Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: "C'était le soir" ... "Au fond du temple saint"
Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Son lo spirito che nega
- Son lo spirito che nega (03:38)
Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Strano figlio del caos
- Strano figlio del caos (05:34)
Don Pasquale, opera: "La vostra ostinazione" ... "Prender moglie?"
Don Pasquale, opera: "Sogno soave e casto"
- Sogno soave e casto (06:01)
L'elisir d'amore, opera: "Ardir! Ha forse il cielo"
- Ardir! Ha forse il cielo (00:58)
L'elisir d'amore, opera: "Voglio dire"
- Voglio dire (07:38)
Simon Boccanegra, opera: "Propizio ei giunge!"
- Propizio ei giunge! (02:38)
Simon Boccanegra, opera: "Vieni a me, ti benedico"
- Vieni a me, ti benedico (02:30)
Faust, opera: "Mais ce Dieu, que peut-il pour moi?"
Faust, opera: "Me voici! D'où vient ta surprise?"
Carmen, opera: "Je suis Escamillo"
- Je suis Escamillo (05:31)
- Granada, for voice & orchestra (with chorus ad lib) (04:16)
- Dark Eyes (Ochi chyornye), song (03:26)
The male-male operatic duet album is certainly less common than the male-female variety, already sizzlingly explored by Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko at the height of what was rumored to be a liaison between them. But it has certain advantages: even in the group of Donizetti duets included on the program here, the pieces tend to be slices of the drama rather than set pieces. Villazón and bass Ildar Abdrazakov effectively inhabit these pieces, going beyond vocal heroics. A related attraction in a program like this is the importance of the orchestra, which has to do more than stay out of the way of the singers. The impetus for the project is said to have been Villazón's admiration for the Western hemisphere's conducting star of the moment, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and his Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. Sample one of the comparatively rare duets from Boito's "Mefistofele" for a taste of the energy Nézet-Séguin brings throughout. The album's fun conclusion, with duet arrangements of a favorite of each of the singers (one Mexican, one Russian), is also notable, along with state-of-the-art operatic orchestral work. Recommended.