Notes and Editorial Reviews
MASCAGNI L’amico Fritz: Roberto Tolomelli, cond. José Bros (Fritz); Dimitra Theodossiou (Suzel); Sandra Pacheco-Quintero (Beppe); Alessandro Paliaga (David); Emanuele Giannino (Federico); Antonio Taschini (Hanezó); Corinna Justian Schmidt (Caterina); Città Lirica O & Ch KULTUR DVD D2828 (DVD: 100:00)
After the tremendous success of Cavalleria rusticana, Mascagni was encouraged to write another opera. In his autobiography he said, “No, I want to go to a different route, also because too many newspapers praising Cavalleria have attributed its success to the libretto. Precisely because of this, I would like a simple libretto, with an almost flimsy plot, so the opera could be judged on the music alone and
not for the libretto.” The result was the lyrical L’amico Fritz.
This production from Livorno in 2002 was staged by Simona Marchini and is conventional and faithful to the creators’ intentions. The two sets are stylish and give an excellent representation of Tuscan country life.
Roberto Tolomelli’s conducting keeps the score moving and is on the whole very good. José Bros’s acting is somewhat stiff, but vocally he is always musical and therefore quite acceptable. Dimitra Theodossiou is a fine Suzel; she has the ability to produce beautiful soft tones and acts well. Sandra Pacheco-Quintero is a lively presence in the trouser role of the gypsy Beppe. Alessandro Paliaga is a strong and vivid Rabbi David and gives a good performance. The minor roles of Federico and Hanezó are well done.
The picture quality is excellent and the sound fine. There are neither notes nor a libretto provided; however, subtitles are available. Although there are three excellent recordings available on CD, since I am unaware of any other version of this charming work on DVD, I recommend it to all Mascagni enthusiasts.
Bob Rose, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
L'Amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni
José Bros (Tenor),
Dimitra Theodossiou (Soprano),
Sandra Pacheco-Quintero (Mezzo Soprano),
Alessandro Paliaga (Baritone)
Città Lirica Orchestra
Written: 1891; Italy
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