ROSSINI, G.: Zelmira [Opera]
Zelmira was the last opera Rossini wrote for Naples, knowing it would also be his calling card to Vienna where he had been assured performances. Keen to reconcile the alleged incompatibility between ‘Italian’ melody and ‘German’ harmony, Rossini employed exciting and daring harmonies and a raft of dazzling orchestral effects in this tragedy in which a daughter saves her father, the king, and her son, from usurpers to the throne. The opera was acclaimed wherever it was heard, and this recording presents the revised and triumphant Paris version.
Listen to an excerpt from
Act II – Finale: Riedi al soglio: irata stella (Zelmira, Polidoro, Ilo, Chorus)
Company of Zelmira, Rossini in Wildbad Festival
Silvia Dalla Benetta
Silvia Dalla Benetta (Zelmira)
Soprano Silvia Dalla Benetta has collaborated with distinguished directors including Laurent Pelly, Daniele Abbado and Franco Zeffirelli, and conductors such as Daniel Oren, Renato Palumbo and Donato Renzetti, among others. In the 2014–15 season she made her coloratura debut in Nabucco in Malta. She appeared in Catania as Fiorilla and in Nice as Semiramide. In 2016 she sang in Les Huguenots and Bianca e Gernando, having appeared the previous autumn in Sassari in Rossini’s Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra and in Lucerne as Norma. In 2017 she appeared in Aureliano in Palmira, and in 2018 sang the title role in Zelmira.
Joshua Stewart
© Gabriel Wolf
Joshua Stewart (Antenore)
Critically acclaimed American tenor Joshua Stewart’s recent engagements include his debut with the Birmingham Opera Company in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Lazarus and the role of Giove in Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo at Rossini in Wildbad. Stewart has performed at various international festivals, worked with many renowned conductors, and has had the honour of performing for several world leaders. A native of New Orleans, and with musical roots in jazz, he is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and is the recipient of several awards and fellowships.
Mert Süngü
© Suat Arikan
Mert Süngü (Ilo)
The tenor Mert Süngü his debut as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, tackling further principal roles during 2014–16 at the Semperoper. Guest engagements brought performances at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, in Pavia, Como, Brescia, Bologna and the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, and as Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at the State Opera in Istanbul. In 2017 he appeared in Les Pêcheurs de perles in Trieste and in Il viaggio a Reims in Rome.
Marina Comparato
Marina Comparato (Emma)
Born in Perugia, mezzo-soprano Marina Comparato studied in Florence, making her debut in Il barbiere di Siviglia in London in 1996. A winner of many prestigious competitions, she has appeared in numerous international venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. In 2018 she debuted as Carmen at Teatro La Fenice in Venice conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, and in 2019 performed in Petite Messe solennelle at Rossini in Wildbad.
Federico Sacchi
© Francesco Ridolfi
Federico Sacchi (Polidoro)
Bass-baritone Federico Sacchi made his debut in Massenet’s Don Quichotte. His versatile career spans a variety of roles including Talbot (Maria Stuarda) and Rodolfo (La sonnambula). He is much in demand as a soloist throughout Europe, with engagements including Principe (Adriana Lecouvreur) at Oper Frankfurt and Timur (Turandot) at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. He has featured in a number of DVD and audio recordings, including La traviata from the reopening of the Teatro La Fenice. He appeared in Verdi’s Otello with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and undertook the role of Polidoro in Zelmira at Rossini in Wildbad.
Luca Dall’Amico
Luca Dall’Amico (Leucippo)
The bass Luca Dall’Amico studied trombone, organ and composition at the Vicenza Conservatory, making his debut at the Verona Arena in 2003 in Carmen. Riccardo Muti engaged him for Agamemnon in Iphigenie in Aulis at the Rome Teatro dell’Opera. At La Scala he sang in Pizzetti’s Assassinio nella cattedrale, leading to engagements throughout Italy. His career has brought collaboration with distinguished conductors and appearances at major theatres, including the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, the Teatro Regio, Parma and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti.
Górecki Chamber Choir, Kraków
© Ryszard Janczak
   Górecki Chamber Choir, Kraków
The Gorecki Chamber Choir was founded in 2013 by the Passionart Society in connection with the first performance of church music by Henryk Gorecki. The concert was recorded and aired on Polish radio and the BBC. In subsequent years the choir has given concerts of sacred music throughout Poland, under the direction by, among others, Jose Cura and Daniel Smith. Artistic director Włodzimierz Siedlik has established a close collaboration with the Academy of Music in Krakow, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and the Sinfonietta Cracovia. The choir made its debut at Rossini in Wildbad in 2017.
Virtuosi Brunensis
   Virtuosi Brunensis
The Virtuosi Brunensis chamber orchestra was established in 2007 from two of the best known Czech orchestras – the Brno Janaček Theatre Orchestra and the Brno Philharmonic. Under the guidance of artistic director Karel Mitaš the orchestra has appeared, among other engagements, at the Bad Hersfeld Opera Festival and at Rossini in Wildbad where it has recorded
Rossini’s Otello, L’Italiana in Algeri, Semiramide and Guillaume Tell, Vaccaj’s La sposa di Messina and Mercadante’s I briganti for Naxos,
among others.
© Alain Hanel
   Gianluigi Gelmetti
Gianluigi Gelmetti has served as principal conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and as musical director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and the Stuttgart Radio and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. He has made frequent appearances at the BBC Proms and worked for several seasons with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Gelmetti is also active as a composer, and in 1995 his work Algos was performed internationally. He also wrote a setting of In Paradisum in memory of Franco Ferrara, which was first performed at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.