Act One: Scene 1: Ne venne il Re? - Chor of Welsh Nat Opr/Andrew Greenwood
Act One: Scene 1: Ella di me, sollecita - Susanne Mentzer
Act One: Scene 1: Si taciturna e mesta - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 1: Deh! non voler costringere - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 1: Come, innocente giovane - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 1: Non v'ha sguardo cui sia dato - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 1: Oh! qual parlar fu il suo! - Susanne Mentzer
Act One: Scene 1: Tutta in voi la luce mia - Samuel Ramey
Act One: Scene 1: Ah! qual sia cercar non oso - Susanne Mentzer
Act One: Scene 2: Chi veggo? - Giorgio Surian
Act One: Scene 2: Da quel di che, lei perduta - Jerry Hadley
Act One: Scene 2: Ah! cosi nei di ridenti - Jerry Hadley
Act One: Scene 2: Desta so tosto - Samuel Ramey
Act One: Scene 2: Io sentii sulla mia mano - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 2: Or che reso ai patrii lidi - Samuel Ramey
Act One: Scene 2: Questo di per noi spuntato - Chor of Welsh Nat Opr/Andrew Greenwood
Track Listings (12) - Disc #2
Act One: Scene 3: E' sgombro il loco - Bernadette Manca Di Nissa
Act One: Scene 3: Ah! parea che per incanto - Bernadette Manca Di Nissa
Act One: Scene 3: Taci, taci, tropp'oltre vai - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 3: S'ei t'abborre, io t'amo ancora - Jerry Hadley
Act One: Scene 3: Ah! per pieta del mio spavento - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 3: Alcun potria ascoltarti - Joan Sutherland
Act One: Scene 3: Tace ognuno - Samuel Ramey
Act One: Scene 3: In separato carcere - Samuel Ramey
Act Two: Scene 1: Oh! dove mai ne andarono - Susanne Mentzer
Act Two: Scene 1: Dio, che mim vedi in core - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 1: Al par del mio - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 1: Va, infelice - Joan Sutherland
Track Listings (17) - Disc #3
Act Two: Scene 2: Ebben? Dinanzi ai giudici - Chor of Welsh Nat Opr/Andrew Greenwood
Act Two: Scene 2: Scostatevi...il Re giunge - Ernesto gavazzi
Act Two: Scene 2: Ambo morrete, o perfidi - Samuel Ramey
Act Two: Scene 2: Al Consiglio sien tratti - Samuel Ramey
Act Two: Scene 2: Sposa a Percy - Samuel Ramey
Act Two: Scene 2: Per questa fiamma indomita - Susanne Mentzer
Act Two: Scene 2: Stolta! Non sai... - Samuel Ramey
Act Two: Scene 2: Ah! pensate che rivolti - Susanne Mentzer
Act Two: Scene 3: Tu pur dannato a morte - Jerry Hadley
Act Two: Scene 3: Vivi tu, te ne scongiuro - Jerry Hadley
Act Two: Scene 3: Nel veder la tua costanza - Jerry Hadley
Act Two: Scene 3: Chi puo vederla a ciglio asciutto - Susanne Mentzer
Act Two: Scene 3: Piangete voi? - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 3: Al dolce guidami - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 3: Qual mesto suon? - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 3: Cielo, a' miei lunghi spasimi - Joan Sutherland
Act Two: Scene 3: Coppia iniqua, l'estrema vendetta - Joan Sutherland
Sutherland, never noted for dramatic intensity, seemed more at home in roles that appealed to sentimentality rather than the tragic emotions of pity and fear. She still had that appeal and a voice in prime condition whe... more »n this, her second Sonnambula, was recorded. Her appealing, uncomplicated musical personality is just right for this simple, innocent little story of a peasant girl who sleepwalks into--and later out of--a compromising situation that temporarily endangers her impending marriage. She has been given a supporting cast that is (with occasional small lapses) a joy to the ears. --Joe McLellan« less
Sutherland, never noted for dramatic intensity, seemed more at home in roles that appealed to sentimentality rather than the tragic emotions of pity and fear. She still had that appeal and a voice in prime condition when this, her second Sonnambula, was recorded. Her appealing, uncomplicated musical personality is just right for this simple, innocent little story of a peasant girl who sleepwalks into--and later out of--a compromising situation that temporarily endangers her impending marriage. She has been given a supporting cast that is (with occasional small lapses) a joy to the ears. --Joe McLellan
"This CD was recorded and released to coincide with Sutherland's performance as Anna Bolena in Covent Garden in 1988. These proved to be her last perfomances in a full operatic role in that House. I bought the recording on vinyl after attending the opening night in Covent Gardne and later replaced it with the CD version.
I have heard and concur with all those who write amount the many incredible qualities of the Sutherland voice in her earlier recordings, the voice and technique is unbelieveable. Anna Bolena for the heroine is a huge role and it suits the later Sutherland voice, what's lost in the ability to open her mouth and produce subliminal vocal pyrotechnics is compensated by an artist who portrays vunerabilty which is, for me is the main focus of the score.
The voice is totally Sutherland, the middle voice is rich and lucious, the (very) high notes ringing and clear but age brings a vibrato and slight beat to the tone that adds to the pathos and does not detract from the pleasure of listening to a mistress of her craft. The acting, phrasing, diction and artistry (which all got better as she got older) she produces far outweigh the loss of vocal power her age brings and produce for me a memorable and one of my favourite recordings. Her lack of acting abilit is often discussed, having seen her on stage in this role and listened to the recording she is as good as any actor or actress I have ever seen on an operatic stage (I am sure there are better, and may worse).Sutherland compared to what she could produce in the 1960's, 70's or early 80's may not be the same, but at this stage in her career she still commands a beauty of voice and technique that no one I have heard today can match."
Sutherland does a wonderful job in a great recording!
Ygor | Brazil | 06/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The other reviewers emphasized the comparison between Sutherland in her early days and in her late career. Here the question is not that, but what Joan Sutherland can do in this recording. Every singer and Sutherland herself in her late years will be nothing if we compare them with the young Sutherland, a vocal miracle which will never be heard again.
Joan Sutherland was 61 years old when this Anna Bolena was recorded. Her voice had darkened and lost some vocal power, but it's not unsufficient or terrible (!!) as some exagerated reviews said before. It would be wonderful if Sutherland had recorded it in the period between 1975 and 1980, but here she does a real wonderful job. Her dramatic skills are in her ultimate best, her diction is much better. Thus, we have a more moving and thrilling Anna Bolena than we could have ever had. Her high notes are still wonderful and she has gained an amazing low register, which emphasizes the dramatic parts of the opera. Her vibrato is really a bit too present, but it doesn't bother me when I hear so many qualities in her voice.
Susanne Mentzer does a wonderful performance here, with a youthful and beautiful voice. Samuel Ramey is known as one of the best interprets of Enrico VIII and Jerry Hadley could be considered the best Percy ever. Bonynge's conducting is amazing as always.
This recording is highly recommended, especially if you are looking for good interpretation and not simply good singing."
SUTHERLAND'S COMMANDING 'ANNA BOLENA"
Ygor | 06/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It would have been wonderful if Sutherland would have put this role in her repertoire and recorded it ten years earlier. Her voice by the time of this recording (1987) had worn and taken on a gray quality, but after all, she was sixty at the time this recording took place. The technical command is still present, however, and she projects the text better and more clearly than she would have a decade earlier. All in all, an authorative performance from a great soprano at the end of her career. Sutherland is given excellent support from the other principals as well. Samuel Ramey sings a booming Henry VIII. and Jerry Hadley contributes a lyrical Percy, though he sounds a little stressed at the top. Suzanne Mentzer is a youthful Jane Seymour, contrasting well with Sutherland's mature timbre in their big duet. Richard Bonynge shapes the opera dramatically and keeps things moving. This is an excellent representation of Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" and is certainly worthy of a strong recommendation. It's only real competition is the EMI live recording with the Anna Bolena of Maria Callas, who, of course, sings the spots of the role, and who has an excellent Jane Seymour in Gulietta Simionato. But this La Scala performance is heavily cut, and the sound is typical 1957 radio transcription sound. If one is really interested in the opera, they might want to consider owning both versions, since they document the work of two of this operatic century's greatest divas in one of the most taxing roles in the bel canto repertoire."
Past her prime? Maybe, but I'll take Dame Joan anyday!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dame Joan was 62 at the time of this recording. However, I would take Dame Joan at 62 over singers half her age anyday. Her sound isn't as fresh as it was ten or twenty years earlier and the flexibility is slightly diminished. But think about who we are talking about here. Dame Joan singing with diminished resources is still a heck of a lot better than most. Her voice did darken with age, but I would not, under any circumstances, say that Dame Joan's voice was ever ugly. Even up to her very last performance in 1990, it was still that special Sutherland sound. She was able to make many people very happy by performing well into her mid 60's. This recording is an example of just that. Dame Joan's interpretation of Bolena is tragic and emotional and I'm glad that she added it to her repertoire before she retired. Sutherland was more successful at comic roles early in her career, and she was admittedly never a born actress such as Sills or certainly the great Callas. However, as she got older, her interpretations matured as well. dame Joan would not be as convincing in this complex role if she had done it twenty years earlier. Vocally she would have been great, but there is more to it than that. Listen to Act II when Seymore confesses to Anna. At first, Anna is FURIOUS, then full of sorrow, and finally at peace and forgives Seymore (though I think she is secretly thinking ha ha ha you can't even be mad at me now which increases your suffering all the more!) all within ten minutes of music. Sutherland is emotionally perfect here, maybe not as fresh sounding as twenty years ago, but to me (an opera singer in training) opera should be more than just the most beautiful sound possible. Past her prime, sure, but still beautiful nevertheless, ABSOLUTELY!Note: One of the previous reviews is incorrect. There is no E flat in alt at the end of the mad scene. The end of the mad scene is transposed down a full step top accomodate Dame Joan's diminished resources. You instead get a glorious D flat in alt. Dosent' bother me in the least however."
WAY PAST HER PRIME
Ygor | 10/22/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am sorry to say that this recording should never have been made with Joan Sutherland. I love her younger recordings, but she just didn't age well, I will give her an A+ for effort, I mean she still throws out the high notes (as pinched and ugly that they are) even gives us a high e flat at the end of the mad scene. But Joan was just too old at this point to do the role justice. If you want a well accomplished recording turn to Beverly Sills, she mastered this role and recorded it in the prime of her wornderful voice. Don't waste your money on this recording unless you just love Dame Joan so much you have to have all that she recorded to the bitter end."