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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded in Bologna in 2006, the DVD from TDK offers a traditional production with handsome stage pictures, strongly conducted by Carlo Rizzi. Act II even includes a statue of Marat murdered in his bath. José Cura in the title-role of the poet is not always as refined as he can be, though his singing in the big numbers is powerful, and for Come un bel dì di Maggio in Act IV he does find a gentle half-tone. Maria Guleghina as Maddalena sings with tender beauty, though she grows unsteady under pressure, as does the powerful Carlo Guelfi in the key role of Gérard, the proud servant in Act I who, after the French Revolution, becomes a leader. Very impressive among the lesser characters is Carlo Cigni as Roucher.

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