Magazine article Opera Canada

L'ange De Nisida: Donizetti

Magazine article Opera Canada

L'ange De Nisida: Donizetti

Article excerpt



Opera Rara ORC5H

One of the most prolific of opera composers, Gaetano Donizetti penned over 70 works in 30 years. But this one, L'Ange de Nisida, never saw the light of day in its original form. Scheduled for an 1839 Paris premiere, the presenter went bankrupt and the project was scrapped. Donizetti recycled bits and pieces of the score for Li Favorite the following year. Thanks to extensive research by Italian musicologist Candida Mantica over the past ten years, the 800-page score was restored and received its much belated world premiere in Jul. 2018 at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, albeit in concert form.

This Opera Rara release comes from these ROH performances under the baton of the labels Artistic Director, Sir Mark Elder. Its a substantial work with over 2 1/2 hours of music squeezed onto two very full CDs. Stylistically it has both French and Italian operatic elements, with particularly intricate and extended ensemble numbers. Upon first hearing, its unmistakably and quintessentially Donizetti, with all his trademark musical turns and melodic inspirations. Those familiar with Li Favorite will also recognize some of the music.

As a piece of drama, L'Ange de Nisida does not represent Donizetti at his best, suffering from a weak libretto. It takes place 011 the Spanish island of Nisida, involving the beautiful Sylvia who is King Fernands mistress. But she's also pursued by an itinerant soldier, Leone. Your obligatory love triangle with improbable twists and turns, it is not exactly convincing for 21st-century sensibilities. …

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