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Tenor Javier Camarena and soprano Pretty Yende team up for a feast of bel canto vocal fireworks—including the show-stopping tenor aria “Ah! Mes amis,” with its nine high Cs. Alessandro Corbelli and Maurizio Muraro trade off as the comic Sergeant Sulpice, with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. Enrique Mazzola conducts.
Bergamo-born Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) composed about 75 operas, plus orchestral and chamber music, in a career abbreviated by mental illness and premature death. Apart from the ever-popular Lucia di Lammermoor and the comic gems L’Elisir d’Amore and Don Pasquale, most of his works disappeared from public view after his death. But critical and popular opinion of his huge opus has grown considerably over the past 50 years. The librettist Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges (1799–1875) was a dramatist and the manager of the Opéra Comique. He also wrote the libretto for the enduringly popular ballet Giselle and was a frequent collaborator of the most successful theatrical personalities of his day.
PRODUCTION: Laurent Pelly