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Barnaby Rayfield
Fanfare, January 2018

Ottone is a florid trouser role with passage after passage of fiendish coloratura, not least in the triumphant finale. Sung with fearless precision yet full tone by mezzo Margarita Gritskova, Ottone gets the best music in this stately ornate work and the character is arguably the dramatic backbone. The title role is appealingly sung with flinty brightness by Ekaterina Sadovnikova and Georghe Vlad’s agile, bel canto tenor is ideally cast for Adelberto’s elegant music. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review



Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, September 2017

The live recording is fully acceptable, choral and orchestral forces excellent and conductor Luciano Acocella has good feeling for Rossini’s idiom. The Italian libretto is available but listeners with limited knowledge of Italian need not feel too short-changed. The detailed synopsis with cue-points is more than enough to follow the proceedings, and those with no interest in the drama can just indulge in the singing, which is first class. Margarita Gritskova and Ekaterina Sadovnikova, both former students at the St Petersburg Conservatory are superb in every respect. Adelaide di Borgogna has been recorded at least three times before but this is still a valuable addition to the Rossini discography. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, September 2017

Ottone is a trouser role: in ‘Soffri la tua sventura’ he engages in a dialogue with a solo cor anglais. Margarita Gritskova makes a strong impression both here and in the duets with Adelberto and Adelaide. …Ekaterina Sadovnikova is touching in Adelaide’s lamenting cavatina; she blends well with Gritskova and crowns her last aria with a joyous cabaletta.

Luciano Acocella gets some lively singing and playing from his Polish chorus and Czech orchestra. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2017

Almost from the outset Rossini must have realized he had not fashioned a great opera in Adelaide di Borgogna and recycled some of the material in later works. It came towards the end of his period spent in Rome and received a rather lukewarm premiere in November, 1817, the audience no doubt thinking they would be given a successor to the comedy, La Cenerentola, they had heard earlier in the year. In fact they were given a complicated historic drama set in medieval Italy when the conquering German, Otto the Great (Ottone), finds Italy beset in turmoil, Berengario, having poisoned the King of Italy, seeking to gain legitimacy as the new King by marring his son, Adalberto, to Adelaide, the widow of the previous King, a proposal Adalberto is happy to accept. When Ottone arrives he too falls in love with Adelaide, but is then set upon by his hosts on his wedding day. Having escaped, the opera ends with Otto returning with his army and annexing Italy to his German empire—probably not a good story for a Rome premiere! The cast for this Rossini in Wildbad production is largely drawn from Eastern Europe, the role of Adelaide taken by the Russian soprano, Ekaterina Sadovnikova, whose steely voice takes on this challenging role with enthusiasm, hitting the many high notes with total assurety, and perfectly depicting a character who it is difficult to like. Taking the male role of Ottone, the Russian mezzo, Margarita Gritskova, has a fulsome quality that easily translates into the actions of the German ruler, her first act aria, Oh, sacra alla virtu, one of the performance highlights. She also blends very attractively with Sadovnikova in their first act duet. As was the norm at this stage in Rossini’s output, he needs a high tenor for the major role of Adalberto, the young Romanian, Gheorghe Vlad, meeting those demands, though his fast vibrato leaves the fast decorative passages rather speculative in their intonation. East European vibrato is also very much in evidence in the Kazak bass-baritone, Baurzhan Anderzhanov, as Berengario, though while he is pivotal to the story, Rossini only gave him one major solo aria. Enthusiastic chorus of soldiers add impact to the end of the first act, and a reliable orchestral accompaniment under the direction of Luciano Acocella, rounds off a spirited performance. The audience at this 2014 production frequently show their presence with applause, the German Radio recording being well balanced and with little audible stage movement. I do recall hearing a Cetra release of the opera somewhere back in the 1980’s, but this budget-price double disc will be your rare chance to hear the work. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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