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Donizetti: Roberto Devereux / Sills, Mackerras

Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 465964   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beverly SillsPeter GlossopRobert IlosfalvyBeverly Wolff,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic OrchestraAmbrosian Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 16 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth I in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux was, Beverly Sills has said, the role that took 10 years off her career, and indeed, it’s a fearsome undertaking. The very long role is composed over a slightly larger than two-octave span, and there are forte passages at both ends, both in ensembles and alone, and the sheer number of notes the character has to get out is awe-inspiring. Emotionally, too, the part is ripping: The elderly Elizabeth, in love with the Earl of Essex, who in turn loves Sara, the Duchess of Nottingham (forget real English history), is a ferocious monarch, comfortable and powerful only when ruling, and in private, a shattered woman, filled with vulnerabilities. Sills’ voice was at its pristine best in 1969, when this was Read more recorded, before she sang it on stage. She is in absolute control of every resource she ever had: accurate roulades, brutal chest tones, full-bodied high notes, the ability to express both rage and joy, an impeccable bel canto line, stupendous breath control. What more is needed?

The rest of the cast is not up to her level but has nothing to be ashamed of either: Hungarian tenor Robert Ilosfalvy sings Roberto with ardor and nice tone; Peter Glossop’s un-Italianate voice is not really suited to Nottingham’s music, but his artistry gets him past that hurdle and he’s very fine indeed. Beverly Wolff’s Sara is good without being truly impressive. Charles Mackerras is not the ideal conductor for Donizetti—he’s a bit literal where expressiveness matters more—but this scarcely detracts from the whole.

– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Beverly Sills (Soprano), Peter Glossop (Baritone), Robert Ilosfalvy (Tenor),
Beverly Wolff (Mezzo Soprano), Don Garrard (Bass), Kenneth MacDonald (Tenor),
Gwynne Howell (Bass), Richard Van Allan (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; Italy 
Date of Recording: 06/1969 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 135 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Excelent July 8, 2016 By Torbjörn E. (Uppsala, Uppsala) See All My Reviews "Very good" Report Abuse
 Sensational May 17, 2016 By David P. (WASHINGTON, DC) See All My Reviews "Sills at her best, Mackerras keeps things moving along wonderfully well, the supporting cast is terrific (though to be honest I'm not a big fan of Beverly Wolff's voice ...). This past season at the Met (2015-16), Sandra Radvanovsky generated a lot of buzz for performing all 3 of the Donizetti queens in one season (Elizabeth [in Roberto Devereaux], Anna Bolena, and Maria Stuarda), the first person to do so in NYC since Sills did it back in the '60s. I heard two of Radvanovsky's performances, and she was indeed terrific - but it made me want to go back and listen to Sills, and I'm very glad I did. If you like Italian bel canto opera, and/or great sopranos, this is definitely worth the price." Report Abuse
 MARVELLOUS October 21, 2014 By Peter H. (Wien, Austria) See All My Reviews "In every respect GREAT AND MAGNIFICENT!!" Report Abuse
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