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ROSSINI: “L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI.” Lucia Valentini-Terrani, Ugo...

ROSSINI: “L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI.” Lucia Valentini-Terrani, Ugo Benelli, Sesto Bruscantini, Enzo Dara, Alfredo Mariotti; Chor der Staatsoper Dresden; Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Gary Bertini. Acanta 42 308 (two compact discs). The first performance of Rossini’s bubbly 1813 opera buffa to reach compact disc will also be a hard performance to beat. Bertini and his cast stress quiet, tasteful stylistic adroitness rather than vocal fireworks. Valentini-Terrani deploys her luxuriant mezzo with insinuating charm, occasionally slowing the pulse to dispatch the passagework. Benelli invests the lovesick Lindoro with limpid romantic appeal, while Bruscantini’s blustery Bey relies on a genuine singing line rather than a bag of buffo mannerisms. Bertini phrases graciously while enforcing coherence in Rossini’s dazzling ensembles, and the Dresdeners play as if to the manner born. The 1981 recording (once available on the Musicmasters label) holds up in Acanta’s remastering. No texts or translations.


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