Reviewed on Mon 29 Jul, 2013
This is Rossini’s Paris version (in French) of his Naples opera, Maometto II. Very dramatic it is, too, and full of martial music, making the admirable choir and orchestra hugely important, as they help tell much of the story. The choir’s beautiful rendering of “Devin prophète” (written especially for Paris) in Act II is particularly noteworthy. Majella Cullagh’s brilliant technique carries her through the more florid passages with apparent ease, but the full sweetness of her voice is best shown in her prayer in Act III (“Juste ciel! Ah, ta clémence…”). Lorenzo Regazzo has a pleasing, at times quite lyrical, bass. Indeed, all the cast sing well in this exciting performance; Michael Spyres is outstandingly good. This is a live recording – and an excellent one at that – but unfortunately no libretto is included.