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Judith Malafronte
Opera News, April 2013

…Opus Arte’s video release captures a visually striking and musically vigorous performance.

…Osborn offers a sweet, open and robust sound that responds well to his ever alert characterization…and his shapely, elegant singing partners Cantarero well in their duet moments.

Scott Hendricks…brings out Riccardo’s conflicted emotion…with firm…vocalism and winning dramatic commitment.

Bass Riccardo Zanellato is an imposing presence as Giorgio…

Mezzo-soprano Fredrika Brillembourg is an opulent-voiced Enrichetta… © 2013 Opera News Read complete review

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, March 2013

…John Osborn has a complete triumph in the fiendish role of Arturo…Osborn is a treat to the eye and ear. His voice is light and sweet, but with the needed metal when that is what the music wants. The other musical pleasure that has no reservation attached to it is that given by conductor Carella. He paces it beautifully, with supple, flexible phrasing allied with rhythmic tautness and drive, and he elicits committed, strong playing from his orchestra.

There are many positive aspects of Mariola Cantarero’s Elvira. She is extremely musical, with a flexible voice that encompasses the role completely…She is imaginative, varying second verses with tasteful ornamentation, and floating genuinely lovely soft tones.

Riccardo Zanellato is an excellent Giorgio…Fredrika Brillembourg is a strong Queen Henrietta…The recorded sound, heard in stereo, is generally fine…Misjel Vermeiren’s direction for the screen is effective and sensitive.

There is enough of interest in this DVD to be of merit to lovers of Bellini and bel canto opera. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, March 2013

BELLINI, V.: Puritani (I) (DNO, 2009) (NTSC) OA1091D
BELLINI, V.: Puritani (I) (DNO, 2009) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7111D

…Negrin gets some excellent performances from his cast…Scott Hendricks as the rejected lover sings nobly…John Osborn manages a stupendous top F, non-falsetto, and his singing in the trio…is even more wonderful.

Mariola Cantarero…impresses both in legato and in coloratura…Giuliano Carella conducts more than capably. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Simon Thompson
MusicWeb International, September 2012

Performances of I Puritani are as rare as a four-leaf clover these days, and many opera lovers would travel a long way to see one if it turns up. I went to Amsterdam especially to see this performance in 2009 and I wasn’t disappointed. There were cameras in the auditorium that night as it was going to be relayed into Dutch cinemas. I hoped against hope that it would finally make its way onto DVD, and I’m delighted that it now has. It isn’t perfect, but it’s wonderful all the same, and I should say at the outset that I think it is now by some way the finest version of this opera that I’ve seen on DVD.

The star…is the outstanding Arturo of John Osborn. He was thrilling in the theatre, and is every bit as fine on disc. The voice is light, much more so than big bel canto beasts like Pavarotti, but he uses that to his advantage, creating a uniquely distinctive interpretation of the character. His Arturo is subtle, conflicted, and even wounded in places. His entrance in A te, o cara is spun with effortless ease and transparent beauty, easily cresting up to the C# in the second stanza, and the ensuing duet with Riccardo is exciting and dramatic. The voice seems, if anything, to broaden and mature by the time of the third act: the troubadour’s song is a little darker but still sung with an outstanding sensitivity to the Bellinian line, and his duets with Elvira are absolutely thrilling, be it in the blissful delight of Da quell dì or the exhilaration of Vieni, fra queste braccia. Furthermore, he even goes for – and convincingly hits – the top F at the end of Credeasi, misera. It’s thrilling when he launches himself into the stratosphere, territory where few other tenors dare to venture and which, as far as I can tell, no other tenor on disc attempts, except Pavarotti on Bonynge’s Decca account. He deserves a medal for even attempting to sing the role the way he does, and that he does so with such musicality and aplomb is little short of marvellous. I remember thinking on the night of the performance that I was lucky to hear Arturo sung like this even once in a lifetime. I stick by that. You won’t hear it more fine or as complete on any other disc.

The orchestral playing is very fine…The sound…is very well captured in DTS and the quality of the picture and camera work is very high too.

For me, then, it’s two thumbs up for this Puritani. The singing ranges from very good to excellent and the production makes coherent dramatic sense, even injecting some proper drama into the score. This Amsterdam version is, for me, the finest Puritani you’ll get to see, much more than just a memento of a good night in the theatre. Bravo, too, to Opus Arte for fitting the whole opera, including extras, onto one disc, thereby bringing down the cost. Why hesitate? © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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