Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

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Lance
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Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by Lance » Fri May 18, 2018 12:30 pm

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... _QL65_.jpg

I grew up with the Sutherland/Horne/Bonynge London LP recordings of Rossini's Semiramide, to me one of his greatest operas in the best of the bel canto traditions. The opera has not seen very many complete recordings, with or without cuts. And from what I've read in reviews, that British Decca recording [475 7918, 3 CDs, recorded in 1966] is still ranked among the best available recordings. It was released by Decca on CD the first time in 2004. But in 1965, the same trio of performers gave a presentation with the Boston Sopera Company, which appeared on VAI [1123, 3 CDs, stereo], which predates the Decca recording. I never got the VAI because I was thrilled with the Decca set. Does anyone have both, the Decca and VAI sets to advise how the singing compares and how the opera comes off generally?

Another stereo performance came forth on DGG [437 797, 3 CDs] in 1994 featuring in the top billing Cheryl Studer, Jennifer Larmore, and Samuel Ramey with Ion Marin conducting. Again, still too satisfied with the Sutherland/Decca to acquire the DGG set though I have heard sections of it.

So, what is the verdict for those who know and love the opera and have the recordings? Does the Sutherland/Decca still rise to the fore for you?
Lance G. Hill
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lennygoran
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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by lennygoran » Fri May 18, 2018 8:17 pm

Lance wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:30 pm
to me one of his greatest operas in the best of the bel canto traditions. The opera has not seen very many complete recordings, with or without cuts.
Lance after having never seen it we've now seen it twice in a two year period-Wilmington Delaware Opera and the Met-loved it both times! Regards, Len :D

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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by Lance » Mon May 21, 2018 10:25 pm

Listened to the entire opera tonight. BOTH, Sutherland and Horne are incredible. Both are at their peak when this recording was made. The remastering is superb.
Lance G. Hill
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maestrob
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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by maestrob » Tue May 22, 2018 9:58 am

I have the MET telecast with Renee Fleming on DVD, and it's a stunner. I'll have to acquire the Sutherland/Horne version: I've put it off for years, as I rarely listen to opera CDs any more.

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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by Lance » Tue May 22, 2018 11:32 am

I must also say that the supporting cast in this recording does not hold a candle to Sutherland and Horne. I was hugely surprised at some of the male voices that were disappointing and out of the grandeur of this great opera. Other cast members included Joseph Rouleau, John Serge, Spiro Malas, Leslie Fyson, Michael Langdon, and Patricia Clark.
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barney
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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by barney » Wed May 23, 2018 5:54 pm

The Sutherland-Bonynge is the only version I have, somewhat to my surprise. It's not an opera I know well, but I don't feel the lack of an alternative account.

lennygoran
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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by lennygoran » Wed May 23, 2018 8:22 pm

barney wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 5:54 pm
It's not an opera I know well
Barney it's an opera I've listened to a lot over the years but had not ever seen it done live-then it was done down in Wilmington Delaware live 2 years ago-wonderful-then the Met brought it back this season-a superb opera experience--a great cast! Regards, Len :D

March 14, 2018



SEMIRAMIDE {35}
Gioachino Rossini/Gioachino/Votaire

Semiramide..............Angela Meade
Arsace..................Elizabeth DeShong
Assur...................Ildar Abdrazakov
Azema...................Sarah Shafer
Idreno..................Javier Camarena
Oroe....................Ryan Speedo Green
Nino's Ghost............Jeremy Galyon
Mitrane.................Kang Wang

Conductor...............Maurizio Benini

Production..............John Copley
Set Designer............John Conklin
Costume Designer........Michael Stennett
Lighting Designs........John Froelich
Stage Director..........Roy Rallo

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Re: Rossini's "Semiramide" (Complete opera)

Post by Lance » Thu May 24, 2018 12:00 am

I, too, don't feel the need for another Rossini Semiramide; Sutherland's and Horne's contributions still make the mid-1960s recording worthwhile. The Gramophone review kind of highlights the problems I have with the Decca set with the male singers. The recorded quality is excellent. There is also a live, 1968 Sutherland performance with Monica Sinclair, Bonynge conductor on the Bravissimo label (no catalogue number I can find on the set). This is a budget-priced boxed set that also contains six other live operas with memorable casts/conductors.

Here's a link to the Gramophone review on the Decca set.
https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/ros ... miramide-0
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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