V.F.O. (Veterans of Foreign Operas)
Paul A. Dunphy | Bogota, New Jersey USA | 02/13/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"To paraphrase G.B. Shaw, Joan Sutherland sings Adriana and Carlo Bergonzi sings Maurizio...and they're both old enough to know better!
As Dame Joan's career was winding down, she decided to tackle several verismo roles - Adriana Lecouvreur among them. As on her video from the Australian Opera's production, it was a serious miscalculation. Her singing is effortful and lacking in any chest voice. There is no dramatic bite and her spoken Italian in the monologues is embarassing.
Carlo Bergonzi is painful to listen to. Even with transpositions, he can't seem to sing on pitch. Two singers who should have given this opera a pass.
Cleopatra Ciurca's mezzo is several sizes too small for the Principessa. Leo Nucci's Michonnet is pleasant.
Richard Bonynge seems to hold the orchestra back and the lush orchestral passages are passed over with little care. The whole thing comes off as a big bore and only confirms the work's lack of popularity.
Fortunately, there are enough fine recordings of this opera to choose from. Recordings are available starring Scotto, Tebaldi, Olivero and Caballe. If you want Joan and Carlo, pick recordings from their prime and leave this one alone!"
Rocco R. Seeno | 04/13/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded too late in either Sutherland's or Begonzi's careers! Should have been done fifteen years earlier with Pavarotti! Wobbling and warbling at times instead of lyrical singing! Rest of the cast is fine and singing is very good as is orchestra. Beautiful music is marred by the leads' attempt at singing. Why did Decca ever release this one during both singers' lifetimes? Surely Joan couldn't have approved of this recording. Doesn't do either' reputations any good. Hard to listen to at times."