Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gaetano Donizetti, Charles Mackerras, Beverly Sills|
Donizetti: Roberto Devereux (Elizabeth and Essex)
Sills and Donizetti make magic!
The Cultural Observer | 04/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sorry I must say this, but I believe among all the Tudor queens, the most difficult role to interpret would be Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux. While Anna Bolena requires dark tones, madness, and coloratura and Maria Stuarda had two prima donnas in it that competed against each other (in the stage and in the plot), Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux is an extremely complex and difficult role that requires a singer with a firmly rooted bel canto training that would allow her to course through its extremely difficult Donizettian phrases with grace and fluidity. It also requires a voice that has drama to it, and some regality as well, something you would rarely find in any soprano. That is, until Beverly Sills touched the role. I have to say that even if I wished her voice had a bit more weight to it, this recording of Roberto Devereux is without a doubt her greatest achievement in the studio. There's not many notes in Beverly's registers that resemble the dark, chesty notes that Callas or Sutherland (sometimes) may have, but then Sills sang Elizabeth like a queen should! Every vocal gesture, every phrase, is magnificently and intelligently sung, and with passion too! Listen to her duets with Robert Devereux in this recording and you will know why her Queen holds a candle to those of Caballe, Gencer, and Miricioiu. She basically read biographies about Elizabeth in order to sing this role to perfection...and what great insight she delivers! Undoubtedly an essential recording!"
A great performance!
D. J. Edwards | Cheshire, CT United States | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sills has always been controversial but I don't know why. Many years ago in 1969 I saw her in a concert in Chicago and it was thrilling. In praising her performance I do not put down any others who performed this demanding role. Dramatically and vocally this performance is one of Sill's masterful demonstrations of the art of inspired acting and singing. The rest of the cast is also very good: Marsee, Alexander and Fredrick's were worthy comrades and I often think that Fredrick's was under-appreciated; and the scenes are effective. if sill's comrades might seem to fall into the background it's Donizetti's fault and not the singer's. Rudel conducts with his usual panache and skill. If this is not one of Donzetti's better works the performers, orchestra and Rudel had no inkling. They play it as a great work. Take this DVD on its terms and enjoy its thrilling performance."
Sills' ultimate achievement
Emma de Soleil | On a holiday In Ibiza, then back to the UK for stu | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently I saw Edita Gruberova as Elisabetta in "Roberto Devereux" and my mind and ears were screaming for Beverly Sills' assumption of this incredibly difficult role. If you own the video of her performance as Elizabeth you will be as spellbound by the recording. Elizabeth I. is one of the most difficult belcanto roles because it demands a huge middle, incredible fioritura and even chest-notes in abundance. Of course Sills was a lyric coloratura but this woman was so daring, so defiant when it came to risks so that she never faked but sang every note no matter what it might do to her instrument. Every inch a queen, regal, haunting and absolutely sublime. The cabaletta of the first aria, "Se amor ti guida", is one of the most glorious records ever made. And so it goes on and on culminating in the heart-wrenching finale where America's greatest singing actress brings a tormented, loving woman to life as it had rarely been done before. What makes her preferable over divas such as Gruberova or Caballe (Who had the best Roberto, José Carreras)??? Beverly Sills studied a library of books on Queen Elizabeth I. before she tackled the part and if you watch the video you can see it in her every movement. She absolutely reduces the rest of the cast to dummies next to her splendour. This recording is a must for every belcanto fan and certainly preferable over the recordings with Gruberova and Caballe. Another interesting Elizabeth would be Leyla Gencer or Nelly Miriciou. The live-recording with Caballe is a must for its glorious Roberto --> José Carreras. And Caballe is stunning herself but lacks the topnotes and Sills regal presence. Now what are you waiting for? Buy it! ;-)"