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Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, May 2018

All of the singers are at the very least equipped to negotiate Rossini’s often-challenging vocal writing. There is some lovely singing, particularly from tenor César Arrieta as Eumene and Victoria Yarovaya as Siveno, the latter exhibiting the kind of plummy timbre that can serve a Rossini mezzo/alto so well. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review



Ralph P Locke
American Record Guide, March 2018

Both of the female singers on this new recording are among the most consistently enjoyable singers I’ve heard on any Wildbad recording. Arrieta (as Siveno) is a light and flexible tenor, almost a tenorino, who seems incapable of emitting a hesitant or rough sound.

Nobody here is trying for more profound drama than the music allows. Indeed, Mchedlishvili and Yarovaya convey well their enjoyment of their vocal lines…as Sutherland and Horne used to. Mchedlishvili is confident and communicative, bright and very precise in coloratura… She is chirpy and without the warmth of a lyric soprano. Some may find her sound twittery, but it allowed me to enjoy Rossini’s precise traceries. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Patrick Dillon
Opera News, March 2018

…Demetrio e Polibio in its entirety is an artifact to which only a diehard rossiniano is likely to return.

As the disguised king Demetrio—the role created by Papa Mombelli, limning just how skilled a singer he must have remained as his age hovered around sixty—the young Venezuelan César Arrieta moves his rather whiny tenorino nimbly and committedly; and while the high-soprano excursions of Lisinga—tailored for Mombelli’s real-life daughter Ester—suggest that this apple didn’t fall far from the tree, Sofia Mchedlishvili’s pipingly immature soprano is only partially offset by an eager delivery. As her father, Polibio, basso Luca Dall’Amico makes a slightly unsteady kingly foil; as her beloved Siveno, né Demetrio Jr.—the role assigned to Anna Mombelli, the reportedly less gifted of the sisters—mezzo Victoria Yarovaya, vocally firm and handsome, is easily the cast’s most happily listenable member. Conductor Luciano Acocella keeps a stylish guiding hand on the show, captured in July 2016 in good enough live-opera sound. © 2018 Opera News Read complete review



Curtis Rogers
MusicWeb International, February 2018

…Virtuosi Brunensis provide a finely poised orchestral background for the singers to take centre stage, for example in the way that Lisinga and Siveno’s chains of thirds in the melody of their Act One duet Questo cor ti, giura amore is deliciously spun over the accompaniment of horns and the strings’ pizzicato triplets.

Yarovaya sings persuasively, with confident embellishments of the bare vocal line as notated. Although she maintains a noble beauty of tone in her later aria Perdon ti chiedo, o padre—accompanied by a mellow woodwind sonority that is redolent of Rossini’s musical idol, Mozart—she sounds a touch squally on her trills and fast lines here. Sofia Mchedlishvili’s Lisinga is more consistently accomplished in that regard, focused and radiant at one moment, and at another singing her coloratura music with a fruity yet light timbre that brings Edita Gruberova to mind. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Records International, December 2017

The genesis of Rossini’s first full-scale opera (composed not later than 1809) is shrouded in speculation, but its initial intention as a ‘family opera’ for the tenor Domenico Mombelli, with roles for his daughters and a libretto by his wife seems clear. Its narrative of political turmoil, romance, kidnap, and the ultimate blessings of true love and unity is a prelude to subjects to which Rossini would frequently turn in future triumphs. The composer’s facility for melody and his genius for combining voices into the loveliest of duets is already much in evidence in this confident but rarely heard debut. Live recording from the 2016 Rossini in Wildbad festival. … © 2017 Records International



Richard Osborne
Gramophone, December 2017

The Russian mezzo Victoria Yarovaya is Wildbad’s vocally distinguished Siveno; and though Sofia Mchedlishvili’s voicing of the high-wire coloratura role of Lisinga may not be as pitch-perfect as that of Pesaro’s María José Moreno, Mchedlishvili’s performance is itself something of a tour de force. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2017

Gioachino Rossini was probably eighteen when he wrote his first opera, Demetrio e Polibio, the work given its first performance at the Teatro Valle in Rome in May 1812. That everything and anything relating to this opera is open to question is largely due to a composer who, in later life, tried to rewrite his life story so as to make himself into an incredible child prodigy. What is reasonably certain is that much of the score was not by Rossini, but was from others who had contributed before it was first seen on stage. Equally certain is that it was composed to a commission from the tenor Domenico Mombelli, who wanted it for use by his family of singers who toured Italy, and it is certainly true that the unlikely libretto was the work of Vincenzina Mombelli, Domenico’s wife. It is, in a nutshell, a story of betrayals and disguises, the young man, Siveno, raised by King Polibio, believing he is of poor parentage, and is delighted when Polibio offers his daughter, Lisinga, in marriage. In fact Siveno is the son of Demetrio, King of Syria, who demands his return, which Polibio refuses. Abductions, strife and wars ensue before all ends happily. Only four solo singers are involved, the part of Siveno here taken by the mezzo, Victoria Yarovaya, who deals admirable with the vocal acrobatics required. Sofia Mchedlishvili is a potent soprano as Lisinga, Rossini taking the singer into the outer reaches of the vocal range, though when the two singers come down to the lower register they blend perfectly in the first act duet. The two male singers have much less to do, the tenor, Ceser Arrieta, as Eumene, only allowed to make his presence really felt when we reach the end of the first act. The much experienced Italian bass, Luca Dall’Amico takes the part of Polibio; the Polish chorus do all expected of them; the Virtuosi Brunensis is as reliable as ever, and the much experienced Italian, Luciano Acocella, conducts. I presume this recording by German Radio was made in two concert performances in Bad Wildbad in July 2016, the sound quality being well balanced… Not a major revelation, but it takes Naxos ever closer to having the complete Rossini operas on disc © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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