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Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, May 2014

The cast generally sings well. In the title role Adrian Gans has a commanding voice with lots of power…As his daughter Leonora…Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli unleashes a soprano that…sounds big and exciting. The mezzo, Manuela Custer, really impresses in her opening aria of Act II. The orchestra and chorus perform ably, and the conductor keeps thing moving nicely. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, November 2013

The excellent singing and playing of the Stadttheaters Gießen musicians match the level of Maestro Hofstetter’s alert conducting. The voices are the focus in a performance of any Verdi opera, and the voices in this account of Oberto are given a consistently impressive musical foundation upon which to build their performances.

The supporting rôle of Imelda…is sung by Basque soprano Naroa Intxausti, a small lady with a tremendous talent. Imelda’s part is small, but Ms. Intxausti’s presence in the performance is large, her singing firm of tone and simmering with dramatic fire. The histrionic intensity of Ms. Intxausti’s performance is complemented by Norman Reinhardt’s beautiful singing as Riccardo…Riccardo’s aria ‘Già sorto è il giorno’ cruelly tests the tenor within minutes of curtain-up, with virtually no opportunity for warm-up. Mr Reinhardt sings the aria with élan, and his performance builds impressively from this superb start.

The long-suffering Leonora is sung by soprano Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, whose vibrant voice moves through Verdi’s melodies with relative ease. She is partnered by the Cuniza of mezzo-soprano Manuela Custer. Ms. Custer’s extensive experience in Baroque and bel canto repertories tells in every phrase that she sings in Oberto, her command of coloratura and mastery of phrasing providing minute after minute of superb singing.

The title rôle…is energetically sung by Adrian Gans. In both the duet and trio in Act One, Mr Gans sings powerfully, employing the conversational nuances of the text to convey dramatic purpose.

This Oberto is a feast for the operatic palate, each member of the fresh-voiced cast utilizing every ingredient of his or her respective technique in order to prepare a gourmet performance, and it preserves in Manuela Custer’s Cuniza one of the finest examples of Verdi singing recorded in recent years. © 2013 Voix des Arts Read complete review

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