Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



9780393088953.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Reviews

Garsington Opera transfers Falstaff from Elizabeth pomp to Edwardian pompousness

Bruno Ravella’s new production of Verdi's Falstaff for Garsington Opera eschews Elizabethan pomp in favour of Edwardian pompousness, and in so doing places incipient, insurgent feminism and the eternal class consciousness of fin de siècle English polite society centre stage.

Mascagni's Isabeau at Opera Holland Park: in conversation with David Butt Philip

Opera directors are used to thinking their way out of theatrical, dramaturgical and musico-dramatic conundrums, but one of the more unusual challenges must be how to stage the spectacle of a young princess’s naked horseback-ride through the streets of a city.

Grange Park Opera travels to America

The Italian censors forced Giuseppe Verdi and his librettist Antonio Somma to relocate their operatic drama of the murder of the Swedish King Gustav III to Boston, demote the monarch to state governor and rename him Riccardo, and for their production of Un ballo in maschera at Grange Park Opera, director Stephen Medcalf and designer Jamie Vartan have left the ‘ruler’ in his censorial exile.

Puccini’s La bohème at The Royal Opera House

When I reviewed Covent Garden’s Tosca back in January, I came very close to suggesting that we might be entering a period of crisis in casting the great Puccini operas. Fast forward six months, and what a world of difference!

Na’ama Zisser's Mamzer Bastard (world premiere)

Let me begin, like an undergraduate unsure quite what to say at the beginning of an essay: there were many reasons to admire the first performance of Na’ama Zisser’s opera, Mamzer Bastard, a co-commission from the Royal Opera and the Guildhall.

Les Arts Florissants : An English Garden, Barbican London

At the Barbican, London, Les Arts Florissants conducted by Paul Agnew, with soloists of Le Jardin de Voix in "An English Garden" a semi-staged programme of English baroque.

Die Walküre in San Francisco

The hero Siegfried in utero, Siegmund dead, Wotan humiliated, Brünnhilde asleep, San Francisco’s Ring ripped relentlessly into the shredded emotional lives of its gods and mortals. Conductor Donald Runnicles laid bare Richard Wagner’s score in its most heroic and in its most personal revelations, in their intimacy and in their exploding release.

Das Rheingold in San Francisco

Alberich’s ring forged, the gods moved into Valhalla, Loge’s Bic flicked, Wagner’s cumbersome nineteenth century mythology began unfolding last night here in Bayreuth-by-the-Bay.

ENO's Acis and Galatea at Lilian Baylis House

The shepherds and nymphs are at play! It’s end-of-the-year office-party time in Elysium. The bean-bags, balloons and banners - ‘Work Hard, Play Harder’ - invite the weary workers of Mountain Media to let their hair down, and enter the ‘Groves of Delights and Crystal Fountains’.

Lohengrin at the Royal Opera House

Since returning to London in January, I have been heartened by much of what I have seen - and indeed heard - from the Royal Opera.

Stéphane Degout and Simon Lepper

Another wonderful Wigmore song recital: this time from Stéphane Degout – recently shining in George Benjamin's new operatic masterpiece,

An excellent La finta semplice from Classical Opera

‘How beautiful it is to love! But even more beautiful is freedom!’ The opening lines of the libretto of Mozart’s La finta semplice are as contradictory as the unfolding tale is ridiculous. Either that master of comedy, Carlo Goldoni, was having an off-day when he penned the text - which was performed during the Carnival of 1764 in the Teatro Giustiniani di S. Moisè in Venice with music by Salvatore Perillo - or Marco Coltellini, the poeta cesareo who was entertaining the Viennese aristocracy in 1768, took unfortunate liberties with poetry and plot.

Pan-European Orpheus : Julian Prégardien

"Orpheus I am!" - An unusual but very well chosen collection of songs, arias and madrigals from the 17th century, featuring Julian Prégardien and Teatro del mondo. Devised by Andreas Küppers, this collection crosses boundaries demonstrating how Italian, German, French and English contemporaries responded to the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Whatever Love Is: The Prince Consort at Wigmore Hall

‘We love singing songs, telling stories …’ profess The Prince Consort on their website, and this carefully curated programme at Wigmore Hall perfectly embodied this passion, as Artistic Director and pianist Alisdair Hogarth was joined by tenor Andrew Staples (the Consort’s Creative Director), Verity Wingate (soprano) and poet Laura Mucha to reflect on ‘whatever love is’.

Bryn Terfel's magnetic Mephisto in Amsterdam

It had been a while since Bryn Terfel sang a complete opera role in Amsterdam. Back in 2002 his larger-than-life Doctor Dulcamara hijacked the stage of what was then De Nederlandse Opera, now Dutch National Opera.

Laci Boldemann’s Opera Black Is White, Said the Emperor

We normally think of operas as being serious or comical. But a number of operas-some familiar, others forgotten-are neither of these. Instead, they are fantastical, dealing with such things as the fairy world and sorcerers, or with the world of dreams.

A volcanic Elektra by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

“There are no gods in heaven!” sings Elektra just before her brother Orest kills their mother. In the Greek plays about the cursed House of Atreus the Olympian gods command the banished Orestes to return home and avenge his father Agamemnon’s murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra. He dispatches both her and her lover Aegisthus.

Così fan tutte: Opera Holland Park

Absence makes the heart grow fonder; or does it? In Così fan tutte, who knows? Or rather, what could such a question even mean?

The poignancy of triviality: Garsington Opera's Capriccio

“Wort oder Ton?” asks Richard Strauss’s final opera, Capriccio. The Countess answers with a question of her own, at the close of this self-consciously self-reflective Konversationstück für Musik: “Gibt es einen, der nicht trivail ist?” (“Is there any ending that isn’t trivial?”)

Netia Jones' new Die Zauberflöte opens Garsington Opera's 2018 season

“These portals, these columns prove/that wisdom, industry and art reside here.” So says Tamino, as he gazes up at the three imposing doors in the centre of Netia Jones’ replica of the 18th-century Wormsley Park House - in the grounds of which Garsington Opera’s ‘floating’ Pavilion makes its home each summer.

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):