Carlo Rizzi – Leoncavallo: Zingari (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Carlo Rizzi – Leoncavallo: Zingari (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:04:23 minutes | 583 MB | Genre: Classical, Opera
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Opera Rara

Deadly ménage-à-trois: new setting of Leoncavallo’s rarely performed opera Zingari “A better rendition of Leoncavallo’s fiery, sensual opera about a love triangle is hard to imagine,” The Guardian wrote of Carlo Rizzi’s rehearsal of the opera Zingari. Now the setting of the rarely performed work appears both on CD and digitally on the Opera Rara label. Starring in the deadly ménage-à-trois are the much-celebrated Bulgarian star soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, Armenian tenor Arsen Soghomonyan, and as his rival, U.S. baritone Stephen Gaertner.

This passionate love story is based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin from 1827 and was a sensational success when it was first performed in London in 1912. Composed in the style of true-to-life verismo, Leoncavallo’s opera hit the nerve of the time and was performed almost non-stop in London and the USA during that season, before the work soon fell into oblivion.

Under Carlo Rizzi’s baton, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra breathes new life into the richly colored orchestration. In seductive arias and powerful choral passages, the tragic story of the spirited and lighthearted Roma girl Fleana unfolds. On the banks of the Danube, she first turns the head of the nobleman Radu, who joins the Roma camp to be close to his beloved. Then the beauty hears another lover – and fate takes its course.

Ruggero Leoncavallo was one of history’s great exemplars of the one-hit wonder, with I Pagliacci (1892) being his most popular opera from the start. Leoncavallo tried to match its success for several decades, and with Zingari (“Gypsies”), he came close; the opera ran for hundreds of performances in London and also did well in the U.S. One can see what the English liked about it. It is classed as a verismo opera with its tale of a nobleman falling in love with a Romani girl who in turn falls for one of her compatriots, but until the later stages, it also has aspects of operetta, with slightly cheesy faux-Romani melodies, peppy choruses, short length (what s here is just over an hour), and a generally diatonic harmonic palette. It is as if Arthur Sullivan had undertaken a story of this kind. Zingari has occasionally been recorded, but this release, made in conjunction with a 2021 live concert performance, is probably the top choice. There’s a veteran conductor, Carlo Rizzi, getting a good deal of energy out of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and some singers — soprano Krassimira Stoyanova as the girl Fleana, Arsen Soghomonyan as the nobleman Radu, and Stephen Gaertner as his rival Tamar — who shine in the work’s profusion of solo arias and romantic duets. Kudos to the Opera Rara label, which has done fine work with Leoncavallo; this opera, with the moderate resources required, would be excellent for university productions and the like. The fact that this now little-known opera showed up on classical best-seller lists in the fall of 2022 shows the possibilities. – James Manheim

1-1. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: Overture (03:27)
1-2. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “C’è uno straniero” (Tamar, il Vecchio) (01:21)
1-3. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Ah! taci! non lo dir!” (Tamar, the Old Man) (01:25)
1-4. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Son qui! Ah!” (Chorus) (01:01)
1-5. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Fleana! Zingara del mio cuor” (the Old man, Fleana) (01:54)
1-6. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Principe! Radu io son” (Radu) (02:31)
1-7. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “E sia! Rimani all’ombra” (the Old Man, Fleana) (00:44)
1-8. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Zingari! Le mie nozze” (Fleana, Chorus) (01:29)
1-9. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Eccolo finalmente il sogno!” (Radu, Fleana, Chorus) (05:55)
1-10. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Chi è nell’ombra?” (Fleana, Radu, Tamar) (03:16)
1-11. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Addormentarmi, accarezzarmi” (Fleana) (02:11)
1-12. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “O solamente mia!” (Radu, Tamar, Chorus, the Old man) (00:33)
1-13. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Disciogli i balenanti” (Chorus, the Old Man, Radu) (01:31)
1-14. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “La la la la!” (Fleana) (01:41)
1-15. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Ora congiungi” (Fleana, the Old Man, Radu, Chorus) (01:51)
1-16. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Ah! Canto notturno” (Tamar, Fleana, Radu) (02:16)
1-17. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Tutta la vita mia ti donerò” (Radu, Fleana) (01:22)
1-18. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: Intermezzo (04:38)
1-19. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Presto! Ognuno rientri” (Chorus, Tamar) (01:13)
1-20. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Ho guidato al bivacco la tribù” (Tamar, Fleana) (00:53)
1-21. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “M’attendevi? Fleana io t’ho pensato” (Radu) (01:26)
1-22. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Rientra” (Radu, Fleana) (01:28)
1-23. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “No! Qualcuno s’aggira” (Radu, Fleana) (01:55)
1-24. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Tagliami! Abbruciami ma vi disprezzo” (Fleana, Radu) (04:08)
1-25. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Perduto! Tutto!” (Radu) (02:20)
1-26. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Canto notturno” (Tamar) (03:20)
1-27. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Radu? Dorme!” (Tamar, Fleana) (00:49)
1-28. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Bella! Bella! Sei qui tutta fremente!” (Tamar, Fleana) (04:07)
1-29. Carlo Rizzi – Zingari: “Fleana! Ove sei?’ (Radu, Tamar, Fleana, Chorus, the Old Man) (03:24)


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