By Angelo Nosotti, Coro Artisti del Coro Associati, Graziano del Vivo, Guido Pasella, Marco Chingari, Maria Noto, Massimo de Bernart, Maurizio Frusoni, Orchestra Lirico-Sinfonica del Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, and Pierre Lefebvre. By Alfredo Catalani and Antonio Ghislanzoni. Classical. CD. Bongiovanni #GB2093/94-2. Published by Bongiovanni (NX.GB2093-94-2).
Edmea (1886) is Catalani's third theatrical opera. After the success of Dejanice (1883), Catalani started to look for a new libretto. Unable to convince Boito, attracted into Verdi's orbit, he made do with Antonio Ghislanzoni, who had been resting for at least fifteen years on the laurels from the triumph of Aida. The poet gave the maestro the ready-made libretto of Edmea, which had bene written already for Salvatore Auteri Mazocchi and not set to the music. The libretto, drawn from a drama by Alexandre Dumas Jr., The Danicheff, is an unlikely story conceived in function of a prima donna in a state of lunacy, according to an operatic tradition revived in those years by Thomas heroine of Ophelia in Hamlet. Edmea is undoubtedly an attempt of the musician to please his audience with a relatively easy listening product, with emphasizing the vocal score, pushing it toward the extreme notes; in particular the tenor's part is not only sharp but also kept more than due in the theatrical zone of the register passage. The main interest of the opera is in the orchestra, often splendidly used with very subtle sensibility for aims that exceed by far a mere elaborated support to singing. The orchestra language is always careful, present, alive and consistent, elegant and varied with languors and succen excitements. The musician from Lucca show his unmistakable expressive signature and succeeds to make himself unforgettable.