Between Friends

Between Friends

by Ramón Vargas


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Between Friends

Opera is often portrayed as a solitary pursuit: the star singer standing alone onstage, arms outstretched, pouring his or her heart out to an enraptured audience. In truth, while arias often steal the limelight, the heart of opera is in its ensembles. After all, only in opera is it possible for two, three, four, or more characters to "speak" effectively all at the same time. On Between Friends, Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas proves the point with a choice selection of duets and trios from works by Bizet, Donizetti, Puccini, Rossini, and Verdi. Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de perles is not as well known as his Carmen, but the luscious "Au fond du temple saint" is one of the most celebrated duets in all opera. "Dio, che nell'alma infondere amor" from Verdi's Don Carlo is also not so famous, though it's in a similar vein to the Bizet selection and is just as affecting. And while Puccini's La Bohème is a blockbuster operatic hit, one rarely hears Rodolfo and Marcello's Act IV duet by itself, though it's among the opera's most delectably bittersweet numbers. Vargas's lineup also includes a brief but heavy-hitting duet from Verdi's La forza del destino, an elegant trio from Rossini's rarely heard Maometto II, as well as comic duets from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. The disc closes with the passionate duet from the end of Don Carlo, wisely presented in the context of the opera's finale, bringing in three other voices for a suitably dramatic conclusion. Vargas's colleagues are not-big name singers, with the exception of the fast-rising Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Vesselina Kasarova, but they all have healthy young voices that blend together quite beautifully. Warmly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/2004
Label: Rca
UPC: 0828765244022
catalogNumber: 52440


  1. Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Au fond du temple saint
  2. Maometto II, opera: In questi estremi istanti
  3. L'elisir d'amore, opera: Ardir! Ha forse il cielo mandato ... Voglio dire,
  4. Don Carlo, opera: È lui! desso! l'Infante... Dio, che nell'alma info
  5. La forza del destino, opera: Solenne in quest'ora
  6. La bohème, opera: In un coupé? ... O Mimì, tu più non torni
  7. Il barbière di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera: All'idea di quel metallo
  8. Don Carlo, opera: È dessa! ... ma lassù ci vedremo

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