"ROSSINIANA" Arias and duets from La gazza ladra, Le Comte ory, Il barbiere di Siviglia, L'Italiana in Algeri, Il Signor Bruschino, Il viaggio a Reims and La Cenerentola.
Vivica Genaux (mezzo-soprano), Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) and Nicola Ulivieri (bass). Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Manlio Benzi, cond.
Agora AG 164 (F) (DDD) TT: 59:59  


This new issue on the Italian Agorá label features an all-Rossini concert, recorded (in excellent sound) at the Teatro Lirico in Milan November 14, 1997. While all three of the young singers are accomplished Rossinians, American mezzo Vivica Genaux and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez prove to be the outstanding performers on this concert. Vivica Genaux, who made her Met debut last December in Rossini's "Barber," dispatches the composer's florid writing with considerable ease and ample personality. Juan Diego Flórez, in only his 25th year, is already a Rossini tenor of the first rank. He is currently enjoying great success in Europe, and will make his Met debut in "Barber" in 2002. Mr. Flórez's leggiero tenor voice is quite beautiful (somewhat reminiscent of his compatriot, Luigi Alva), and again, Rossini's fiendish technical requirements pose no difficulty for him. In fact, Flórez radiates a joy for singing that is boldly apparent in each and every measure. Juan Diego Flórez is surely a talent to savor for years to come.

Rossini's song "La Danza," sung as a trio by the principals, is the delightful encore. Conductor Manlio Benzi and the Orchestra provide spirited accompaniment. A lovely and, I think, important release.

K.M. (Oct. 2000)