- Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Au fond du temple saint
- La bohème, opera: O soave fanciulla
- Lakmé, opera: Dôme épais, le jasmin (Flower Duet)
- La Traviata, opera: Un dì felice
- La bohème, opera: In un coupé
- Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Viene la sera
- L'elisir d'amore, opera: Venti scudi!
- La bohème, opera: Mimì! Speravo di trovarti qui
- Tosca, opera: Mario! Mario! Mario!
- La forza del destino, opera: Solenne in quest'ora
- Manon Lescaut, opera: O sarò la più bella!
- Don Carlo, opera: È Lui...Dio che nell'alma infondere
- Il barbière di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera: All'idea di quel metallo
- Otello, opera: Era la notte... Sì, pel ciel marmoreo
The Pearl Fishers and other Famous Operatic Duets
The extraordinary popularity of the "Flower Duet" from Delibes' "Lakmé" -- used repeatedly in television commercials and movie soundtracks -- led to a boomlet of duet compilations through the 1990s. To justify its inclusion yet again, but to keep it somewhat inconspicuous, Naxos has assembled 14 operatic duets from its extensive catalog and modestly placed the "Flower Duet" as the third track of The Pearl Fishers. If listeners expect this disc to be full of similarly affecting pieces, then they are sure to be disappointed. That charming number is unique, even for Delibes, and its exotic, perfumed quality is not shared by any of the album's other excerpts. However, if one explores this sampler with an open mind, an appreciation of some fine operatic moments is possible. The singing is consistently agreeable and engaging, and the thick booklet accompanying this CD includes libretti for all the tracks. Two humorous numbers from Donizetti's "L'eliser d'amore" and Rossini's "Il barbière di Siviglia" provide a taste of comic opera, yet the tender and powerful scenes by Puccini and Verdi dominate, giving the collection a lopsidedness that may not appeal to all tastes. This disc is recommended for budding opera buffs, but connoisseurs, especially of Italian opera, are unlikely to find much of interest here.
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