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Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, January 2016

Jessica Pratt, who was recently compared to Joan Sutherland, sings the coloratura fireworks of the role of Zenobia with ease, but she can just as effectively spin out the long melodic lines that bring Bellini to mind. Indeed, some of the duets between Zenobia and Arbace seem forerunners of Norma and Adalgisa. Ms Pratt gives us a regal portrayal of this impressive character along with some of the finest singing to be heard anywhere.

Her lover Arbace, now a pants role, was originally sung by a castrato. The mezzo Lina Belkina fully equals Ms Pratt and Mr Spyres in her bel canto ability, as well as her believable portrayal of the young hero. All three singers sing these challenging arias and ensembles as if they were simple vocal exercises. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Patrick Dillon
Opera News, January 2016

…soprano Jessica Pratt (Zenobia) and mezzo Lena Belkina (Arsace), attractive, expressive performers both, who show musical rapport and even manage to make these scenes seem, well, sexy. Pratt, smooth and supple, is a formidable Rossinian (despite a hard top note or two); …Splendid in every way is tenor Michael Spyres as Aureliano; the wider the vocal range and the more florid the music, the happier he seems to be. Raffaella Lupinacci, with little to do but look nobly Roman (and she does), sings her short aria neatly. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review




Richard Osborne
Gramophone, October 2015

ROSSINI, G.: Aureliano in Palmira (Rossini Opera Festival, 2014) (NTSC) 109073
ROSSINI, G.: Aureliano in Palmira (Rossini Opera Festival, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) 109074

…this is the Aureliano to have. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Janos Gardonyi
The WholeNote, September 2015

The wonderful Michael Spyres, heroic Rossini tenor, ideal in the title role, is suitably imperial, yet sympathetic and compassionate with a voice of tremendous power. The stupendous Australian soprano, Jessica Pratt has no equal today in coping with the immensely difficult range and glass-shattering high notes of Queen Zenobia. The third principal, Arsace the Persian prince, is the youngest, Ukrainian-born mezzo Lena Belkina, who is making big waves in Europe today with her mellifluous deep notes and spectacular range.

Colourfully staged by Italian director Mario Martone in rich tones of burnt amber and translucent moving screens, and very ably conducted by Crutchfield, whose love of Rossini is manifest at every gesture, this production is highly recommended. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review





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