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David Reynolds
American Record Guide, November 2017

The singers are all more than competent. Bonilla sings very beautifully, as does her Paolo (Aya Wakizono). Tenor Merto Sungu as Francesca’s jealous husband Lanciotto sings with spirit and great facility. He also sports a shaved head, making him impossible to miss whenever he is on the stage. The other singers and the chorus are all involved and contribute strongly to the performance.

…if you want to hear a bel canto rarity well performed and executed, I recommend this. Mercadante deserves to be heard more often, and this production makes a good case for him. Sound and picture are very good. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Patrick Dillon
Opera News, September 2017

MERCADANTE, S.: Francesca da Rimini [Opera] (Festival della Valle d’Itria, 2016) (NTSC) DYN-37753
MERCADANTE, S.: Francesca da Rimini [Opera] (Festival della Valle d’Itria, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57753

As Francesca, Spanish soprano Leonor Bonilla reveals a lovely, expressive lyric soprano and a face and manner to match. She even, without embarrassing herself, executes a little dance of her own to introduce her Act I scena. Japan’s Aya Wakizono, badly costumed by Pizzi, makes a singularly unconvincing-looking leading man, but her dark, throbbing mezzo and technical acuity earn high marks for her Paolo. Apart from some thready top notes, Turkish tenor Merto Sungu sings a handsome, stylish Lanciotto and delivers the text with uncommon relish. Denied an aria of his own, Italian basso Antonio Di Matteo contributes strongly to the ensembles as the heroine’s protective papa. They all prove worthy of a Mercadante prima, even as Pizzi’s windy vision earns him at least a short spell in Purgatory. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review

Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, May 2017

MERCADANTE, S.: Francesca da Rimini [Opera] (Bonilla, Aya Wakizono, Sungu, Matteo, Martinez, Rivas, Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic, Luisi) CDS7753.03
MERCADANTE, S.: Francesca da Rimini [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2016) (NTSC) DYN-37753
MERCADANTE, S.: Francesca da Rimini [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57753

…Fabio Luisi gets excellent playing from his orchestra warm, tender strings in the Act 1 finale, fine obbligatos and the chorus sings lustily. And the solo singing is stupendous. Merto Sungu is thrilling, Leonor Bonilla sings with bell-like clarity, with good coloratura and trills, and the Japanese Aya Wakizono is a mezzo in a thousand. If you want to hear bel canto magnificently performed by singers you have probably never heard of, go out and buy the discs right now. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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