Notes and Editorial Reviews
Filippo Marchetti (1831-1902) composed seven operas, only one of which, Ruy Blas, achieved any lasting fame. Judging from Romeo e Giulietta (1865, Trieste) he was a fine melodist and had a keen sense of dramatic timing; his music lies somewhere between late Donizetti and middle Verdi, with hints of the verismo movement to come in some exclamatory passages. It's like discovering another Ponchielli; perhaps there's no genius lurking here, but he, and this opera, are the real thing. You'll find juicy melodies, well-developed scenes and characters, energetic music that grows organically from the plot, fine word setting, and some good, athletic vocal lines. Comparing the duets between the lovers in this opera with the ones in Gounod, for
instance, these come out ahead. Gounod's seem soft and lacking in tension while these build to Italianate climaxes (think Tosca and Cavaradossi in Tosca, Act 1).
There are lots of good tunes. The scene between the lovers with Lorenzo is well-wrought and moving; the ensembles are well put-together; Giulietta has a couple of fine arias; and the scene that closes Act 3, in which all think that Giulietta is dead, is touchingly sad. And the entire fourth act, practically a solo for Romeo (before Giulietta's awakening), is filled with drama--arioso, long melodies, exclamatory singing.
The performance is very good. For the most part the singers sound young and involved. Serena Daolio has a nice edge to her voice, enhanced by secure if somewhat wiry top notes. Equally enthusiastic is tenor Roberto Iuliano's Romeo. He has a Rodolfo-like tone, a bit heavier than lyric, and he's both ardent and fearless. He saves his true legato singing for the last act but partners Giulietta well in the tender moments. And his true, Italianate "ping" is most welcome.
Paride is a major baritone role (the first singer to perform it was Verdi's first Renato and Boccanegra) and Dario Solari is excellent, leading the third-act finale with power and elegance. The Fra Lorenzo, bass Emil Zhelev, is terrible, and the Tebaldo is no prize either, but the performance has life and youthful vigor under the Ukranian conductor Andriy Yurkevych. I've enjoyed listening to this three times; it's like meeting a close friend of an old friend. Recommended.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Romeo e Giulietta by Filippo Marchetti
Roberto Iuliano (Tenor),
Eugen Gaal (Bass),
Andrea Mastroni (Bass),
Tiziana Portoghese (Mezzo Soprano),
Dario Solari (Baritone),
Emile Zhelev (Bass),
Giovanni Coletta (Tenor),
Mario Cassi (Baritone),
Serena Daolio (Soprano)
Italian International Orchestra,
Bratislava Chamber Chorus
Written: 1865; Italy
Date of Recording: 07/2005
Venue: Live Ducal Palace, Martina Franca, Italy
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