The Debut

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Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
The title of Salvatore Licitra's first solo album, The Debut, recalls the Italian tenor's sensational entry into opera's big league. His planned first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera was still two years away when he got a call that tenors dream of, to fill in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti -- at the legend's farewell performance, no less. The stakes were high and Licitra triumphed: "A genuine find," crooned The New York Times. He sang Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca, and, appropriately, his album begins with that character's showpiece aria, "E lucevan le stelle." Listening to it, the first thing you'll notice is that Licitra's voice is several shades darker than ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
The title of Salvatore Licitra's first solo album, The Debut, recalls the Italian tenor's sensational entry into opera's big league. His planned first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera was still two years away when he got a call that tenors dream of, to fill in for an ailing Luciano Pavarotti -- at the legend's farewell performance, no less. The stakes were high and Licitra triumphed: "A genuine find," crooned The New York Times. He sang Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca, and, appropriately, his album begins with that character's showpiece aria, "E lucevan le stelle." Listening to it, the first thing you'll notice is that Licitra's voice is several shades darker than his famous countryman's, especially in the mid-range. He's more of a Domingo-like lirico-spinto than a pure lyric like Pavarotti. Yet his high notes are bright and powerful, and he can draw long, legato lines with true style. The album continues with arias from Puccini's Turandot, La Fanciulla del West, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly -- mostly tried-and-true favorites like "Nessun dorma" -- before turning to Verdi for the second half of the program. Though Licitra's Puccini is quite fine, with Verdi he seems more in his element, his rich, potent voice well suited to the composer's ruggedly dramatic music. His "Di quella pira" from Trovatore, for instance, joined by a full chorus, is a rousing conclusion to the album. He takes the high C at the end, unlike on his recording of the complete opera with Riccardo Muti. And he's also solid in the gentler moments; the tricky pianissimo high B-flat at the end of "Celeste Aïda," for example, is pulled off admirably. Arias from La Forza del Destino, Simon Boccanegra, Un Ballo in Mascera, and Macbeth fill out the Verdi selections. Together, they demonstrate that Licitra is undeniably a talent to watch. But is he the Next Big Thing, the long-anticipated "fourth tenor"? We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, the opera world is watching -- and listening to -- this promising newcomer.
Entertainment Weekly
...impressive are the heroic Verdi numbers, in which he produces the real vocal and dramatic thrills that bode well for a major career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/2/2002
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998992320
  • Catalog Number: 89923

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tosca, opera: E lucevan le stelle... - Giuseppe Giacosa & Giacomo Puccini (3:19)
  2. 2 Turandot, opera: Nessun dorma - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Adami (3:00)
  3. 3 La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West), opera: Ch'ella mi creda - Giacomo Puccini & Mark Burdett (1:48)
  4. 4 Tosca, opera: Recondita armonia - Giuseppe Giacosa & Giacomo Puccini (2:40)
  5. 5 Manon Lescaut, opera: Donna non vidi mai - Giacomo Puccini & Giacomo Puccini (2:28)
  6. 6 Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Addio, fiorito asil - Giuseppe Giacosa & Giacomo Puccini (1:47)
  7. 7 Aida, opera: Celeste Aida - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (4:14)
  8. 8 La forza del destino, opera: La vita è inferno... Oh tu che in seno agli angeli - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (6:07)
  9. 9 Simon Boccanegra, opera: Sento avvampar nell'anima - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (4:52)
  10. 10 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Baccarole: Dì tu se fedele - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (3:54)
  11. 11 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Forse la soglia attinse - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (7:10)
  12. 12 Macbeth, opera: Ah! la paterna mano - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (3:23)
  13. 13 Il Trovatore, opera: Ah! sì, ben mio coll'essere - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (3:07)
  14. 14 Il Trovatore, opera: Manrico?... Che?... Di quella pira - Giuseppe Verdi & Mark Burdett (4:02)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Salvatore Licitra Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Luciano Who?

    A fellow tenor aficianado recommended this CD after hearing Licitra in concert. I immediately purchased it from the neighborhood B&N and I am in awe! This young man can hold his own with any of the "Three Tenors." His tone is so deep and his legato so smooth! My friend says he's a short guy and I say good things come in small packages. The next time he sings in my city, I'm front and center! He had me from "E lucevan le stelle"...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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