Paisiello is never as ample in musical conception nor as infinite in musical variety as the two composers with whom he is always compared - Mozart and Rossini - but what he does (expressive simplicity), he does very well. This production represents his musical virtues convincingly, as other reviewers have already declared. My only problem is with Cecilia Bartoli. She sings so well that I hate to grumble about her acting. However, somebody needs to point out that she consistently over-acts, hams and grimaces, flaunts and flounders. She's such a quaint dumpling of a "contadina" that only a good deal of restraint could make her stage-presence appropriate for the love-maddened, spiritualized Nina. Now I've had my say. Buy the disk anyway; it's a good piece of music, very well sung.
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Aug 14, 2010
Aug 31, 2010 06:58 PM UTC
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The eponymous heroine of Paisiellos Nina had a far-reaching influence on the operatic taste of the Romantic era. The mad heroines of Bellini and Donizetti are her direct descendants. Driven out of her wits by the supposed death of her lover, Lindoro, the role of Nina offers a wealth of opportunity for histrionic and vocal fireworks. In this live recording from the Zurich Opera of a revival of Cesare Lievis highly successful 1998 production, Cecilia Bartoli triumphs as Nina. Opera Magazine wrote, "Her sudden changes of emotional gear are constantly surprising The colour-range of her voice is truly stupendous, while the sound itself reflects a sun-backed mellowness, as if fuelled by solar energy Her Nina is a tour de force, which leaves one in a state of stupefaction . While Adam Fischer mined the score for all its perfumed period flavour".