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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, September 2015

…this is a very fine performance of the opera. [Yijie Shi] has an extraordinary voice, certainly one of the finest and most musically phrased lyric tenor voices I’ve ever heard… American mezzo Kate Aldrich is, quite simply, a revelation, her rich, lovely mezzo voice under perfect control both vocally and histrionically. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Charles H. Parsons
American Record Guide, September 2015

DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) (Théâtre du Capitole, 2014) (NTSC) OA1166D
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) (Théâtre du Capitole, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7165D

…a superfine performance. The ear is immediately engaged with the authentically French-Italian tenor of Yijie Shi. He’s the real thing! No high tessitura or high notes faze him. He quietly walks through the music leaving all the drama and beauty to his voice. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

George Dorris
Ballet Review, September 2015

Staged by Vincent Boussard in a relatively unfussy production, it’s sung by an international cast: the rising Chinese tenor Yijie Shi as Fernand, the American mezzo Kate Aldrich as a good Leonore, and the French baritone Ludovic Tézier as a rather monochromatic Alfonse. Antonello Allemandi conducts the strong chorus and orchestra. © 2015 Ballet Review

Robert Levine, June 2015

As Léonor, mezzo Kate Aldrich is wonderful, throwing herself into the role of the misused “favorite” of the King with gusto, singing with warm but exciting tone. The voice is even throughout…her big Act 3 aria is the showpiece it should be, and her final-act duet with Fernand is deeply moving.

Chinese tenor Yijie Shi…is remarkable. He looks anywhere between 15 and 20 years of age, but the voice is splendid—ringing, pure, easily produced, used with nuance and superb attention to the text. His high notes are true and fearless.

Chorus and orchestra sing and play wonderfully for Antonello Allemandi, who, while clearly knowing the score, occasionally allows the niceties in late-Donizetti to go by unspotted in favor of a razzmatazz reading. It’s exciting… © 2015 Read complete review

Mike Ashman
Gramophone, June 2015

DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) (Théâtre du Capitole, 2014) (NTSC) OA1166D
DONIZETTI, G.: Favorite (La) (Théâtre du Capitole, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7165D

The ground production, and singing, are strong […] Yijie Shi in particular sounds special, a real Jugend-lyrischer with good French.

Allemandi never ignores the music’s grandeur but is able to keep things moving. An important opera well worth getting to know. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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