Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Reviews

La Bohème, Manitoba

Manitoba Opera’s first production in nine years of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème still stirs the heart and inspires tears with its tragic tale of bohemian artists living — and loving — in 1840s Paris.

Arizona Opera Presents Don Pasquale in Tucson

On April 12, 2014, Arizona Opera opened its series of performances of Donizetti's Don Pasquale in Tucson. Chuck Hudson’s production of this opera combined Commedia dell’arte with Hollywood movie history.

Will Don Quichotte Be the Last Production at San Diego Opera?

This quotation from Cervantes was displayed before the opening of the opera’s final scene:

“The greatest madness a man can commit in this life is to let himself die, just like that, without anybody killing him or any other hands ending his life except those of melancholy.”

Gound Faust - Calleja and Terfel, Royal Opera House London

Gounod's Faust makes a much welcomed return to the Royal Opera House. With each new cast, the dynamic changes as the balance between singers shifts and brings out new insights. In that sense, every revival is an opportunity to revisit from new perspectives. This time Bryn Terfel sang Méphistophélès, with Joseph Calleja as Faust - stars whose allure certainly helped fill the hall to capacity. And the audience enjoyed a very good show.

Syracuse Opera’s Porgy and Bess
Got Plenty O’ Plenty

The company ends its 2013-14 season on a high note with a staged performance of Gershwin’s theatrical masterpiece

A New Rusalka in Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka is visually impressive and fulfills all possible expectations musically with unquestioned excitement.

Karlsruhe’s Mixed Blessing Ballo

The reliable Badisches Staatstheater has assembled plenty of talent for its new Un Ballo in Maschera.

Louise Alder, Wigmore Hall

This varied, demanding programme indisputably marked soprano Louise Alder as a name to watch.

Luke Bedford: Through His Teeth, Linbury, Royal Opera House

Can this be the best British opera in years? Luke Bedford’s Through His Teeth at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre is exceptional. Drop everything and go.

Powder Her Face, ENO

As one descends the steel steps into the cavernous bunker of Ambika P3, one seems about to enter rather insalubrious realms — just right one might imagine, then, for an opera which delves into the depths of the seedier side of celebrity life.

Iphigénie Fascinates in the Pfalz

Kaiserslautern’s Pfalztheater has produced a tantalizing realization of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, characterized by intriguing staging, appealing designs, and best of all, superlative musical standards.

ROH presents Cavalli’s L’Ormindo at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London

Never thought I’d say it but......

Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, Wigmore Hall, London

Celebrating the 80th birthday of one of the UK's greatest composers (if not the greatest), this concert was an intriguing, and not always stimulating, mix. Birtwistle with Carter makes sense, but Birtwistle with Adams does not - or at least only within the remit of the concert series. The concert was actually entitled “Nash Inventions: American and British Masterworks, including an 80th Birthday Tribute to Sir Harrison Birtwistle” and was the final concert in the “Inventions” series.

Requiem for a Lost Opera Company

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, General Director Ian Campbell of San Diego Opera announced that the company would go out of business at the end of this season. The next day the company performed their long-planned Verdi Requiem with a stellar cast including soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Piotr Beczala, and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto.

The Met’s Werther a tasty mix of singing, staging, acting and orchestral splendor

Visual elements in Richard Eyre’s striking production offset Massenet’s melodic shortcomings

Chicago’s New Barber of Seville

New productions of repertoire staples such as Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia bear much anticipation for both performers and staging.

Lucia in LA: A Performance to Remember

On March 15, 2014, Los Angeles Opera presented Elkhanah Pulitzer’s production of the opera, which she set in 1885 when women were beginning to be recognized as persons separate from their fathers, brothers and husbands. At that time many European countries were beginning to allow women to own property, obtain higher education, and choose their husbands.

San Diego Opera Presents an All Star Ballo in Maschera

On March 11, 2014, San Diego Opera presented Verdi’s A Masked Ball in a traditional production by Leslie Koenig. Metropolitan Opera star tenor Piotr Beczala was Gustav III, the king of Sweden, and Krassimira Stoyanova gave an insightful portrayal of Amelia, his troubled but innocent love interest.

Anne Schwanewilms, Wigmore Hall

From the moment she walked, resplendent in red, onto the Wigmore Hall platform, Anne Schwanewilms radiated a captivating presence — one that kept the audience enthralled throughout this magnificent programme of Romantic song.

Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera

Magnificent! Following the first night of this new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten, I quipped that I could forgive an opera house anything for musical performance at this level, whether orchestral, vocal, or, in this case, both.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Reviews

Lado Ataneli — Opera Arias
22 Sep 2005

Lado Ataneli — Opera Arias

Baritone Lado Ataneli’s self-titled debut CD contains an impressive selection of arias intended to showcase the singer’s style, range, and versatility.

Lado Ataneli — Opera Arias

Lado Ataneli, baritone; Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ivan Anguélov, Conductor

OEHMS Classics OC 517

 

The liner notes, taken verbatim from Ataneli’s web page (www.ataneli.com), praise the singer as “one of the world’s most sought after interpreters of Verdi, Puccini and verismo roles,” and as such, the disc features Ataneli in fourteen well known musical excerpts from operas by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Ponchielli, Giordano, and Verdi. Regretfully, in the “verismo” canon as with Ponchielli, there is only one selection per composer, and the rest of the tracks are devoted to some of Verdi’s most demanding music for the baritone.

Leoncavallo
Pagliacci: Si puo? (Tonio)

Verdi
Un Ballo in maschera: Alla vita (Renato)
Un Ballo in maschera: Alzati!...Eri tu (Renato)
Rigoletto: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata (Rigoletto)
La Traviata: Di provenza il mar (Giorgo Germont)
Don Carlo: O Carlo, ascolta (Posa)
Otello: Vanne…Credo in un Dio crudel (Iago)
Il Trovatore: Il balen del suo sorriso (Conte di Luna)
Macbeth: Perfidi!...Pieta, rispetto, amore (Macbeth)
Nabucco: Ah prigionero io sono!...Dio di Giuda (Nabucco)
La Forza del Destino: Morir! Tremenda cosa!...Urna fatale del mio destino (Don Carlo)

Puccini
La Fanciulla del West: Minnie, della mia casa son partito (Jack Rance)

Ponchielli
La Gioconda: O monumento! (Barnaba)

Giordano
Andrea Chénier: Nemico della patria?! (Gerard)


After listening to this disc several times, and in spite of some very positive and encouraging reviews of live performances, I cannot warm up to this singer—he can deliver some clear high notes, he has excellent diction, and his instrument has a pleasant timbre and the warm, dark quality required to sing some of these roles. To this listener, however, Ataneli offers little interpretive understanding of the subtleties inherent in each of the characters’ emotions. Through most of the recording Ataneli sounds as though he is holding back or bored (Otello’s Credo, Trovatore’s Il balen del suo sorriso, Pagliacci’s Si puo), that he is singing outside of his range (Ballo’s Alla vita…Alzati…Eri tu!) or that he is singing without knowing what the words mean. Though he has been praised for “glittering high notes and irreproachable legato,” on this recording, he occasionally eliminates or avoids legato, at times the forte is unpleasant, and more than once the heavy vibrato almost becomes an annoying wobble.

Ataneli has been compared to the greatest baritones of yesteryear and hailed as their successor, and in fact his instrument is reminiscent to the likes of Bastianini, Bruson, Milnes, Capuccilli, but listening to this disc makes one wish one were listening to them, instead.

Chénier’s Nemico della patria!, and Rigoletto’s Cortigiani, vi razza dannata come closest to the interpretation which one would expect, and are by far the best tracks in the disc, filled with emotion and conviction. Ataneli’s first disc is sincere, and well intentioned, but marred by some inconsistencies which in time he will overcome, and at a time when there is a dearth of baritones, he is a welcomed addition.

Daniel Pardo

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):