RICCARDO, CONTE DI CHALAIS - Jose Bros
ENRICO, DUCA DI CHEVREUSE
- Christopher Purves
IL VISCONTE DI SUZE
- Graeme Broadbent
ARMANDO DI GONDI
- Loic Felix
- Brindley Sherratt
- Christopher Turer
UN FAMIGLIARE DI CHEVREUSE
- Riccardo Simonetti
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Orchestra of the Age
Sir Mark Elder
The Sunday Times
BBC Music Magazine
'... in terms of atmosphere, pithily concentrated use of Romantic-opera forms, and excitingly varied vocal writing, this compactly proportioned work counts among Donizetti's most striking achievements. The dark-and-light characteristics of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera
are prefigured in ways that shed illumination on 19th-century Italian operatic development.
Though not the first Maria di Rohan
on CD, this set comprehensively eclipses the 1996
one starring Edita Gruberova, above all because of Mark Elder's marvellously strong, supple
conducting. Opera Rara's cast imaginatively features the warmly sympathetic Bulgarian soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, who rises with unaffected eloquence to all of Maria's
demands, expertly partnered by the excellently stylish Catalan tenor Jose Bros and the splendidly versatile English baritone Christopher Purves.'
CD of the week
'Mark Elder's frisky baton keeps the dramatic momentum and emotional temperature at white heat; Krassimira Stoyanova, Jose Bros (Chalais) and Christopher Purves (Chevreuse) sing with élan and style; and Enkelejda Shkosa shines in the travesty part of Gondi, rewritten for a mezzo in the more frequently heard 1844 Paris version. Her delicious numbers are included in a generous appendix. As we are all Donizettians now, this is an absolute must.'
The Financial Times
'A compact drama in which fast-moving public events give a dynamic edge to private dilemmas, Donizetti's Maria di Rohan tells us where Italian opera was moving in that great decade of transition the 1840s. No one today has keener stylistic antennae for this repertoire
than Elder: conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, he shapes a performance of urgency and light-footedness, with a cast headed by Krassimira Stoyanova's sprightly Maria and Jose Bros's agile Riccardo.'
'Mark Elder conducted a concert performance of Donizetti's opera seria set in the court of Louis XIII at London's Royal Festival Hall two years ago. This studio recording with the same cast and orchestra had been made immediately beforehand; and the dramatic tautness
that was such a feature of the live event comes across vividly on disc... Elder uses the original version of the score, as performed at the premiere in Vienna in 1843, but, punctilious as ever, the Opera Rara set also includes the extra material that Donizetti composed when he revised the score, before it reached Paris later the same year.'