Magazine article Opera Canada

Don Giovanni. (CDs)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Don Giovanni. (CDs)

Article excerpt

Mozart

Skovhus, Girolami, Schorg, Pieczonka, Keri, Raimondi, Daniel, Monarcha. Hungarian Radio Chorus, Nicolaus Estherhazy Sinfonia, Michael Halasz, conductor.

Naxos 8.660080-82 (3 discs).

Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, who has made a name for herself in Europe as a longtime member of the Vienna State Opera, is one of the standouts in this attractive set, recorded in November 2000 in Budapest As Donna Anna, she cuts a striking figure, in a role she took on for her debut this past January at Covent Garden. Her opening trio with the Don and Leporello is a real delight She brings a huge tone and impassioned intensity to her Act I accompanied recitative and aria, "Or sai chi l'onore," and she revels in her lyrical side in Act II's accompanied recitative and rondo, "Crudele! Ah no, mio bene!" (in the latter, she unfortunately brings off some sloppy runs in the more animated "Forse un giorno" section, which spoils an otherwise lovely performance). Bo Skovhus makes a suave and elegant Don, capturing this fiendish character quite nicely overall.

The remainder of the cast is marked by a suitably buffoonish Renato Girolami as Leporello, a more than competent Elvira (Regina Schorg, who offers an agile and powerful reading of "Ala fuggi" in the first act), a lyrically impressive Zerlina (Ildik6 Raimondi), a Commendatore (Janusz Monarcha) who lacks the chilling, booming lower register that role requires, and a capable but unduly light Don Ottavio (Torsten Kerl). …

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