Decca's star tenor Joseph Calleja makes his first major opera release in a lead role, singing Gabriele Adorno in a stunning new Simon Boccanegra for Verdi's bicentenary year. Calleja sings Gabriele Adorno opposite Thomas Hampson's Simon Boccanegra in a live concert performance recorded at the Vienna Konzerthaus. The first-class cast also includes Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais as Amelia, Luca Pisaroni as Paolo and Carlo Colombara as Fiesco. Top-league Italian conductor Massimo Zanetti leads the Wiener Symphoniker and Wiener Singakademie. One of Verdi's most compelling works, depicting the personal price of political success; moments of tender intimacy contrasted againstRead more the fiery drama of state politics and personal enmity. Reviewing the performance, the Kurier exclaimed: "What a voice, what poetry, what melodiousness, what radiance!" Die Presse stated: "There are not many tenors who can sing the role of Adorno as unpretentiously, tastefully, and free of bad habits as Joseph Calleja". A star of the Metropolitan Opera New York and a favorite around the world, the Maltese-born Calleja has been receiving extravagant praise at every step of his meteoric career. He stunned audiences with his Nessun dorma at last year's Last Night of the Proms, televised worldwide, and was named Gramophone's "Artist of the Year 2012" at just 34. Read less
Works on This Recording
Simon Boccanegraby Giuseppe Verdi Performer:
Carlo Colombara (Bass),
Kristine Opolais (Soprano),
Joseph Calleja (Tenor),
Luca Pisaroni (Bass Baritone),
Thomas Hampson (Baritone),
Igor Bakan (Bass Baritone)
Vienna Symphony Orchestra,
Period: Romantic Written: 1857; Italy
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
surprising performance from HampsonNovember 19, 2013By James C. (Baton Rouge, LA)See All My Reviews"I have not been a fan of Hampson's forays into Verdian repertoire. His light baritone always seems one size too small and he forces the tone, at least in the performances I've heard before this one. Even though this was recorded live, I think Hampson knew that the mics would flatter his sound and that there was no need to bark through the performance. Consequently, this is a tonally beautiful, and musically satisfying reading form the American baritone. Not only does he not artificially beef up the tone, but he eschews the kind of Fischer-Dieskauian over emphasis of text that can make some of his operatic performances seem more like a lieder recital. Calleja is his usual wonderful self. Opolais is a bit disappointing - my guess is this was her first go at Maria/Amelia. What keeps this performance from earning the fifth star is the conducting - perfectly competent, but shy of the insight brought to this score by Abbado and Solti, to name only two."Report Abuse
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