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Jochen Schönleber

“With Adelaide di Borgogna and Sigismondo we have two unusually placed Rossini operas: the former blending established traditions with experimental discoveries; the latter pitching an unusual libretto with the composer’s foray into serious opera. Adelaide di Borgogna certainly presents challenges, but during the production, I suddenly heard and saw a fantastic young cast doing miracles. Ekaterina Sadovnikova as Adelaide was excellent. Margarita Gritskova was like a volcano: technical perfection, immense vocal beauty and the sheer joy of her delivery created a mesmerising atmosphere. Her dramatic virtuosity made its mark again in Sigismondo, the story of a mad king healed by his loving wife, whom he nevertheless mistreats and sentences to death.”

Jochen Schönleber, artistic director of Rossini in Wildbad

ROSSINI, G.: Adelaide di Borgogna [Opera]
[2 CDs]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Adelaide di Borgogna
Libretto by Giovanni Schmidt

Margarita Gritskova, Mezzo-soprano
Ekaterina Sadovnikova • Miriam Zubieta, Sopranos
Gheorge Vlad • Yasushi Watanabe, Tenors
Cornelius Lewenberg, Baritone • Baurzhan Anderzhanov, Bass-baritone
Camerata Bach Choir, Poznań • Virtuosi Brunensis
Luciano Acocella

Set in medieval Italy, Rossini’s rarely performed Adelaide di Borgogna is based on dramatic historical events that led to Otto the Great (Ottone) of Germany conquering the Kingdom of Italy. Despite its political and warlike subject, Adelaide di Borgogna is full of beautiful music, Rossini using lyrical moments to emphasise emotions and express the triangle of passionate love and rivalry between Adelaide, Ottone and Adelberto. Adelaide is bel canto in its purest form and was held in high regard by its composer, who recycled much of it in his subsequent operas.

Listen to an excerpt from Act I:
Quale improvviso strepito

ROSSINI, G.: Sigismondo [Opera]
[2 CDs]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Libretto by Giuseppe Foppa

Margarita Gritskova, Mezzo-soprano
Maria Aleida • Paula Sánchez-Valverde, Sopranos
Kenneth Tarver • César Arrieta, Tenors
Marcell Bakonyi, Bass • Michele D’Elia, Fortepiano
Camerata Bach Choir Poznań • Virtuosi Brunensis
Antonino Fogliani

While filled with Rossini’s distinctive musical hallmarks and notable for some wonderfull duets, Sigismondo was one of his very few failures in the genre, for which blame is usually laid at the feet of librettist Giuseppe Foppa. Today, however, we can appreciate how this tale of an abused wife who retains her love for her deranged husband pushes the boundaries of the grand narrative tradition into a more searching psychological drama. An emphasis on madness and guilt and coloratura expressions of inner feeling results in a fascinating meeting of convention with experiment, Rossini’s subsequent re-use of his music for Sigismondo in later hit operas being ample evidence of its intrinsic quality.

Listen to an excerpt from Act II:
Come!... Tomba di morte

About the Artists
Margarita Gritskova
The Russian mezzo-soprano Margarita Gritskova studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory, and has been a prize-winner in various international competitions, including the Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Modena and the Spanish Concurso Internacional de Canto ‘Villa de Colmenar Viejo’. Her performances have included roles such as Carmen under Mariss Jansons in St Petersburg, Cherubino at the St Moritz Summer Festival and in Salzburg, and Rosina at the Hungarian State Opera.
Ekaterina Sadovnikova
The Russian soprano Ekaterina Sadovnikova studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden, embarking on a career that has taken her to several major opera houses. Her engagements include the roles of Gilda in Rigoletto at Covent Garden, Teatro La Fenice and Opéra Royal de Wallonie; and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor with Teatro La Fenice. She was among the winners at the International Opera Competition in Dresden in 2006 and the Elena Obraztsova International Competition.
Antonino Fogliani
Musical director of the Rossini in Wildbad festival, Antonino Fogliani studied conducting with Vittorio Parisi at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, and made his debut at the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival of 2001 with Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, followed by further engagements in Pesaro and in other well-known opera houses, including the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, the Teatro dell’Opera, Rome, the Paris Opéra Comique, as well as at the Bergamo Donizetti Festival. His recordings for Naxos include Rossini’s Ciro in Babilonia, Otello, Il viaggio a Reims and Guglielmo Tell.
Luciano Acocella
Luciano Acocella studied composition, piano and conducting at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. In 1996 he won the International Prokofiev and Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting competitions which led to his appointment as assistant to Daniele Gatti. He has conducted extensively across Europe, Asia and the United States to critical acclaim. He was general music director of the Opéra de Rouen-Haute Normandie between 2011 and 2015.
Other acclaimed releases from the Rossini in Wildbad Belcanto Opera Festival

For over 25 years, the Rossini in Bad Wildbad Festival has discovered new bel canto operas and outstanding young singers, culminating in splendid CD recordings and international radio transmissions. Founded in 1989 and marking Gioachino Rossini’s stay in the spa town in the Black Forest, the Festival has gained an international reputation for thrilling productions and critically acclaimed recordings. One of the leading bel canto conductors in the world, the brilliant Italian conductor Antonino Fogliani is the Festival’s music director.

Il viaggio a Reims [Opera]

Giordano, Pizzolato, Mchedlishvili,
Poznań Camerata Bach Choir,
Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani
“Antonino Fogliani draws a spirited, stylistically astute performance from his players, and the concluding ensemble ends the opera on a note of notable exhilaration.”
Opera News
  Listen to an extract from
Scene 26:
Inno russo: Onore, gloria
ed alto omaggio
Guillaume Tell [Opera]
(complete version)

Foster-Williams, Spyres, J. Howarth,
Poznań Camerata Bach Choir,
Virtuosi Brunensis, Fogliani
“An excellent surprise, captured on the spot at the Rossini in Wildbad festival.”
  Listen to an extract from
Act III:
C'est là cet archer redoutable
Semiramide [Opera]

Penda, Pizzolato, Regazzo, Osborn, Mastroni, Fogliani

“The Wildbad [performance’s] completeness and theatrical cogency make it an indispensable addition to any representative collection of serious Rossini on record.”
  Listen to an extract from
Act I Scene 3:
Di plausi qual clamor
Siège de Corinthe (Le) [Opera]

Regazzo, Cullagh, Spyres, Sala, Ramos, Poznań Camerata Bach Choir,
Virtuosi Brunensis, Tingaud
“Rossini’s scores demand high-powered vocalism, and in this respect the performance maintains impressive standards.”
BBC Music Magazine
  Listen to an extract from
Act II:
Finale: Il est son frère

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