Bizet: Don Procopio

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Bizet composed "Don Procopio" to an Italian libretto in 1859, when he was 21, living in Rome as a Prix de Rome winner. He was infatuated with the Italian language and felt his destiny lay in the field of comic opera. The opera was not produced in his lifetime, and the manuscript was presumed lost until it was discovered in the papers of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber after that composer's death. The opera could be considered a piece of juvenilia, proficiently written with much lovely music, but heavily indebted to Donizetti's comic operas, the plot of whose "Don Pasquale" it closely resembles. The second act duet for soprano and tenor is disarmingly tender and offers a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Bizet composed "Don Procopio" to an Italian libretto in 1859, when he was 21, living in Rome as a Prix de Rome winner. He was infatuated with the Italian language and felt his destiny lay in the field of comic opera. The opera was not produced in his lifetime, and the manuscript was presumed lost until it was discovered in the papers of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber after that composer's death. The opera could be considered a piece of juvenilia, proficiently written with much lovely music, but heavily indebted to Donizetti's comic operas, the plot of whose "Don Pasquale" it closely resembles. The second act duet for soprano and tenor is disarmingly tender and offers a glimpse of the composer who would go on to write "Au fond du temple saint." The opera would be of interest to fans of bel canto rarities and anyone curious about Bizet's musical journey on the way to creating "Carmen." The Bongiovanni CD is taken from a live 1986 performance at Teatro Poliziano in Montepulciano and reflects the standards one might expect of a provincial company, with some performances of a high standard and some decidedly mediocre. The Rias Jugendorchester-Berlin, led by Sandro Sanna, plays the vivacious score with an appropriate lilt, if not with great polish. The quality of the soloists varies widely. Generally the male leads are pleasant sounding, singing in tune and with comic verve and gusto, and in the secondary female role, mezzo-soprano Marina Gentile stands out for the richness of her tone and the vividness of her characterization. Antonella Muscente's performance as the female lead is distractingly uneven; she sometimes sings with lovely tone and sometimes with distressingly approximate intonation and shaky coloratura -- she is clearly out of her depth in this repertoire. The chorus tends toward raggedness. The sound is good for a live performance, but the decision to leave intact the audience's applause and the strings' subtle retuning after each number is dubious. The opera is stretched over two CDs, even though it is barely over 80 minutes long; if the engineers had removed the applause, it probably could have fit on one disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/1993
  • Label: Bongiovanni
  • UPC: 750582040122
  • Catalog Number: 2043

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Don Procopio, opera buffa in 2 acts - Georges Bizet & Alfonso Antoniozzi (84:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sandro Sanna Primary Artist
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