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Bill White
Fanfare, May 2012

The productions are all top-notch, with sumptuous period costumes, appropriate and appealing sets, a good chorus, and several dancers and extras who also appear throughout. The music is well sung by Colombara, a seasoned performer now in mid career and known particularly for his Verdi roles.

Colombara sings an aria from Nabucco here, “Tu sul labbro de’ veggenti” from the second scene of act II, as well as three other Verdi works: Jacopo Fiesco’s aria from the prolog of Simon Boccanegra, King Phillip’s act III aria from Don Carlo , and an aria from the title character in Attila. They are all sung very well indeed and serve to showcase the bass’s Verdian credentials. Opening the video is a nonsinging segment with flamenco dancers performing to a rapid percussion beat and their own rhythmic clapping, but this proves to be a natural and excellent introduction to Colombara’s opening presentation of “Votre toast,” the matador Escamillo’s aria from Carmen, unusual fare for a bass, but richly and excellently sung here. We also get two devils, one from Gounod’s Faust and one from Boito’s Mefistofele, the latter of which includes more fine dancing, a bit of it topless. Colombara also sings Aleko’s Cavatina from the rarely performed one-act Rachmaninoff opera Aleko, the composer’s Russian answer to Italian verismo, as well as another Russian-language aria from Boris Godunov.

It all proves to be quite entertaining, both for the rarely collected bass opera repertoire and for the fine performances of Colombara, both musical and dramatic…the cleverly staged visual elements add greatly to the total package. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

John T. Hughes
International Record Review, April 2012

Carlo Colombara is presented on this DVD in ten arias from Italian, French and Russian opera, with three orchestras and conductors in three venues. The orchestra is the Bulgarian National Symphony under Vladimir Ghiaurov.

Escamillo’s Song of the Toreador is the first aria. It…has flamenco dances moving, silently, around Colombara while he gives full-throated treatment to this show-off number which introduces him in Carmen. Unlike some who undertake the role he has no difficulty with top or bottom. Next is King Philip’s brooding soliloquy from Don Carlo. All the arias are acted as if in a staged performance. Like the third item, ‘La calunnia’, it is supported by the Prague Tchaikovsky Orchestra conducted by Fabrizio Milani.

Back to Sofia we go for a very well-sung ‘Il lacerato spirito’, focused, dark, sad, in which Colombara shows, but contains, Fiesco’s grief on the death of his daughter…Méphistophélès Serenade in Faust…is a slow and solemn piece which needs, and receives from this bass, a flow of even tone and smooth line, well accompanied by the RSI orchestra under György Ráth: one of the best tracks. In Verdi’s opera of which [Attila] is the eponymous character, he has a fine aria, ‘Mentre gonfiarsi l’anima’, sung here as it should be, with its cabaletta. Colombara sings the cavatina powerfully and crowns it with an outpouring of rich notes to make the whole piece complete both musically and emotionally.

…‘The camp sleeps’ from Rachmaninov’s Aleko…One hears in the music and in Colombara’s bold, menacing tone that this is not to be a love song with a happy ending…This is another laudable performance. Colombara gives a very moving and effective interpretation [of Boris Godunov], really using his voice, whether ringing out or in suffocated tones, responding convincingly to Boris’s words and expressions. This is a fair way to hear and see Colombara in action. © 2012 International Record Review

Matthew Scrivner
Operagasm, January 2012

the moments of absolute greatness make this DVD a must-see for anyone who appreciates or wishes to learn about the bass repertoire, or the opera buff looking for great singing and great scenes. © 2012 Operagasm Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2012

Proving the description of Italy’s most outstanding bass, the young Carlo Colombara here performs ten of the best known arias in staged presentations. …the Song of the Toreador from Bizet’s Carmen…sets the scene for a voice of ringing brilliance that is very happy in the upper end of the bass range. All tracks are staged in costume and with a varying degree of backdrop scenery, mainly derived from a church surrounding. The various orchestras and choruses give good support; the presentation is imaginative and the camera angles help to create the actuality of locations.

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