Sunday, October 28, 2007

Upcoming release of Zanetto on Elysium records

I just got notice that Elysium Records will release a new CD of Zanetto. Here is the press release:

October 3, 2007

Elysium Records is proud to announce its upcoming release of Mascagni’s Zanetto.

Peter Tiboris leads the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmony, with acclaimed soloists Jennifer Larmore as Zanetto and Eilana Lappalainen as Sylvia.

Last June at Carnegie Hall, Maestro Tiboris conducted the first New York performance of Zanetto since 1902. And this past summer, he presented the opera’s Greek premiere on the island of Syros as part of the Festival of the Aegean.

Zanetto will be released in Spring 2008 and also includes intermezzi from L’amico Fritz and Cavalleria rusticana.

Elysium Records is distributed worldwide by Qualiton Imports, Inc.

Zanetto is a wonderful little opera, which premiered on March 2, 1896, while Mascagni was the head of the Liceo Musicale G. Rossini in Pesaro. With only two female singers and an opening chorus (which is even omitted in the recent DVD with Denia Mazzola), it is quite easy to stage and perform.

The Italian libretto is an almost direct translation from a French text by François Coppée entitled Le passant. The piece is a conversation between Zanetto, a young troubadour in search of love, and Silvia, an experienced courtisane, taking place during a peaceful evening outside renaissance Florence. Zanetto is unaware of Silvia's complex life, but manages to trouble her enough that she considers keeping him around. She finally realizes that she would only make him unhappy and sends him back on his way to Florence. While there is absolutely no action taking place, just psychological development, the opera develops a fascinating musical atmosphere and has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Zanetto deserves to be performed more often.

There are at least five recorded versions of Zanetto which have been (more or less) available over the years, with various levels of sound and artistic quality. A definitive edition of this wonderful little opera has yet to appear, and I do hope that this version will be a welcome addition to the discography.

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