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Antonino Fogliani

Bianca e Gernando has a particularly strong Sicilian flavour, an unrestrained feeling of melancholy and nostalgia. The Sicilian philosopher Manlio Sgalambro summed it up as an “insular feeling [that] becomes a dark impulse towards extinction ... Since every islander would not want to be born, he lives like he would not want to live. History passes by boisterously, but behind the appearance of turmoil there is a deep tranquility ... Sicily exists only as an aesthetic phenomenon. Only in the happy context of art does this island become real.” This is what Bellini’s music represents to me: this essence of the Sicilian spirit, which only in the completeness of art finds its peace and its deepest ideals.”

Antonino Fogliani, conductor

BELLINI, V.: Bianca e Gernando [Opera]
[2 CDs]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835)
Bianca e Gernando
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Silvia Dalla Benetta, Soprano • Marina Viotti, Mezzo-soprano
Maxim Mironov, Tenor • Vittorio Prato, Baritone
Luca Dall’ Amico and Zong Shi, Basses
Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań • Ania Michalak, Chorus-master
Virtuosi Brunensis
Antonino Fogliani

Vincenzo Bellini was among the most important Italian opera composers of the early 19th century, and the quintessential representative of its bel canto tradition. Despite his enduring renown, his official operatic debut Bianca e Gernando was known only in its revised version of Bianca e Fernando until this rediscovery and revival at Bad Wildbad in July 2016. Set in the ducal palace of Agrigento and with its tale of secretive plots and triumph over tyranny, this original version of the opera presents both unknown music and significant differences from the revised version, giving its dramatic shape a distinctive new character.

Listen to an extract from Act I Finale:
Lieto apparve questo giorno

About the Artists
Antonino Fogliani
Antonino Fogliani was born in Messina and graduated as a pianist before studying conducting at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. His debut at the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival in 2001 was followed by engagements in major opera houses, including La Fenice, Teatro dell’Opera, Teatro di San Carlo, the Opéra Comique and La Scala. International engagements have taken him to opera houses in Monte Carlo, Moscow, Houston and Barcelona, among others. In 2011 he was appointed music director at Rossini in Wildbad.
Silvia Dalla Benetta
Soprano Silvia Dalla Benetta won first prize at the 2004 Sanremo Opera Competition that led to an international career and collaboration with a number of distinguished directors and conductors. In the 2014-15 season she made her coloratura debut in Nabucco in Malta. She appeared in Catania as Fiorilla (Il Turco in Italia) and in the title role of Semiramide in Nice. In 2016 she sang in Les Huguenots, having appeared the previous autumn in Sassari in Rossini’s Elisabetta and in the title role of Norma in Lucerne.
Maxim Mironov
Tenor Maxim Mironov made his debut at the Helikon Opera Theatre in Moscow. Career highlights include performances at the Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne, Washington National Opera, Las Palmas Opera, the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival, Saxony State Opera and Rossini in Wildbad. He enjoys a particular reputation as a Rossini tenor and has collaborated with renowned conductors and directors, as well as recording for many labels, including Naxos.
Camerata Bach Choir
The Camerata Bach Choir was founded in 2003 by Tomasz Potkowski in Poznań. The members consist mainly of soloists from the Poznań Opera chorus and the Kraków Philharmonic Choir. Its repertoire includes works by Bach, Handel and Mozart. Since 2010 the choir has served as ensemble in residence for the Rossini in Wildbad Opera Festival.
Virtuosi Brunensis
The Virtuosi Brunensis chamber orchestra was established in 2007. Under artistic director Karel Mitáš the orchestra has appeared, among other engagements, at the Bad Hersfeld Opera Festival and at the Rossini in Wildbad Opera Festival, 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.
More recordings featuring conductor Antonino Fogliani
Il viaggio a Reims

Giordano, Pizzolato, Mchedlishvili, Poznań Camerata Bach Choir, Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani
“Recorded live during the 26th Bad Wildbad Festival this performance fizzes with vitality.”
MusicWeb International
Occasione fa il ladro (L')

Martirosyan, Antonelou, Ruggeri, Utzeri, Cortes, Wurttemberg Philharmonic, Fogliani
“I have found listening to this performance an exhilarating experience.”
MusicWeb International

Penda, Pizzolato, Regazzo, Osborn, Mastroni, Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań, Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani
“…Semiramide is rarely played complete. Yet when it is, as here in this live concert performance recorded in Wildbad in 2012, the results can be revelatory.”
More recordings featuring the music of Vincenzo Bellini
Sonnambula (La)
Orgonasova, Giménez, d'Artegna, Papadjiakou, Dilbèr, de Vries, Micu, The Netherlands Radio Choir, The Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra Orchestra, Zedda
O'Neill, Surgenor
Norma (1831 Edition for 2 Sopranos)
Bumbry, Cuberli, Giacomini, Lloyd
[24-CD boxed set]

Operas (Complete)
Various Artists
Lazzara, Castellarin
Capuleti e i Montecchi (1830 La Scala version)
Ciofi, Sacchi, Polito, Formaggia, Amodio, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia, Acocella
Sonnambula (La) (Callas, Monti, La Scala, Votto) (1957)
Callas, Monti, Cossotto, Zaccaria, Chorus and Orchestra of La Scalla, Milan, Votto
Puritani (I) (Callas, Di Stefano) (1953)
Callas, Di Stefano, Panerai,
Rossi-Lemeni, Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Serafin
Norma (Callas, Filippeschi) (1953)
Callas, Filippeschi, Stignani,
Rossi-Lemeni, Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, Serafin

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