812, when he was twenty and already had five staged operas to his credit. If you have an indulgent taste for Mozart's juvenilia - ASCANIO IN ALBA or IL SOGNO DI SCIPIONE, not-so-great operas written by a future great composer at roughly the same age - you'll likely enjoy this prime specimen of Rossini's, which shows a similarly precocious skill set and the same penchant for overlong, overwritten arias.
DEMETRIO was a collaboration with the family of Domenico Mombelli, a tenor and composer and early believer in young Rossini's talents, whose wife, Vincenzina Viganò, penned the text for this two-act dramma seria - Syrian king versus Parthian king, their children romantically entwined - with meaty roles for her husband and their two teenage daughters, soprano Ester and contralto Anna, and a bass thrown in for vocal balance. The opera was written piecemeal - an aria here, a quartet there - and it probably wasn't uppermost in its composer's mind when it finally was staged at Rome's Teatro Valle in May 1812, with Ludovico Olivieri augmenting the Mombelli trio.
The Mombellis kept the opera circulating for another few years, but it didn't outlive their promotion. In fact, it's a far-from-riveting piece of stagecraft.”
- Patrick Dillon, OPERA NEWS, June, 2013