ALFANO, F.: Cyrano de Bergerac (Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", 2007)

ALFANO, F.: Cyrano de Bergerac (Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", 2007)


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- (Disc 1)
Cyrano de Bergerac

Date of Production: 2007
Venue: Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", Valencia
Playing Time: 02:21:34
Catalogue Number: A93001726

Domingo creates the magical illusion that Alfano wrote the role especially for him: Domingo de Bergerac" (review of the premiere in the Madrid daily ABC). Plácido Domingo's triumph in Valencia's stunningly futuristic theater El Palau de les Arts in February 2007 echoes the overwhelmingly positive reception he obtained at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in this role. A coproduction of the New York, London and Valencia houses, Franco Alfano's little-known 1936 opera Cyrano de Bergerac has been reawakened to life by the great Spanish tenor. Although Alfano (1875-1954) enjoyed a long and prolific career as an opera composer, he is known today above all for having completed Puccini's Turandot. His earlier works not surprisingly reflect Puccini's verismo style, but his later works - including Cyrano de Bergerac - are clearly inspired by Debussy, Ravel and Strauss. Opulent scoring and colorful orchestral effects elegantly underscore the tragic story based on Rostand's famous drama of 1897, which achieved international celebrity in the Oscar-nominated 1990 film adaptation with Gérard Depardieu. Alfano's work faithfully relates the story of the large-nosed soldier poet who pines for the beautiful Roxane and writes her glowing love letters in the name of his fellow soldier Christian, who also loves her.

At an age when most singers start contemplating retirement, Domingo unearthed this opera, which was premiered in Rome in 1936, and added the role of Cyrano to his repertoire - as the 121st of his career! Domingo had long been looking for a new role that was both a vocal and dramatic challenge. He was particularly delighted by the role's "anti-hero" quality. "It's a beautiful role", he asserts, "and I'm so happy I could discover it this late in my career."

With his charismatic stage presence, Domingo clearly dominates the production, directed by Michal Znaniecki and conducted by Patrick Fournillier, one of France's leading conductors. Nevertheless, his
pairing with American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky could hardly be more felicitous, as she brings a full, dramatic voice that rises effortlessly above the work's luxuriant orchestration. The many supporting roles are equally well cast and accompanied by the expressively playing Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana and the Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana.

Part 1

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