If your priority in a recording of Semiramide is to hear as many of the original notes as possible, this version is a better bet than the famed Sutherland-Horne set. But if it's to hear exciting singin-- at least from the womenfolk--this one suffers in comparison. Soprano Cheryl Studer as the murderous queen and Jennifer Larmore as her unwitting son sing well, and have a memorable blend in their duets, but they suffer in comparison with the classic. On the other hand, it's a shame that the performances of Frank Lopardo and Samuel Ramey couldn't be transplanted to the London recording; they're the standouts here. --Sarah Bryan Miller
Artists: Gioachino Rossini, Cheryl Studer, Samuel Ramey, Octavio Arévalo, Jennifer Larmore, Julie Faulkner, Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Title: Rossini - Semiramide / Studer, Larmore, Ramey, Arévalo, Marin
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 4/12/1994
Number of Discs: 3
This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
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