Donizetti: La Favorite (Live 2-CD) – Veronica Simeoni, Celso Albelo

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Donizetti: La Favorite (Live 2-CD) – Veronica Simeoni, Celso Albelo

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Artists: Veronica Simeoni, Celso Albelo, Mattia Olivieri, Ugo Guagliardo, Manuel Amati, Francesca Longari, Leonardo Sgroi, Orchestra & Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Conductor: Fabio Luisi
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Dynamic
CD Release Date: August 17, 2018

Gaetano Donizetti’s La Favorite was laborious in the making: it started out as a re-working of L’ange de Nisida, to which the composer added parts taken from some other operas of his. The work, which was premiered at the Opéra of Paris, is set in 14th-century Castile and tells the story of the hapless love between Fernand, who has second thoughts about taking holy orders and leaves the monastery of Santiago de Compostela, and Leonor, the mistress of King Alphonse XI. It is an intimate drama, where history and politics are but the backdrop to the protagonists’ passions and torments.

Fabio Luisi’s conducting of this premiere performance in Florence of the original French libretto is both measured in balancing the orchestral sounds, and personal, varied and vigorous. The orchestra is crystal-clear, neat in its accompaniment, neither subject to the voices nor prevaricating. Veronica Simeoni (Leonor), Celso Albelo (Fernand) and Mattia Olivieri (Alphonse) give excellent vocal and acting performances.

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