DVD Oct 2017
Label: BelAir Classiques/Naxos
Diana Damrau, Javier Camarena, Ludovic Tézier, Nicolas Testé
Evelino Pidò, conductor
Emilio Sagi, director
A jewel of bel canto, and Bellini’s last masterpice, I Puritani encapsulates every major theme held dear by the Italian romantic generation: a love triangle, quid pro quos, a shattered love affair leading to madness, set in Cromwell’s England with its lot of political rivalries. It is also an ode to resistance and to freedom, echoing the political struggles that the Italian peninsula was facing in the 1830’s. But it is mainly a testament to Bellini’s unique musical brand, a genius combination of melodic brightness, post-rossinian ornaments, and a profound and melancolic lamento that owes much to traditional Neapolitan songs.
It is therefore one of the most vocally demanding opera of the repertoire, and to face this challenge, the Teatro Real of Madrid called on four exceptional singers : the great diva Diana Damrau is Elvira, Javier Camarena is Arturo (both triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera of New York in the same opera in 2017), as well as baritone Ludovic Tézier and bass-baritone Nicolas Testé.
Catalan director Emilio Sagi offers a staging both elegant and simple, and bel canto expert Evelino Pidò, along with the Teatro Real Orchestra and Chorus, brings forth every nuance of this immense and unforgettable score.
The best supporting singer was bass Nicolas Testé, whose rock-bottom notes shone in the group numbers as the dignified Giorgio.