Out of Bellinis ten operas Norma is today firmly established as a standard work while both I Puritani and La sonnambula appear now and then in the opera houses or, as here, in concert performance.
Once in a while I Capuleti ed i Montecchi also gets an outing but to catch one of the others one has to be lucky indeed.
Evelino Pidò is an experienced conductor of the early 19th century bel canto repertoire.
I have heard him in both Rossini and Donizetti and he is just as much at home in Bellini.
For once the slogan Dessay is Amina wouldnt be out of place. The young Francesco Meli, born in Genoa in 1980, turns out to be an excellent lyric tenor in the Alfredo Kraus mould.
He has all the enticing mellifluousness needed for the role but also the plangent incisiveness of the older singer.
Armed with the libretto and prepared to be drawn into a sea of lovely melodies and lyrical moods, anyone with an interest in good singing will be in for a really enjoyable occasion.
Forget what you have ever read about Bellini being harmonically meagre or contrapuntally incompetent or any other drivel youve come across.
8) is a splendid calling-card for this upcoming singer, who excels further in a sensitive duet with Amina at the end of the first scene.
Furthermore Carlo Colombara triumphs as a true basso cantante with even, smooth, flexible delivery. 11) has rarely been sung with such warmth and elegance.