Rossini: Sigismondo

Reviewed on Fri 04 Aug, 2017

The singing is really good throughout, the lead singers excitingly so. Margarita Gritskova has a wide range and maintains her vocal quality at both extremes.

This is a live recording of a rarely performed opera. Sigismondo (King of Poland) believes that his wife, Aldimira, has been executed on his instructions, his prime minister, Ladislao, having falsely ‘proved’ her to have been unfaithful. Her father, King Ulderico, is about to go to war with Poland in revenge. However, Aldimira is alive and called Egelinda, daughter of Zenovito. After a somewhat complex plot husband and wife are re-united, likewise father and daughter. When it transpires that the background story occurred fifteen years previously, it makes doubts about Aldimira’s identity more understandable. The opera focuses on Sigismondo's and Ladislao's feelings of guilt, and on the former’s related bouts of madness. The singing is really good throughout, the lead singers excitingly so. Margarita Gritskova has a wide range and maintains her vocal quality at both extremes. Kenneth Tarver, the villain here, would make a great hero with his beautiful voice. Marcell Barkonyi’s bass and Maria Aleida’s soprano voices are a joy to hear, and the entire cast sings with virtuosity. The libretto is only available online and in Italian. There are some background noises, presumably of movement on stage, which is a pity. Despite this, and the difficulty in following the drama unless you understand Italian, this set is a pleasure to listen to because of the fantastic rendering of Rossini's wonderful music.
–Ruth Piatkus