A Rare Treat for French Opera Enthusiasts
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 01/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There used to be a record store in Cambridge, MA that prided itself on having the best selection of classical music as far as quality is concerned. Usually the titles were not the familiar best sellers, but shoppers were always able to find wonderful selections that no other retailer carried. It was in this store I first discovered this disc of French opera arias performed by tenor Laurence Dale. Since so few tenors actually delve into this repertoire, Dale has little competition, but even if other recordings existed, Dale's rendition of the arias would excel. The only mainstream aria of the collection is "Salut, demeure chaste" from Gounod's FAUST. Other arias that might be familiar include selections from Adam's LA POSTILLON DE LONGJUMEAU (he strains a bit on this aria, but given its difficulty this can be forgiven), Boieldieu's LA DAME BLANCHE, Thomas' MIGNON and "Vianement ma biene-aimee" from Lalo's LE ROI D'YS, which happened to be a favorite of Gigli (the tenor, not the movie). The other arias are lesser known but also performed well.There are some recordings from tenors of an earlier generation of these works, but Dale gives a new life to them for modern audiences and is certainly a disc that will be enjoyed by French opera enthusiasts as well as those who love excellent singing."