La Vestale  (Mercadante)  (Sutej;  Dunja Vejovic, Gianfranco Cecchele, Franco Soli, Paola Romano)  (2-Bongiovanni 2065/66)
Item# OP3093
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La Vestale  (Mercadante)  (Sutej;  Dunja Vejovic, Gianfranco Cecchele, Franco Soli, Paola Romano)  (2-Bongiovanni 2065/66)
OP3093. LA VESTALE (Mercadante), Live Performance, 9 April, 1987, w.Sutej Cond. Spalato Ensemble; Dunja Vejovic, Gianfranco Cecchele, Franco Soli, Paola Romano, etc. (Italy) 2-Bongiovanni 2065/66, w.64pp. Libretto-Brochure. Final Copy! - 8007068206520


“LA VESTALE (The Vestal Virgin) is an opera by the Italian composer Saverio Mercadante. It takes the form of a tragedia lirica in three acts. The libretto, by Salvadore Cammarano, was influenced by Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy's libretto for Spontini's more famous opera of the same name. The opera's first performance took place at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 10 March 1840. After its first performance, the opera was one of the most frequently performed of Mercadante's operas, with around one hundred and fifty performances given.”

“Gianfranco Cecchele was born in 1938 in Padua, Italy. Even as a child he showed a precocious interest in opera and operatic singing. His interest was steadfast, and by 1963, when he was 25 years old, he decided to take some voice lessons. His teachers were impressed with his vocal potential, and in the same year he won a singing contest organized by the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. His début followed quickly, and in the following year he débuted at the Teatro Bellini in Catania, in a relatively obscure work, a one-act pastoral poem by Giuseppe Mulè entitled LA ZOLFARA. Possessed of a heroic voice, however, he quickly (within the same year, actually) moved on to La Scala to sing no less than the leading role in Wagner's RIENZI! Next—and this is all in 1964—on to Rome and AÏDA. Clearly, this young tenor with a stentorian voice was making a quick and powerful impression on audiences and critics alike. In rapid succession he accumulated a repertoire that included, in addition to Rienzi and Radamès, Don Carlo, Turridu, Don Alvaro and Calaf. In the following year he appeared at the Paris Opéra, with Maria Callas, in NORMA. It is hard to imagine a more rapid rise in a very demanding repertoire, and that of course was a double-edged sword. He was, after all, only in his 20's! He reputation spread throughout Europe and he gave 241 performances between 1964 and 1969. Of course, the inevitable happened, and toward the end of the period, around '67 and '68, he seriously strained his voice, causing vocal inflammation. Too many big roles too quickly. He had to quit singing entirely at that point, at least for a while, to undergo a long and painful recuperation from swollen and seriously strained vocal musculature. After a few years, however, he was re-establishing himself, and adding some less demanding roles to his repertoire and singing less often, having learned the lesson that many tenors do. Had he displayed that wisdom earlier on, there would likely not have been an interruption in his career. Also, the fact that he sang very largely in Italy made him an opera singer who, while enormously popular there, was not much known in America. This is also the case with two other fine Italian tenors, Mario Filippeschi and Salvatore Fisichella.”

- Edmund St Austell