Magazine article Opera Canada

Dinorah

Magazine article Opera Canada

Dinorah

Article excerpt

DINORAH

MEYERBEER

CPO: 555 014-2

Meyerbeer's 1859 pastoral comic opera Dinorah (also known as Le pardon dc Plocrmet) has enjoyed only a very small number of recordings over the years, and has disappeared from the opera house, where it was once a favourite of such singers as Amelita Galli-Curci, Luisa Tetrazzini and others. Yet on the basis of this sparkling recording, made in conjunction with a live performance at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2014, it has much to offer--delightful tunes, a warm and folksy score, bouncy choruses featuring the likes of villagers, woodcutters and goatherds, and a busy role for the tide character, who is called upon to sing some challenging coloratura.

The opera, set in the Brittany town of Ploermel, relates a wild story of the destruction of the dairymaid Dinorah s fathers property just before her planned marriage to the goatherd Hoel. Worried about his fiancees dismal poverty, Hoel is convinced by the old magician Tonyk to seek a mysterious treasure, requiring him to spend a year in complete solitude while telling no one of his intention. There is another catch: the first person to touch the treasure will the within a year. Dinorah, naturally feeling she has been abandoned, goes mad and spends her days wandering in the woods with a goat. In the end, Hoel claims the treasure and his bride, who has awakened after a terrible accident, apparently unharmed and with her sanity newly intact.

The librettist, Jules Barbier, originally envisioned Dinorah as a one-act opera, but Meyerbeer convinced him to flesh out the story and extend it to three acts. …

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