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CD Review

Francesco Cilèa

Adriana Lecouvreur

  • Joan Sutherland
  • Carlo Bergonzi
  • Francesco Ellera d'Artegna
  • Cleopatra Ciurca
  • Leo Nucci
Orchestra & Chorus of the Welsh National Opera/Richard Bonynge
Decca Classic Opera 4757906 134m DDD
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Decca have chosen to reissue their later 1990 recording of Cilèa's 'Adriana Lecouvreur' for their Classic Opera series rather than the more critically acclaimed but older version with Tebaldi and Capuana. Dame Sutherland was coming to the end of her illustrious career when this recording was made but she still is in fine voice when coaxed by her indefatigable husband Richard Bonynge in the conductor's seat.

The recording is in digital format and gains from the superb acoustic of the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea with the supporting roles also well taken by Carlo Bergonzi and Leo Nucci amongst others with the music developing excellently. However, I still prefer the legendary Capuana recording with Tebaldi in unrivalled form throughout the opera.

It is also good to note that this re-issue has kept the original liners notes by Frank Granville Barker and the note on translations by Peggy Cochrane apart from the full libretto which is standard for Classic Opera sets. Those who wish to sample this fine opera will not do much wrong by acquiring this set although I believe that the older set is available at a cheaper price albeit without libretto.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech