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Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, August 2013

Un Ballo in Maschera is a superb example of Verdi’s art and this production presses all the right buttons in that the stage production is what I would call ‘consequent’ and the musical performance top class.

The role of Renato was described as a ‘Creole’ by Verdi and his wife not so described. In this production his wife Amelia is the American Negro singer Kirstin Lewis and Renato the excellent Bulgarian baritone Vladimir Stoyanov…Ms Lewis…is magnificent! She sings with both power and passion…and displays a very rich lower register in her voice as well as a clear high voice. She is indeed a lirico-spinto soprano…The two leading men Vladimir Stoyanov and Francesco Meli both get well-deserved and prolonged applause for some key arias in Act 3…Credit must also go to the orchestra and chorus of Parma’s theatre who play and sing their hearts out under Gianluigi Gelmetti. Confirmation…that Gelmetti is a fine Verdi conductor. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, July 2013

The cast is excellent…Kristin Lewis…has a powerful and quite lovely voice…Francesco Meli turns in splendid work as Riccardo. Serena Gamberoni as Oscar is also impressive…Vladimir Stoyanov as Renato is also outstanding and brought down the house with his sensational Third Act aria Eri tu che macchiavi. Elizabetta Fiorillo portrays a most effective Ulrica, appropriately coming across as a powerfully dark character. Ensemble numbers are uniformly excellent throughout the production…

Conductor Gianluigi Gelmeto leads a vital, highly detailed performance, with well judged tempos and a masterly sense for phrasing: every note coming from the pit seems a perfect fit for the action and emotions on stage…the orchestra responds with total comittment and accuracy.

Not only is this a great musical success, but the production is also excellent. Stage Director Massimo Gasparon…has fashioned a brilliant staging that gives the opera a traditional treatment, replete with period costumes and sets that fit the historical aspects of the story. Those sets, as well as the lighting and other production aspects, are most effective…

The camera work and sound reproduction are first rate. All in all, this is an outstanding offering on virtually every count. Highest recommendations! © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review

Lawrence D. Devoe, MD, June 2013

Veteran conductor, Gianluigi Gelmetti leads the Parmese forces knowingly, and…has a cast that is mostly up to the vocal demands of the principal roles.

Director Tiziano Mancini has a long history with this house and, again, comes up with a winning video. Camera work is consistently good, colors when invoked stand out from the generally dark proceedings. Excellent close-up work alternates with dramatically effective stage pans.

the performances turned in by Meli and Stoyanov are as good as we are likely to get in any of today’s houses… © 2013 Read complete review

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