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John Yohalem
Opera News, November 2013

Pavesi’s most popular comic piece was Ser Marcantonio…The merry score is a simple framework on which experienced comic performers can build as much fun as they like. Loriana Castellano, the contralto Bettina…sounds alluring and comically adept. Bettina’s brother and co-conspirator Tobia…is sung by Matteo D’Apolito, whose bass-baritone possesses a variety of comic and romantic colors ideal for the sidelong jests and double-takes of opera buffa. Massimo Spadano leads a lively performance that ably suggests why Pavesi held the stage for a generation. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, September 2013

…Loriana Castellano…has a warm, dark-hued sound equally effective in legato singing and in the many coloratura runs Pavesi wrote for her…The title character is sung well by baritone Marco Filippo Romano…The rest of the cast is fine; and the orchestra, under Massimo Spadano, plays their mostly fast-paced accompaniments crisply. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2013

Stefano Pavesi fell victim to ‘Rossini mania’ that swept through Italy obliterating the work of so many composers who had achieved much merited success. As a young man Pavesi’s political inclinations had defined a checkered career, eventually coming to international recognition in 1810 when he was thirty-one with Ser Marcantonio, the work enjoying a run of 54 nights at Milan’s La Scala, with almost fifty revivals over the next twenty-one years. That he subsequently enjoyed a number of high level appointments, did not prevent his eventual decline with no new work coming from his last nineteen years, dying at the age if seventy-one. Certainly we can see where Rossini came from, as this work preceded almost everything the younger man wrote. The story has been told in many different ways, but it surrounds the old man, Marcantonio, wanting to get married and his young relations believing the silly old fool will leave all his money to his new young bride, and decide they will provide the quiet, young woman he desires. So once passed his promise to marry her, she turns out to be anything but quiet. There have been disguises and misunderstandings along the way, before the four young lovers extract his money to give them the financial beginning they wanted to start married life, and Marcantonio can revert to his peaceful life without a troublesome spendthrift wife. A light and airy score packed full of attractive melodies is in two acts with a lengthy opening sinfonia. The nicely focused voice of the much experienced Marco Filippo Romano takes the buffo baritone role of Marcantonio, while his ‘quiet woman’ finds some very attractive singing from the contralto, Loriana Castellano. Timur Bekbosunov, as Medoro, finds his high lying arias in both acts more than taxing, but the remaining roles are in capable hands, while the playing of the South-West German Chamber Orchestra is very good. I was also pleased that the excellent and sensitive harpsichord playing in the recitatives is credited on the sleeve to Eliseo Castrignano. Recorded ‘live’ at the 2011 Rossini in Wildbad Festival, we have the sounds of stage action, and you will also need the volume control near at hand. …I most strongly urge you to hear a work that really should never have fallen from grace. © David’s Review Corner





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