Saturday, February 5, 2011

Georges Bizet - Djamileh - Popp, Bonisolli, Lafont, Pineau; Gardelli, BR







Djamileh is not Carmen, but by the same token Carmen is not Djamileh. Djamileh also is not the Pearl Fishers though it is closer to it. This one-act opera stands on its own, showing in what very different and original ways Bizet couldGardelli rise to a challenge. The story of the slave girl and the variety seeker may have  produced a delicious frisson in the breasts of the corsetted 19th century audience, but now it is both politically incorrect and not overly interesting. Nevertheless, Bizet lavishes some splendid music, in many instances quite far in advance of its time, on this work. Lucia Popp sings with a melting sweetness that should win any heart even if you cannot make out most of her words. Franco Bonisolli in the unsympathetic tenor role matches her perfectly. Gardelli makes it all fit together, including the splashes of "oriental color", bringing the best from his orchestra and choir.


flac, covers

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