Donizetti: Il Castello di Kenilworth (DVD) – Jessica Pratt

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Donizetti: Il Castello di Kenilworth (DVD) – Jessica Pratt

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Artists: Jessica Pratt, Carmela Remigio, Xabier Anduaga, Stefan Pop, Orchestra e Coro Donizetti Opera
Conductor: Riccardo Frizza
Director: Maria Pilar Pérez Aspa
Video Format: 16:9 NTSC
Sound Format: Dolby Digital 5.1 / PCM 2.0
Region: All Regions
Language: Italian
Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean
Number of Discs: 1
Studio: Dynamic
Release Date: May 10, 2019
Run Time: 139 minutes

Recorded during the 2018 Donizetti Festival, Il Castello di Kenilworth was first staged at Naples’s San Carlo in 1829. Drawn from a novel by Sir Walter Scott and adapted by librettist Leone Tottola, this rare opera was unjustly long neglected. This recording features the original version, with the role of Warney entrusted to a tenor (which the composer changed to a baritone in the 1836 revision of the score).

Il Castello di Kenilworth is the first of the several successful works that Donizetti based on British history, introducing the character of Queen Elizabeth I, torn by the inner struggle between a monarch’s duty and a woman’s feelings. The fundamental pivot of the drama is the antagonism between the two female characters who dwell and suffer in their loneliness, in a male-dominated world. 

The performance received excellent reviews, praising the richness of the costumes, the sobriety of the stage setting, and, mostly, the vocal and acting skills of the whole cast, which features first-rate singers such as Jessica Pratt and Carmela Remigio, who share the stage with talented tenors Stefan Pop and emerging talent Xabier Anduaga. 

“A first-class cast, with an imaginative production team, under the musical direction of Riccardo Frizza, have been assembled, and it is not an exaggeration to say that together they have produced a compelling case for Il Castello di Kenilworth to be given further consideration. [...] It was musically engaging, full of bel canto charm, with some wonderful melodies...” (Alan Neilson, Operawire)

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