Patric Schmid Artistic Director, Opera Rara
1972- 2005

'Francesca di Foix was a Donizetti heroine destined to remain on the shelf - until Opera Rara came to her rescue.'
The Guardian

'Patric Schmid of Opera Rara has the rare gift of tracking down rarities among early 19th century operas, unfairly forgotten. Here he has produced a splendid account of one of Donizetti's one-act operas...

This first recording - well paced by the conductor, Antonello Allemandi - is notable for bringing forward an outstanding young coloratura soprano, Annick Massis, who takes the title role; she is wonderfully bright and agile. Jennifer Larmore sings warmly as the Page, with the bass, Alfonso Antoniozzi, aptly gritty as the malicious Count and the tenor, Bruce Ford, lyrical as the attendant Duke.'
The Cast

IL RE
- Pietro Spagnoli
IL DUCA
- Bruce Ford
IL CONTE
- Alfonso Antoniozzi
LA CONTESSA
- Annick Massis
IL PAGGIO
- Jennifer Larmore

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
-Antonello Allemandi
Opera

'The version here recorded has been put together by Patric Schmid and Robert Roberts... this turns out to be a spirited piece. The recording is well cast. Massis... has a charming high soprano and turns in an exuberant performance. Larmore's page, similarly, is a characterful portrayal. Antoniozzi is suitably ponderous as the jealous and hangdog Count. Spagnoli with his light, dry bass-baritone, gets his words out well and brings off his florid music nicely. Lastly, in Allemandi Opera Rara has found a conductor who knows how to get lively, crisp, spirited playing from the LPO. The accompanying booklet is as usual, exemplary.'