Bellini's "Capuletti" is perhaps his most famous opera after "Norma" although it has not received frequent recordings apart from a handful of mostly Italianate provenance. This rather obscure version dates from 1999 and has Larmore in a stellar performance as Roméo as well as a fine Robert Lloyd. Runnicles conducts an emotional and impassioned performance bringing great clarity to the orchestral passages with the Scottish orchestra performing to the manner born. A good bargain if there ever was any.
The Fauré opera is another rather rare work although this version is perhaps the best known having been around since 1982. Jordan is a sympathetic conductor to Fauré's cause although the somewhat cavernous Monte Carlo sounds tend to muddy proceedings somewhat. Jessye Norman leads the considerable cast with a somewhat distant performance although other up and coming artists in those days such as Alain Vanzo, Michèle Command and Philippe Huttenlocher also give creditable performances. Obviously the slim pack has lost its sizeable libretto and programme notes but otherwise this looks like the best you can get for this opera even almost 30 years after.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.