The Cast

MARQUIS OF CALATRAVA
- Roderwick Kennedy
DONNA LEONORA
- Martina Arroyo
CURRA - Alison Truefitt
DON ALVARO
- Kenneth Collins
ALCADE - Philip O'Reilly
DON CARLO OF VARGAS
- Peter Glossop
FRA TRABUCO
- Kenneth Bowen
PREZIOSILLA
- Janet Coster
FRA MELITONE
- Derek Hammond-Stroud
PADRE GUARDIANO
DON GARRARD,
Spanish military surgeon
- David Fieldsend

BBC Singers
BBC Concert Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
- John Matheson
Sunday Telegraph

'Verdians will be grateful to Opera Rara, the BBC and the Peter Moores Foundation for the series of recordings of the first versions of several operas. Verdi wrote the opera for St Petersburg where it had its premiere in 1862 and was only moderately successful...

A major reason for acquiring the set must be the singing of two superb British artists, Kenneth Collins and Peter Glossop as Alvaro and Carlo. Both are in excellent voice here... Martina Arroyo is Leonora, another example of the kind of Verdi singing that is all too rare today.'
The Gramophone

'A superb addition to Opera Rara's invaluable first-thought Verdi series... Alvaro, an even more taxing role than in the better-known revised version for Milan is superbly sung by Kenneth Collins: Bergonzi and Domingo apart, no other tenor in the late 20th century was as ideal for the part. Collins, a true spinto, makes light of the demands, and sings with unstinting strength and an innate sense of Verdian style, a suitable souvenir of a singer so little represented on disc.

Martina Arroya is a profoundly sympathetic, even-voiced Leonora: she really sings her heart out. As the implacable Don Carlos, Peter Glossop splendidly conveys the avenging brother's wrath, particularly with his fiery encounter with Alvaro in Act 4. Like Collins, Don Garrard and Derek Hammond-Stroud were both singing the revised version at the Coliseum. The much admired Canadian bass sings with depth and authority as Padre Guardiano, and Hammond-Stroud in one of his favourite roles makes Melitone more than a mere buffo but rather a hot-headed, obtuse friar, as he should be. Janet Coster fills most of the considerable demands of Preziosilla's role and it is good to be reminded of the stalwart tenor Kenneth Bowen and of Roderick Kennedy's sturdy bass. All sing with exemplary Italian.'