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Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, April 2012

a performance that you’d be glad to catch on holiday…Giorgio Surian sings in forthright fashion…The set is certainly worth buying in order to get to know the opera… © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, November 2011

CD: DONIZETTI, G.: Marino Faliero [Opera] (Surian, Stanisci, Magri, Grassi, Bergamo Musica Festival Orchestra and Chorus, Cinquegrani) 8.660303–04
DVD: DONIZETTI, G.: Marino Faliero (1835 edition) (Bergamo Musica Festival, 2008) (NTSC) 2.110616–17

This performance from the Bergamo Festival was based in the town where the composer was born and died. It is set in period costume and in an evocative and imaginative set, when one can see it that is. Even allowing for the fact that much of the plotting goes on at night the stage scene is often under-lit. The presentation of both the DVD and CD issue has the long act 1 on the first disc with acts 2 and 3 on the second. Thankfully this issue is by Naxos so that on the DVD the Chapter divisions are generous and in number sequence, unlike those on the Dynamic Label from Italian Festivals. Artist profiles are another welcome virtue to go alongside an informed and informative introductory essay, and the full list of Chapter and Track divisions and timings.

the ageing Doge the Croat bass Giorgio Surian is an excellent actor and…creates a viable character whose dignity is impressive.

The conducting of Bruno Cinquegrani is well paced and the chorus vibrant and involved. Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2011

I reviewed the Naxos DVD of Donizetti’s opera, Marino Faliero last April describing it as a rarity well worth seeing. Just to recap on that review, the opera had the misfortune of appearing in the same year as Bellini’s I Puritani, Helevy’s La Juive and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and though it had some success, it soon dropped into obscurity and was unheard until its revival in Bergamo in 1966. The real-life plot has the aging Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, husband to the young Elena who is suffering character assassination by Steno, a man whose advances she had spurned. Faliero, against his better judgement, joins a conspiracy against the ruling Council of Forty of which Steno is a member. Faliero is unaware that Elena is in love with Fernando, the nephew of Faliero, and in a masked ball Fernando challenges Steno to a duel for insulting Elena. It is Fernando who is found dying, presumably at the hand of Steno’s accomplices. Faliero swears to avenge his death, but when the conspiracy in which his is involved is discovered, he is found guilty of plotting against the government. He is condemned to death, Elena left without either man. It is an opera of substantial length but breaks down to fit complete acts onto two CDs. From the 2008 Bergamo Festival the leading role of Elena is taken by Rachele Stanisci, a powerful soprano who sounds better without visual distractions. Fernando requires a high tenor, Ivan Magri, with his pronounced fast vibrato, taking some time to warm up, but comes good for his long solo scene at the beginning of the second act. Giorgio Surian’s Faliero sounds suitably old; the remainder of the cast are reliable, and after a long overture the orchestra, conducted with real verve by Bruno Cinquegrani, provide a more than adequate backdrop. The theatre offers it a rather restricted sound, but for some reason the chorus have more impact than on DVD. An opera well worth getting to know.

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