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ClassicsOnline Home » CARNICER, R.: Elena e Constantino [Opera] (Lopez-Cobos)
'Il Barbiere di Barcelona'?
Ramon Carnicer y Batile is not a name on the tip of every opera-lover's tongue. Start to listen to the Overture and you may wonder if you are hearing some long-overlooked work from Rossini's early maturity, perhaps?
Well that is not so improbable a surmise; for Carnicer was a great admirer and follower of Rossini, bringing Italianate opera to the Spanish stage. He even composed extra arias for Rossini operas when they were staged in Spain.
Listen on: you will not be disappointed - similar lively invention and melodic fluency, colourful and imaginative interventions from the orchestra, skill in vocal ensemble-writing and Rossinian crescendos of excitement. (Is this, dare one wonder, where Italy gives birth to Zarzuela?)
Structurally 'Elena e Constantino' appears a little unusual in its balance of forces between men's and women's voices - no less than three tenors, a baritone and a major part for a bass versus only two sopranos. This no doubt meets the requirements of the plot; but unless the listener is a fluent Italian-speaker with an acute ear, the libretto and the basic story will remain a mystery - if only a synopsis had been available for download this album would have been worthy of (an imaginary) SIXTH STAR.
If there are voices to be picked out from the overall excellence of the team of soloists, Robert McPherson is outstanding. Ruth Rosique, singing both Elena and Riccardo is excellent; Mariola Cantarero begins with more vibrato than fashionable today but comes into her own in Anna’s splendid Act 2 aria; while the bass - a voice which, in this era of Italian opera, is usually restricted to the buffa tradition - Lorenzo Reggazzo provides a solid anchor-man as Carlo.
Nor should the prominent part given to an excellent and vivid chorus go unremarked, backed-up by a better than average contribution from the pit; while the whole is nimbly and stylishly directed by Jesus Lopez-Cobos.
For a sampler, listen to Anna’s aria mentioned above, followed by the brilliant pair of duets for the Governor, Constantino, Emondo and Carlo.
For this reviewer, this album is the find of my year.more....
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CARNICER, R.: Elena e Constantino [Opera] (Lopez-C...