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David: Lalla Roukh / Fiset, Brown, Opera Lafayette

David / Newman / Adelsberger / Opera Lafayette
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8660338  
Composer:  Félicien César David
Performer:  Bernard DelétréMarianne FisetNathalie PaulinEmiliano Gonzales Toro,   ... 
Conductor:  Ryan Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Opera Lafayette OrchestraOpera Lafayette Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Félicien David was the pivotal figure in French opera that ignited the obsession for setting works in the exotic East. Almost all the country's leading composers in the late 19th century followed his lead, including Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Gounod and Massenet. Premièred in 1862 and recorded here for the first time, David's magical opera Lalla Roukh uses evocative orchestration to support the fairy-tale plot of an Indian princess and her journey in search of love. The work contains some memorable melodies, the most famous of which, Charmant oiseau, has been a favorite of the world’s greatest sopranos.

"The best of the music has great charm and is less self-consciously exotic than the orientalia of, say,
Read more Bizet or Massenet. Noureddin's serenades re ravishingly sung by Emiliano Gonzalez Toro. Marianne Fiset is supremely elegant in the title role." -- Tim Ashley, The Guardian [4/10/14]

“All the principals have firm, clear voices...Marianne Fiest as the heroine has a bright, perfectly placed soprano, attacking even the most exposed notes with precision.” -- Gramophone [6/2014]
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Works on This Recording

Lalla Roukh by Félicien César David
Performer:  Bernard Delétré (Bass), Marianne Fiset (Soprano), Nathalie Paulin (Soprano),
Emiliano Gonzales Toro (Tenor), David Newman (Baritone), Andrew Adelsberger (Bass)
Conductor:  Ryan Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Opera Lafayette Orchestra,  Opera Lafayette Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Opera revived July 8, 2014 By Jim  D. See All My Reviews "Here's another piece of musical archeology from the good folks at Opera Lafayette. Lalla Roukh had its world premiere in 1862 at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, racking up nearly 400 performances before the end of the century. Then, despite a great variety of often charming music, it just went away. Though none of the set pieces is a show-stopper, the score is never less than competent, and is well served here. Marianne Fiset as the princess of the title and Emiliano Gonzalez Toro as her minstrel lover are just fine--I especially liked his second-act serenade--and all the supporting cast are capable, though the bass's voice is a little woolly. One drawback is the usual absence of texts (libretto offered online only), especially as all the dialogue is omitted. Still, based on this disc, it's hard to understand how such a pleasant little "Arabian Nights" romance should have so utterly vanished from the stage, or never have been recorded till now." Report Abuse
 Fantastic early opera from 1862!!! June 30, 2014 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This recording, which is a total and complete delight, consists of two CDs that comprise Felicien David’s Lalla Roukh under the baton of Ryan Brown w/ Opera Lafayette. This is an opera comique, in which Lalla Roukh, the daughter of a Moghul emperor, is promised to the King of Bukhara but falls in love with a minstrel who is secretly the King in disguise. The premise is that the King wants to know if Lalla Roukh would love him for himself rather than his wealth, which results in several awkward situations for Lalla (voiced by the delightful soprano Marianne Fiset). It is clear from the opening passages of the overture that we have fabulous music making in store, and that the Opera Lafayette orchestra has brought something special to the table. This is more than substantiated by the delightful performances of Marianne Fiset (Soprano) as Lalla Roukh and bass baritone Bernard Deletre as Baskir, who tries to chase the “minstrel” away. The music has an Eastern flair and is enchanting, and both the cast and Ryan Brown bring this opera to life in a very special way. The liner notes are informative and well written, providing sufficient background to understand the action. Unfortunately, the complete libretto is not printed, but other than that this is a wonderful presentation and recording. I must admit to being somewhat envious of those that had the privilege of seeing this opera performed live. Highly recommended!" Report Abuse
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