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John T Hughes
International Record Review, March 2010

Tiziano Severini leads a full blooded account, with no holding back of the conflict and mixed emotions. He maintains the momentum from scene to scene…[Dmitra Theodossiou’s] store of colours, inflexions and intensity makes her interpretation of the role convincing…the recording is clear, allowing the listener to catch the details of…a gripping presentation of Donizetti’s opera from his home city.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2010

If you track back to my column in February of last year, you will find a more detailed review of this performance in DVD format. The opera tells the story of the murderous Borgia family that made them feared in Venetian society. Lucrezia Borgia already has ‘blood on her hands’ when her husband believes she has a lover following a series of clandestine meetings with a young man. It inevitably leads to a sad conclusion before it is revealed that the ‘lover’ is her son from a previous relationship. Having completed the score, Donizetti added an unbelievable ending with a long aria for Lucrezia. It came at the insistence of the soprano at the work’s premier who demanded it to satisfy her own ego. He later had second thoughts and removed it, but it is here reinstated. The recording was made in the Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo during November and December 2007, the DVD showing a traditional production. The name role is sung by the Greek soprano, Dimitra Theodossiou, who was still warming her voice in the opera’s prologue. It is an imposing instrument that later creates that all important tingle factor as she tries to defend her ‘lover’. The Sicilian tenor, Roberto De Biasio, takes the part of her son, Gennaro, his light voice well suited to the composer’s demands. Enrico Giuseppe Iori as Lucrezia’s husband, the Duke of Ferrara, is a reliable villain of the piece, and in the male role of Maffio Orsini, Nidia Palacios is a mezzo of high quality. Tiziano Severini conducts a very capable orchestra, tempos never hurried, the sound engineers obtaining an admirable balance between stage and orchestra pit.

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