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Gaetano Donizetti: Roberto Devereux
By Andrea Mastroni, Bruno Campanella, Gregory Kunde, Juan Antonio Sanabria, Marco Caria, Mariella Devia, Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Real de Madrid, and Silvia Tro Santafe. By Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848). Classical. DVD (1 disc). Published by Bel Air Classiques (NX.BAC130).
Item Number: NX.BAC130
Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Korean.
In the last and most dramatic aria in "Roberto Devereux," one of the four Tudor period operas composed by Donizetti in 1837 (along with "Anna Bolena," "Maria Stuarda," and "Il Castello di Kenilworth,") the protagonist, Queen Elizabeth I of England, exclaims: "I do not reign, I do not live." This statement encapsulates great operatic themes, and it is the culmination of an opera that reveals the passions of characters who live among palace intrigues. Written in the mature period of the leader of Italian romanticism, the opera displays a great vocal virtuosity, and is an example of Donizetti prizing the voice above all in the genre. The staging, by South African director Alessandro Talevi, who has been very successful in great opera houses as well as with more experimental theatre, places the play in an undetermined period, focusing on the chiaroscuro. Bruno Campanella conducts the production with Mariella Devia in the lead. "This was a most promising start to the season, a first-class rendition of a neglected work and a joyful confirmation of Mariella Devia's well-deserved place in bel canto history." (Bachtrack.com).