Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia


Antonio Pappano
Juan Diego Florez, Pietro Spagnoli, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Alessandro Corbelli

“Cette captation d’une distribution exceptionnelle interprétant une production scénique mêlant rigueur et cohérence, demeurera historiquement irremplaçable. Un DVD de référence.
– Opera Forum

“Legendary … triumphant … a staggering display of professionalism and, indeed, virtuosity”
– BBC Magazine

About the album

Captured at London’s Royal Opera House with an unbeatable cast in a sparkling, colourful production, this Barbiere offers a unique dramatic twist: Joyce DiDonato, who had broken her leg on the first night of the run, insisted on performing. As she said : ”Being trapped in the wheelchair was a quite literal way of demonstrating Rosina’s huge desire to break free.”

“The Royal Opera’s cheerful and colourful new production of Rossini’s most popular work is a copper- bottomed hit.”
The Daily Telegraph

If La Cenerentola does not appear in this new recital, recorded in Rome in June, DiDonato’s other signature Rossini role holds a place of honour: she has been described by the UK’s Sunday Times as the world’s reigning Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In 2009 alone she sings the role in Vienna, London (to be recorded for DVD by Virgin Classics) and New York, and in recent years it has also taken her to Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Houston, San Francisco, Bologna and Rossini’s birthplace, Pesaro.

Rossini’s two best-known comic operas proved essential in building the Kansas-born singer’s reputation over the last decade, but this recital focuses primarily on his serious works , although tensions run less consistently high than in DiDonato’s first Virgin Classics recital: Furore, the Handel programme released last year and described by The Daily Telegraph as an exhilarating roller-coaster of a recital from a charismatic singing-actress.

To make a recording of Rossini arias is a true dream for me, says Joyce DiDonato. His works have been hugely responsible for giving me the opportunity to break into this crazy opera world, and they have given me such incredible joy on the stage. I wanted to take this wonderful opportunity to show the wide, surprising range of his compositions. He was incredibly inspired by his wife, Isabella Colbran the reigning, supreme diva of her day and to explore some of the nine roles he wrote for her. I think it will afford wonderful insight into how a composer is inspired by a particular muse, to hear how Isabella ignited incredibly creative forces in him. She was widely hailed in her relatively short career for her incredible range not only vocal, but dramatic too and that will be evident here as we explore the heartbreaking pathos of Desdemona, the hopeful triumph of Semiramide, and the unleashed power of Armida.

This programme includes two arias from La donna del lago, which DiDonato is scheduled to sing over the coming seasons in Geneva, Paris, Milan and London. She takes the role of Elena � written for the soprano Colbran, but a great success in the 1980s for DiDonato’s idol, fellow high mezzo Frederica von Stade. Apart from Rosina’sUna voce poco fa, the other arias on the CD, from Otello, Semiramide, Armida, Maometto II and Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra, were also composed for Colbran.

DiDonato proved that she can triumph in music written for soprano with her recent complete recording of Handel’s Alcina and her debut last year in the role of Mozart’s Donna Elvira; the performances at London’s Royal Opera House prompted The Guardian to describe her as the real star , singing her first Elvira and nailing even the topmost notes, while The Daily Telegraph praised her performance in a similar vein:The star of the show was Joyce DiDonato, who sang Elvira with a style, sensitivity and bravura that outclassed everyone else on stage.

To return to Rossini and Rosina, the role for DiDonato’s debut at the Vienna State Opera in April 2009, the Wiener Zeitung had this to say: “She tossed off crystal-clear coloratura, presented a dark, secure low register, a confidently nuanced mid-range, bright and voluminous high notes – in short, everything that makes for great, modern bel canto style. She appears undaunted by the role’s many technically tricky passages, and even more, she sang musically challenging variations on every repeated phrase, shaped every single bar with brio, and presented a psychologically multi-faceted characterisation with wildly joyful abandon.”

DiDonato is her customary ultra-musical self: her coloratura is dazzling, and high notes are delivered without a hint of spread right up to B natural.

Opera News

Album info

Release date: April 20, 2010
Number of Discs: 2
Format: DVD / Blu-ray
Label: Erato
ASIN: B0039I1HN4