Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
What a great piece of work
D. Fair | Baltimore, MD | 08/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the best opera recordings, period! I think Sita has got to be the most vocally demanding role in French opera, hands down. I don't know if there's another soprano who would have pleased me more -- maybe Sills (or Caballé if she had the high notes). Another thing, this opera needs a dramatic sound and dramatic acting in general. Sutherland is absolutely superb in this aspect. She really understood Sita. I just love this opera. I can't stop listening to it. Thank you, Massenet! And the guy that plays the Roi de Lahore is a superb dramatic tenor. I'm surprised he isn't more famous than he is.
Again, such a great piece. This is why Massenet is my favorite French composer (second would be Offenbach -- got love Hoffmann)"
Sutherland's "other" Massenet role
Larry D. Rodriguez | Houston, TX | 08/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This rare Massenet opera will undoubtedly never be recorded again. This was one of those roles that was the whim of Sutherland's husband, one that she resisted, but sang and recorded. In her memoirs, A Prima Donna's Progress, she confesses to have had some degree of trouble with the singing line. In terms of singing, it doesn't compare to her better known and critically praised Esclarmonde. The opera itself is not nearly as grand as Esclarmonde, either. However, for true Sutherland fans, it is a rarity worth owning, if you ever find it. The second act is particularly lovely. She sings a lovely duet with Tourangeau, that sounds vaguely similar to the flower duet from Lakme. Then, Tourangeau sings a very seductive aria, one that Denyce Graves would be perfect for, if not for the fact that she doesn't sing in the upper register very well. Tourangeau sings those top notes, and mesmerizes with her chesty tone.A Canadian critic wrote that this opera is like an overstuffed bird, made more palatable when it tastes of Joan Sutherland. It isn't exactly the best opera she ever sang, but it is a role all her own."
Exotic, lush and well-performed - no masterpiece, but very e
G.D. | Norway | 05/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Massenet's early Le roi de Lahore was a stunning success in its time, presumably due to its successful mix of some memorable tunes with sensual exoticism and fantastic escapism. It is a delightfully atmospheric score displaying Massenet's melodic instinct and ability to create varied but usually lush orchestral textures to underpin soaring vocal solos. On the whole it is far from his best work, but it sufficiently well-written and colorful to give you an evening's pleasure. And the National Philharmonic Orchestra plays it splendidly for Richard Bonynge
The soloists are strong as well, with Joan Sutherland on (near) topform as Sita, especially in the higher range (there is a certain lack of power and firmness in the lower register but nothing really to complain about). Luis Lima is generally fine but perhaps not exceptional as Alim, and James Morris's Timour is strong but a little nonchalant. Sherrill Milnes is, however, poignant and full-blooded as Scindia and Nicolai Ghiaurov sings Indra with benevolent regal nobility. On the whole this is a splendid example of Massenet in the French grand opera tradition, but no masterwork by any means (and Massenet did write a couple of those), given a performance and a recorded sound as good as one could reasonably hope for. Firmly recommended."