Mercadante: Virginia

Opera Rara: ORC39

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Mercadante: Virginia

Label:

Opera Rara

Catalogue No:

ORC39

Discs:

2

Release date:

2nd Feb 2009

Barcode:

0792938003924

Length:

2 hours 35 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Mercadante: Virginia


Susan Patterson (Virginia), Paul Charles Clarke (Appio), Stefano Antonucci (Virginio), Charles Castronovo (Icilio), Andrew Foster-Williams (Marco), Katherine Manley (Tullia), Mark Le Brocq (Valerio)

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir & London Philharmonic Orchestra, Maurizio Benini

CD - 2 discs

$29.50

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Every leading Italian operatic composer of the first six decades of the 19th century had problems with censors. Verdi’s disputes over Rigoletto and Un ballo in maschera were notorious, but many other works by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti were rewritten to appease the arbiters of what was deemed morally, religiously or politically correct.

An extreme reaction to the censor’s red pencil is provided by the last of Saverio Mercadante’s works to reach the stage. Virginia, completed in 1850, was not performed until 1866 because the composer simply refused to make alterations; it was only after a regime change in 1860–1 that he premiered his score at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples. Like his stirring Orazi e Curiazi of 1846, recorded by Opera Rara on ORC12, Virginia is set in ancient Rome, where the heroine (sung by Susan Patterson), daughter of the soldier Virginio (Stefano Antonucci), is assailed by the corrupt and powerful Appio (Paul Charles Clarke) as part of an ongoing conflict between patricians and plebeians that ends with Virginia’s father stabbing her rather than relinquish his daughter to their oppressor. Opera Rara revived Virginia in concert back in 1976, and now presents the work’s CD debut as part of our ongoing commitment to the music of one of 19th century opera’s most fascinating figures.

The 2CD set comes with a lavishly illustrated book including a complete libretto with an English translation and introduction by Jeremy Commons.

Saverio Mercadante: Virginia

Act I: Introduction

Act I Scene 1: Qui Roma (Chorus)

Act I Scene 1: Ahime! … Ahime! … (Chorus)

Act I Scene 1: Si vegga la gioia (Chorus)

Act I Scene 2: Cavatina: Di sozza la gioia (Appio)

Act I Scene 3: Cavatina: Alfin tu giungi! … (Appio)

Act I Scene 4: Cavatina: Al cor furente ed ebro (Appio)

Act I Scene 5: La, della madre (Tullia, Maidens)

Act I Scene 5: Cavatina: Figlia, ti scuoti (Tullia)

Act I Scene 5: Cavatina: Icilio, quel magnanimo (Maidens)

Act I Scene 6: Scene and Trio: Tullie, se m'ami (Virginia, Tullia, Appio)

Act I Scene 7: Scene and Trio: Virginia? (Appio, Virginia, Icilio)

Act I Scene 7: Scene and Trio: Come! … Il ver discerno? (Appio, Virginia, Icilio)

Act I Scene 8: Scene and Trio: Paventa insano (Icilio, Appio, Virginia)

Act I Scene 8: Scene and Trio: Dell' odio antico (Appio, Virginia, Icilio)

Act I Scene 8: Scene and Trio: Calcando il mio cadavere (Icilio, Appio, Virginia)

Act II Scene 1: Scene and Aria: Eccomi alfin (Virginio)

Act II Scene 1: Scene and Aria: Oh! quante volte (Virginio)

Act II Scene 1: Scene and Aria: Oh! me infelice! … (Virginia)

Act II Scene 2: Scene and Duet: Virginio! (Icilio, Virginio)

Act II Scene 2: Scene and Duet: Allor che avvinti (Icilio, Virginia)

Act II Scene 3: Scene and Duet: Eccone a te (Tullia, Maidens)

Act II Scene 3: Scene and Duet: La gioia di quest' anima (Icilio, Virginia)

Act II Scene 4: Finale: Dallo stellato empireo (Priests)

Act II Scene 5: Finale: Fermate … (Marco)

Act II Scene 6: Finale: Iniquo! (Icilio)

Act II Scene 6: Finale: Ne ti ritraggi (Icilio)

Act II Scene 6: Finale: Ah! perfido! (Icilio)

Act III Scene 1: Scene and Duet: Si, ch'egli lasci (Appio, Marco)

Act III Scene 2: Scene and Duet: Ad ora Tarda (Icilio, Appio)

Act III Scene 2: Scene and Duet: Si opporrebbe (Appio, Icilio)

Act III Scene 2: Scene and Duet: Tant'osi? (Appio, Icilio)

Act III Scene 3: Scene and Duet: Come insensata giace (Tullia, Maidens)

Act III Scene 3: Scene and Duet: Sacri Penati (Virginia, Virginio)

Act III Scene 3: Scene and Duet: Che fia? (Tullia, Maidens)

Act III Scene 5: Scene and Finale: In vestimenti squallidi (Populace)

Act III Final Scene: Mira d'innanzi (Appio)

Act III Final Scene: All' empia sentenza (Virginio, Virginia, Tullia, Valerio, Populace)

Act III Final Scene: Nera idea! … (Virginio)

Act III Final Scene: Ah! m'odi almeno (Virginio)

Act III Final Scene: Ch'io t'annodi (Virginia)

Act III Final Scene: Or sian divisi (Appio)

BBC Music Magazine

May 2009

****

“…Maurizio Benini draws a strong and stylish performance from the London Philharmonic, and the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir makes vivid contributions. Susan Patterson… delivers her opening cabaletta with bravura and generally discloses a soprano of impressive amplitude.”

Gramophone Magazine

June 2009

“Maurizio Benini conducts with appreciative understanding of the traditions and his players bring out the full flavour of Mercadante's imaginative score. …the only soloist of whom much is asked in the way of florid singing is the soprano, and Susan Patterson has mastered the technical difficulties of her role with impressive success.”

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