Magazine article Opera Canada

Faust

Magazine article Opera Canada

Faust

Article excerpt

SIMONEAU, ALARIE, REHFUSS, BERTON, BICOS, leal, weber, chorus of the Vienna Opera, Orchestra of the Vienna Festival, Gianfranco Rivoli, conductor. VAI Audio 1143-3. ****

HERE'S A GEM FROM VAI AUDIO THAT'S WORTH considering whether you're a Faust fan or not, or think you have enough versions in your library. I'm a little unclear on the pedigree of this historical reissue: the accompanying documentation doesn't make its origins clear, except to say that it was recorded in 1963 and consists of "previously released material;" but the only other reference I can find to this lineup of artistic forces, in Alan Blyth's Opera on Record, cites excerpts on a Concert Hall issue of 1957. I'm also not enough of a Faust student to know how complete this French-sung version is; the opera under-went a lot of rejigging in Gounod's own lifetime, and apparently a number of traditional cuts are opened up here.

But no matter. The attractiveness of this recording is in its presentation of two great Canadian singers, Leopold Simoneau and Pierrette Alarie, in splendid form, and in its use of a strong cast of native French-speakers throughout. …

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