About the album
Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Director: Vincent Boussard
San Francisco Opera
Bellini’s radiant retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a beacon in the bel canto tradition. San Francisco Opera’s co-production features two of the greatest voices in bel canto together for the first time: mezzo Joyce DiDonato and soprano Nicole Cabell. Their compelling duet is one of the finest marriages between two voices in many, many years. The production, directed by Vincent Boussard and featuring costumes by Christian Lacroix, is captured in brilliant HD.
“DiDonato, looking svelte in Romeo’s trousers, set the evening’s gold standard. From her first entrance, the mezzo’s vibrant, lustrous singing and keen dramatic presence created an indelibly anguished hero. DiDonato’s voice is a marvel — tender and expressive in Bellini’s long-breathed melodies, mercurial in the opera’s most intricate passagework — and her ornamentation is focused and flawless. Her Act I duet with Cabell was sublime, and “Deh! tu bell’anima,” sung in the Capulet tomb, was ravishing.” – Opera News
“. . . so fine is the singing of the two principals and so idiomatic and exciting the conducting . . . Romeo may be Joyce DiDonato’s greatest role–greatest among many greats–her figure, range, and exclamatory style being ideal for the impetuous youth. She strides onto the set as if she owns it, and indeed she does, pouring out reams of handsome mezzo sound in perfect legato and diction and with thrilling decoration, always at the service of the text and character. . . duets with Cabell touch the heart, in unison, in thirds, in counterpoint. This is some of Bellini’s saddest music–from a catalog of ineffably sad music–and it speaks directly to the emotions. “Weep, shudder, die,” indeed. -close your eyes and listen to two spectacular women’s voices, making I Capuleti come alive.” – Robert Levine, Classics Today
“Romeo may be Joyce DiDonato’s greatest role – greatest among many greats – her figure, range and exclamatory style being ideal for the impetuous youth. She strides onto the set as if she owns it, and indeed, she does, pouring out reams of handsome mezzo sound in perfect legato and diction with thrilling decoration, always at the service of text and character . . .” – International Record Review: View PDF