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Ralph Moore
Fanfare, March 2019

DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Simeoni, Albelo, Olivieri, Guagliardo, Longari, Amati, Fiorentino Maggio Musical Chorus and Orchestra, Luisi) CDS7822.02
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (NTSC) DYN-37822 
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57822

Mattia Olivieri as King Alphonse XI, who is by far the best singer here; he has a pleasant, light timbre with an attractive fast vibrato and even a trill… The conducting is serviceable, the orchestral playing admirable and the choral singing fine—and there are good spots, like the rousing conclusion to act II… © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Allan Altman
American Record Guide, January 2019

DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Simeoni, Albelo, Olivieri, Guagliardo, Longari, Amati, Fiorentino Maggio Musical Chorus and Orchestra, Luisi) CDS7822.02
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (NTSC) DYN-37822 
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57822

The cast performs well as an ensemble while still making strong individual contributions. The stand-out is the young Italian baritone Mattia Olivieri, whose handsome looks, dignified demeanor. and impeccable vocal production are perfectly suited to the regal figure of Alphonse XI and to the French style in general.

Fabio Luisi makes incisive use of his musical arsenal (articulation, dynamics, accelerandos, etc.) to take the notes off the page and give them fresh meaning. In keeping with the traditional approach, Luisi and his fine orchestral ensemble are granted the privilege of performing the Prelude with the curtain down, a welcome respite from contemporary practice. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, November 2018

Compared to the recent performance from Munich featuring Elīna Garanča as Léonor and Matthew Polenzani as Fernand, this is altogether a more traditional production. It is for me, far preferable… © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, November 2018

DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (NTSC) DYN-37822
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57822

This production is more in the spirit of the music of this opera that opened the door to the composer’s fame in Paris and his later compositions there, as well as the other notable final works that preceded his premature death. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Mark Pullinger
Gramophone, October 2018

Mezzo Veronica Simeoni copes well with her key aria and Celso Albelo has a lovely, pliant tone as Fernand. Mattia Olivieri is a youthful Alphonse, without quite managing the long lines in ‘Pour tant d’amour’. The Maggio Musicale’s new music director, Fabio Luisi, gives a lucid account of Donizetti’s lyrical score. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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