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George Dorris
Ballet Review, September 2015

[This] recording, by the enterprising Opera Lafayette in Washington, D. C., shows the quality of David’s little work, with proper attention to style and detail. The Canadian sopranos Marianne Fiset and Nathalie Paulin share honors with the tenor Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Bernard Deletré, baritone, under Ryan Brown’s understanding direction. There are also good notes, with the libretto available online. © 2015 Ballet Review

Charles H. Parsons
American Record Guide, November 2014

Fiset is a most delicate Lalla Roukh—lovely in tone…[and] a fine artist. Gonzalez Toro sings most attractively. He has a knowing way with the music and the text. Paulin sings with warm passion and care. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, June 2014

Sopranos Marianne Fiset (Lalla Roukh) and Nathalie Paulin (Mirza), along with tenor Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (Noureddin and the King) give excellent accounts of their rôles.

…the Opera Lafayette Chorus and Orchestra under their artistic director Ryan Brown provide the vocalists with standout support. All together they give us a sensitive committed performance of an operatic rarity whose return to the stage was long overdue. © 2014 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Edward Greenfield
Gramophone, June 2014

The big strength of this debut recording by Opera Lafayette of Washington DC is that all the principals have such firm, clear voices, very precise, with not a single wobbler among them. Marianne Fiset as the heroine has a bright, perfectly placed soprano, attacking even the most exposed notes with precision. She is matched by the lighter soprano of her companion, Mirza, sung by Nathalie Paulin, who copes superbly with the coloratura writing, clear and precise in everything, sweet and pure.

The tenor role of the hero Noureddin…is sung by the tenor Emiliano Gonzalez Toro…with a firm, clear voice. There remains the buffo character of Baskir, beautifully sung, with extremely clear diction in all his patter numbers. Add to that a couple of extra characters and an excellent chorus and you have a most attractive package, with each act complete on a single Naxos disc.

One can simply sit back and enjoy a sequence of delightful numbers, notably Lalla’s ‘O nuit d’amour’ at the start of Act 2, the charming if brief Romance of the hero and the ecstatic final solo for the heroine, exuberant in joy. Clear, atmospheric recording… © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone, May 2014

Ryan Brown and Opera Lafayette specialize in rediscovering and reviving works like this, and their new Naxos recording is a very fine one…The six soloists handle their highly tuneful material admirably…It is…an opera worth hearing, not only because it inspired a host of similar works that drew enthusiastic audiences for decades but also because it is, to put it simply, a very well-made, lyrical and thoroughly attractive work that…provides a refreshing change of pace from what nowadays passes for standard opera repertoire. © 2014 Read complete review

Christie Grimstad, May 2014

…the music is undeniably stimulating and opulent in harmony. Ryan Brown’s orchestra plays with deft and clarity. Better yet, listen with headsets to capture the full sonorities. Don’t miss getting Lalla Roukh…you will not be disappointed. © 2014 Read complete review

John T. Hughes
International Record Review, May 2014

I agree with the writer of the Naxos blurb and think Lalla-Roukh is worth hearing.

…this set is worth acquiring. © 2014 International Record Review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2014

Following their first staged performance in modern times, Opera Lafayette offer the world premiere recording of Felicien David’s charming opera, Lalla Roukh. Born in France in 1810, David has been long forgotten in the opera world, though in his lifetime he did enjoy some success, the two-act opera-comique, Lalla Roukh, being one of his most attractive and colourful scores. It is all wrapped up in the most delightful music, stylistically continuing where Rossini left off…The American-based Opera Lafayette have given us some engaging recordings in the past, but this really is in a different league of excellence. Marianne Fiset…is a winsome Lalla who can command the dramatic moments when she realises she cannot go through with the marriage. She is perfectly matched in style by the much travelled tenor, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro. In the lesser roles, Nathalie Paulin, as her lady-in-waiting, is outstanding, the second act duet with Lalla being a major highlight. Ryan Brown’s period instrument orchestra sounds very happy in the vivacious and lightweight score, Brown’s tempos seemingly ideal to keep the action moving with urgency. Add a recording that ideally balances instruments and orchestra, and you have one of the most pleasing opera discoveries I have made for a very long time, and I ardently recommend it to you. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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