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Composer: DONIZETTI Gaetano
Soloist(s): Annick Massis, Bruce Ford, Jennifer Larmore, Pietro Spagnoli, Anne-Marie Gibbons, Ahsley Catling
Conductor(s): Antonello Allemandi
Orchestra(s): London Philharmonic Orchestra
Choir(s): Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Label: OPERA RARA
Buy this cd at opera-rara.com
REVUE DE PRESSE
In the title role, Annick Massis shines as the Spanish princess imprisoned by the Moors. Massis sings with enormous charm, cushioning her tones in the delightful manner of Joan Sutherland, yet capable with her smaller voice of delivering high C climaxes over full chorus and orchestra. Above all, it is Massis’s fantastic timing that sets her atop the pack of today’s bel canto artists.
Bel Canto filberts, you’ve just died and gone to heaven. Opera Rara has exhumed some interesting operas for compact disc, but nothing as surprising or as superbly performed and produced as these two rare Donizetti one-acters – Donizetti’s Elvida and Francesca di Foix – an Oriental tragedy and a socio-political farce.
Both works get strong, idiomatic conducting from Antonello Allemandi, leading the London Philharmonic. The quartet of singers (the same on both discs) is simply fabulous. Annick Massis, a fluid coloratura soprano and stunning looker who has managed to avoid San Francisco, sings the title part in both operas.
The Tribune (San Francisco)
20 May 2005
Stephanie von Buchau
Referring to Elvida: At the opera’s center is soprano Annick Massis, who once more demonstrates that beautiful tone is possible throughout one’s entire range, at every dynamic level and in laguid as well as highly decorated music. She and Ford knock several out of the park with their final theme and variations.
Referring to Francesca de Foix: Annick Massis matches him (Bruce Ford) for variety of tone and expression and encompasses the florid demands of the role with security and eas. She uses a lighter tone than as Elvida, varying it between her uncertainty at the enticement and flirtatiousness as she teases her husband as they depart for the tournament.
Robert J Farr
Reviewing both Francesca di Foix and Elvida: The limpid purity of Annick Massis’s voice, it’s true, is better suited to the lighter manner of Francesca than to the heroic, death-defying Elvida, but she deals remarkably well with the technical difficulties of both.