Label: BelAir Classiques/Naxos
Diana Damrau, Javier Camarena, Ludovic Tézier, Nicolas Testé
Evelino Pidò, conductor
Emilio Sagi, director
Release date: November 3, 2017
A jewel of bel canto, and Bellini’s last masterpice, I Puritani encapsulates every major theme held dear by the Italian romantic generation: a love triangle, quid pro quos, a shattered love affair leading to madness, set in Cromwell’s England with its lot of political rivalries. It is also an ode to resistance and to freedom, echoing the political struggles that the Italian peninsula was facing in the 1830’s. But it is mainly a testament to Bellini’s unique musical brand, a genius combination of melodic brightness, post-rossinian ornaments, and a profound and melancolic lamento that owes much to traditional Neapolitan songs.
It is therefore one of the most vocally demanding opera of the repertoire, and to face this challenge, the Teatro Real of Madrid called on four exceptional singers : the great diva Diana Damrau is Elvira, Javier Camarena is Arturo (both triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera of New York in the same opera in 2017), as well as baritone Ludovic Tézier and bass-baritone Nicolas Testé.
Catalan director Emilio Sagi offers a staging both elegant and simple, and bel canto expert Evelino Pidò, along with the Teatro Real Orchestra and Chorus, brings forth every nuance of this immense and unforgettable score.
Available in the US via ArkivMusic.
Damrau ha estado brillante, y así se lo ha reconocido el público, puesto en pie, en su papel de mujer enamorada que se vuelve loca al saberse traicionada..."
[Damrau was brilliant, and the audience acknowledged it, on their feet, in her role of a woman in love who goes mad when she finds herself betrayed...]
– El Diario
Of course it isn’t just Arturo’s show. Diana Damrau’s Elvira is a complete match, with stunning tone and, of course, the legato. The chemistry between the two performers is something to behold. They deserve a place in the opera history books for this.
Diana Damrau’s Elvira effortlessly combines extraordinary technical expertise with focused expressive intent to the extent that it is hard to imagine the musical and dramatic aspects of the role being brought together to greater effect.
– Opera Magazine