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ROSSINI: Donna del lago (La)

Composer(s):Rossini, Gioachino
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660235-36
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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First staged in Naples in 1819, Rossini’s opera La donna del lago is based on Walter Scott’s romantic poem The Lady of the Lake, setting a precedent for later composers, who also drew on Scott for their plots. Set in exotic 16th-century Scotland, the opera deals with the conflict between the Highland clansmen under Douglas and King James V, who generously forgives his enemy and allows the betrothal of his beloved Ellen, Douglas’s daughter, to his former enemy, Malcolm.

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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Until Pollini’s Sony set returns, this new Naxos live recording reigns supreme for this opera, freely adapted from Scott’s novel The Lady of the Lake, and even if it were not in the budget range it would still be fully competitive. Zedda conducts with élan and his young cast make a splendid team. Sonia Ganassi is excellent in the title-role of Elena, and the pair of tenors, Maxim Mironov as Uberto and Fredinand von Bothmer as Rodrigo, are both most convincing. The duet between Uberto and Elena in Act I, Qualifaccenti!…a son sorpreso is one of the opera’s highlights; later, the duets between Elena and Malcolm (Marianna Pizzolato) are equally teling, as is Pizzolato’s spectacular earlier aria (Mura felici). The chorus and


Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,May 2008

I'll confess (and am surprised) that I have never heard this opera before. It is simply lovely, chock-full of beautiful arias and overflowing with the full complement of Rossini's audience-winning arsenal of dramatic recitatives, ensembles and choruses. I was also happy to re-encounter maestro Albert Zedda, a pioneer of the early LP era, when he was extremely popular. The performances are excellent, notwithstanding the fact that it was recorded live in Bad Wildbad.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2008

Rossini was twenty-seven when Walter Scott’s novel The Lady of the Lake was drawn to his attention, the Italian libretto prepared by Andrea Tottola keeping within the general framework of the story and includes a modicum of Scottish flavour. It is surprising that the eventual opera has not found a place in the standard repertoire, as it stands well above any of the composer’s other ‘serious’ stage works. It oozes with strong material, particularly in the choruses, the characters avoiding the cardboard cutouts that were the stock-in-trade of Italian opera houses at the time. It relates a triangular love story, where King Giacomo in disguise as Uberto falls in love with Elena - the lady of the lake - mistaking her words and believing his love is returned



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