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Definitely the Opera, June 2012

If you get the chance to watch this DVD, don’t miss the documentary feature included in the disc: it adds that extra bit of information and interpretation that makes the recording a collector’s item.  The two together, the production and the documentary, are an exciting historico-musicological statement.

It’s a strange and intriguing work. The arias, choruses and accompagnati are connected by the spoken dialogue. As all the singers on cast are excellent actors, this works well. The music is recognizably Classical, but with many welcome unfamiliarities. The tenor sings his first aria accompanied only by the bagpiper on stage. It’s a moment of magic, with the fundamentally no-tune instrument fighting against a tonal tenor aria that is pleading and powerful at the same time. (Kaufmann at any rate made it that—he is still very young in this recording, but his voice is spectacular.)

Polgár’s bass is effortless and beautiful… Angelo Veccia as excellent as the helper Giorgio both vocally and dramatically… © 2012 Definitely the Opera Read complete review

Charles T. Downey
The Classical Review, February 2012

PAISIELLO: Nina (Zurich Opera, 2002) (PAL) 100366
PAISIELLO: Nina (Zurich Opera, 2002) (NTSC) 100367

The title role was created for a soprano, so the top sits a little uncomfortably in Bartoli’s voice. Neither opera seria nor opera buffa, the score has lots of cantabile melancholy arias and not as much of the crazy coloratura more to Bartoli’s liking. Still, she gives a very moving portrayal and sings with lyrical abandon.

Kaufmann shows here why his star rose so quickly at the turn of the century, singing with both bravura strength and finesse, as well as a handsome stage appearance. In the role of the Count, the paternal bass of László Polgár provides a dignified, stentorian presence, while Juliette Galstian is not quite able to handle the highest parts of the role of Susanna.

Character baritone Angelo Veccia has a witty turn as the comic servant Giorgio, both in the funny wheezing aria…and the drunken aria in Act I, reassuring Nina’s father that she will recover. Conductor Ádám Fischer has a sure hand with the band of the Zurich Opera, using some period instruments (such as the on-stage oboe and bagpipe). © 2012 The Classical Review Read complete review

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