Ugo, conte di Parigi is widely regarded as Gaetano Donizetti's most obscure opera, having closed after only four performances in 1832. Its first modern revival was not given until a concert performance held in London in 1977, on which occasion it was recorded and issued as the first in Opera Rara's survey of Donizetti's complete operatic output, garnering considerable acclaim. In more recent times the Italian label Dynamic has instituted its own Donizetti series and has now gotten around to Ugo, conte di Parigi. For its recording, Dynamic has utilized a live performance from Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo held in October 2003 and featuring exciting young Romanian soprano Doina Dimitriu.
Ugo Conte di Parigi unfortunately, did not repeat the success of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, because the Austrian censorship, which in that period was particularly strict and obtuse, requested a series of important changes that compromised its dramatic essence and, after 1846, the work disappeared altogether from the repertoire. Ugo Conte di Parigi really did not deserve such a fate, for it is - especially from the musical point of view - a work worthy of the best Donizetti, rich in moving melodies and compelling concertati.
Opera Rara chose this most obscure of Donizetti’s operas on the strength of its many beautiful and intricate ensembles. A convoluted plot culminates in the magnificent poison scene, conceived as a vehicle for the talents of the great singing actress Giuditta Pasta. Della Jones, Janet Price, Eiddwen Harrhy and Yvonne Kenny make their recording debuts for the first of Opera Rara’s Donizetti revivals.
Don Pasquale is among the last of Donizetti’s sixty-six completed operas. After the successful premiere of Linda di Chamounix in Vienna in May 1842. Donizetti made his way to Milan, hoping to get a new libretto for a comic opera for Paris. He actually started on a work called ‘Ne m’oubliez pas’ (do not forget me) before abandoning it when he got the commission to write a comic opera for the Théâtre Italien. Giovanni Ruffini, an Italian political exile living in Paris, wrote the libretto based on a previous opera by Pavesi. Donizetti was not happy with Ruffini’s verses and made changes of his own to the extent that his librettist refused to attach his name to the printed libretto.
…bietet diese neue Aufnahme unter einem jungen, kraftvollen Dirigenten (Plasson), der es versteht, Donizettis dramatisches Feuer zu entfachen. Auch die jungen Sänger engagieren sich mit vollem Einsatz für das vergessene, aber sehr reizvolle Donizetti-Werk. Allen voran die Pendatchanska, die mit glutvollem, temperamentvollem Sopran die Titelpartie gestaltet, überzeugender als Caballé, die als einzige Vorgängerin betrachtet werden kann. Auch Moretti bringt für den Ugo das Timbre, die Technik und die Leidenschaft mit - unerklärlich deswegen die brutale Kürzung seiner Cabaletta im 2.Akt. Technisch unsicherer aber dramatisch kraftvoll De Andrès als Bösewicht Azzo und kultiviert Aliev als Ernesto. Sieht man in das mitgelieferte Libretto hinein, werden kleine Streichungen in der Oper sichtbar, die uns hier jedoch als Ohrenschmaus und geglückte Wiederentdeckung präsentiert wird.
"From its foreboding prelude to its melodramatic conclusion, 'Parisina' is one tuneful delight after ano- ther….Pendatchanska is a youthful protagonist. She has a warm voice of almost mezzo-soprano coloring….Hers is a major vocal talent…" (American Record Guide)
Donizetti composed Roberto Devereux during a period of intense creativity. The work had an uninterrupted 10-year run after its première in 1837, before going on to enjoy international success throughout Europe and in the Americas, with versions in French, German, Russian and Hungarian. When Donizetti moved to Paris in 1838, he furnished the opera with the overture that paraphrases the British anthem God Save the Queen. The Queen dominates from her very first appearance, a true protagonist, performed here by the great Mariella Devia: her pure voice, impeccable intonation and great stage presence, all combined with the technical qualities of her voice, led to an extended standing ovation. It was a triumph, too, for Sonia Ganassi (Sarah) and the tenor Stefan Pop (Devereux).
Recorded live in October 2016, this is the Bayerische Staatsoper’s first new production of Donizetti’s La Favorite in over a hundred years. Conducted by Karel Mark Chichon and stage directed by Amélie Niermeyer, it features role debuts for several stars, including DG's own Elina Garanca as Leonor de Guzman, Matthew Polenzani as Fernand, and Mariusz Kwiecien as Alphonse XI.
With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester. "Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.