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DONIZETTI, G.: Roberto Devereux [Opera] (Bergamo Musica Festival, 2006)

Composer(s):Donizetti, Gaetano
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660222-23
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 13.98


One of Donizetti’s most emotionally raw operas, Roberto Devereux ossia Il conte di Essex was also the third to be loosely based on episodes in the life of Queen Elizabeth I. It deals with the love of Elizabeth and her favourite, the Earl of Essex, perhaps most tellingly expressed in the Act I duet, Nascondi, frena i palpiti, o misero mio core / Hide, hold back your palpitation, oh my wretched heart! Elizabeth’s subsequent abdication is, however, a matter of dramatic licence, yet provides a memorable operatic conclusion to this tragedy of love and jealousy as she despairs at the death of her lover – Quel sangue versato al ciel s’innalza (The blood that is spilt rises up to Heaven). This inaugural production of the Bergamo Music



Review By David Denton,Naxos,August 2008

Already issued on a Naxos DVD (see my review in David’s Review Corner, May 2008), the performance of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux comes from the stage of the 2006 Bergamo Music Festival, and features the fiery Greek soprano, Dimitra Theodossiou. Though of questionable historical accuracy, the opera relates Queen Elizabeth’s love for Robert, the Earl of Essex, only to find he is secretly involved in an affair with a married woman, Sara, Duchess of Nottingham. It offers Donizetti some highly charged scenes, Theodossiou firing-off her virtuoso arias with an honesty that may be short on subtlety, but high on octane and vocally athleticism.The final meeting with Robert, when she accuses him of being a traitor, though in fact wanting revenge for his spurning of



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