- Pagliacci, opera - Ruggero Leoncavallo - Ruggero Leoncavallo - Stefano Antonucci - Clive Bennett - Ana Maria Martinez - Steven Mercurio - Francesco Piccoli - Andrea Bocelli - Darren Rumney - Coro del Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania - Orchestra del Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania - Salvatore Todaro - Salvatore Bonaffini - Roberto Accurso - Coro di voci bianche "Gaudeamus igitur" Concentus - Tania Passarini - Elisa Poidomani
Leoncavallo: Pagliacciby Andrea Bocelli
Even for devoted fans of Andrea Bocelli, the leap from the superstar tenor's pop albums to opera is not necessarily an easy one. But Pagliacci, composed by the Italian one-hit wonder Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892, might just be the ideal vehicle for listeners who want a more easily digestible taste of Bocelli's operatic aspirations/i>/a>… See more details below
Even for devoted fans of Andrea Bocelli, the leap from the superstar tenor's pop albums to opera is not necessarily an easy one. But Pagliacci, composed by the Italian one-hit wonder Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892, might just be the ideal vehicle for listeners who want a more easily digestible taste of Bocelli's operatic aspirations. Lasting just over an hour, Pagliacci is an unusually compact drama, etching its narrative of jealousy and revenge in concise strokes that appeal (if inadvertently) to the modern attention span. Further, Leoncavallo's music -- similar to his contemporary Puccini's in its passion and expressiveness -- ensures that there's not a dull moment. Even if Bocelli isn't your cup of tea, this recording has much to recommend it, especially the thrilling performance of soprano Ana María Martínez, a quickly rising star in the opera world, singing the role of Nedda, the doomed wife of Bocelli's Canio. Her big aria, "Stridono lassù," and the duet with baritone Roberto Accurso, as her illicit paramour Silvio, are both sung with such beauty and emotional honesty that she threatens to steal the show from the tenor. But Bocelli summons his own reserves of deep feeling for Canio's showstopping aria, "Recitar!...Vesti la giubba" -- one of the most famous in all opera, poignantly expressing the betrayed husband's desperation -- and he effectively uses his voice's darker shades as Canio's anger drives the plot to its violent conclusion. Pagliacci's dramatic potency serves Bocelli well here, and he's certain to convince many listeners of the special power of opera with this fine new recording.
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Performance CreditsAndrea Bocelli Primary Artist
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Did the classical music world really need this recording? Do we really need to hear Mr. Bocelli's reedy instrument tackle one of the most taxing tenor roles in the repertoire? This is a prime example of what the tenor will never be doing on stage. His Rodolfo was forgivable, his Werther passible, his Cavarodossi was thin and emotionless, but his Manrico should have taught him something...well, maybe it did. It taught him that he can get away with a lot in a recording studio. What saves this recrod is the supporting cast. Particularly the finely sung Nedda and Silvio, but Bocelli's people should know better. If your looking for a good Pagliacci, try to track down the Jose Cura version, or go with the Domingo/Milnes/Caballe recording. Stay away from this!
Well, I hope this doesn't prove to be another "infantile" review, for I fear that Bocelli fans will be upset by what follows. This is simply not a Pagliacci to own. Mr. Bocelli's voice is sadly ill-suited to the verismo repertoire. There is a marked difference between what can be accomplished in a studio and what can be achieved on stage. Bocelli has a very light, microphone enhanced voice, much like Sarah Brightman's. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact, I think his voice is quite beautiful. However, Canio is clearly not a good choice for his instrument. While the tenor never sounds strained in the register (Canio's line never goes higher than an A natural), he just doesn't have the dramatic thrust, the pathos nor the acting ability the role requires, his is solely a prettily sung, shallow rendition. Ana Maria Martinez is lovely in the role of Nedda, with just the right mix of vocal beauty and power. I must mention here that contrary to one posted review, she and Bocelli NEVER sing together on the record. It is the lyic baritone character, Silvio with whom she sings one of the most beautiful duets in all of opera, captured marvellously on this record. The rest of the cast, while they lack starry names, acquit themselves nicely of thier roles. The fly in the ointment is the tenor of Bocelli, sadly a very large fly that taints this otherwise winning recording. If this is your first time to the opera, purchase the Domingo/Caballe/Milnes recording or the Del Monaco/Callas/Gobbi one. Both are easy to find and wonderful readings of this great opera.
There's no chance that someone so obviously pre-disposed to dislike this cd would buy it. So why write a review to slam something you didn't even bother to hear. Had you done that,you'd have discovered a fine artist doing a beautifully rendered account of Canio. His powerful, touching, and heartfelt performance blends so perfectly with Ana-Maria Martinez' lilting soprano, that they seem born to sing together. Please, don't let infantile reviews like the previous one color your opinion. Listen yourself, then judge, and I'm sure you'll have a smile on your face when you post your review. Enjoy!!!