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Having previously directed much-admired recordings of both 'Orfeo' and 'Poppea' (not forgetting the madrigal books), Claudio Cavina now turns his attention to the enduring Homeric-inspired tale of constancy and virtue first performed in Venice over 350 years ago, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. Conscious of the restrictions inherent in the single surviving score, now kept in Vienna, and that it is likely that Monteverdi was not the only composer involved for the original production, Cavina brings his deep understanding to bear on Monteverdi’s inspiration. In this latest artistic endeavour Claudio Cavina is joined by the instrumentalists of La Venexiana and a superb group of singers: Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani as Ulisse; Josè Maria La Monaco as Penelope; Makoto Sakurada and Roberta Mameli have starring roles and Cavina, himself, takes a singing role.
6th May 2012
“Lovelier voices than those of Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani and Jose Maria Lo Monaco have sung Ulysses and Penelope on disc, but few have been more moving in their final reconciliation. Roberta Mameli is an incisive Minerva, Salvo Vitale a cavernous Neptune, while Francesca Lombardi’s Melanto and Makoto Sakurada’s Eurimaco — doubling as Telemachus — make aural sex of their ecstatic love scene. An enthralling set.”
31st May 2012
“The tone of the performance, dramatically expressive and crisply conversational, is set by Calvina himself; as well as conducting, his is the first voice to be heard, singing the role of Human Frailty in the prologue, and the sense of an ensemble performance is consistently conveyed...both José Maria Lo Monaco as Penelope and Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani as Ulysses are wonderfully, humanely characterised”
“There may be a touch too much vibrato for some, but it's not a sign of over-indulgence. Overall, this is a measured, well-paced performance in which the drama is propulsive rather than emotionally lingering or excessively probing...Cavina manages to integrate all characters great and small - the opera has never sounded more like a simmering pot of Venetian Carnival vaudeville - which is surely what it is.”
7th July 2012
“Rhythms are well-sprung and tempi flexible. A well-schooled, youthful cast is led by Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani’s Ulysses and Josè Maria Lo Monaco’s Penelope, and the advantage of Italians singing in their mother tongue is self-evident. But it is not the most expressive of performances”
“this account by La Veneziana is one of the more lively versions on CD...Makoto Sakurada (who plays Telemaco and Eurimaco) has the finest voice; strong, responsive and agile...It is therefore a real disappointment that Ulisse (Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani) himself is so unfocused and weak...this performance never loses sight of Monteverdi's dramatic pace, and the intrumental playing throughout is more than commendable.”
9th December 2012
“Thanks to a hand-picked cast almost entirely made up of native speakers, Badoraro’s words are delivered with as much clarity as Monteverdi’s music.”
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