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Verdi, Puccini, Cilea and Giordano – A Recital by Daniela Dessì and Fabio Armiliato: Pianist: Damiano Carissoni. Teatro Victoria Eugenia de San Sebastián. 23.8.2009 (JMI) 


Part I 

Fabio Armiliato (tenor) :

Puccini: Tosca. È lucevan le stelle.

Verdi: Otello. Dio mi potevi scagliar.

Daniela Dessì (soprano):

Puccini: Turandot. Tu che di gel sei cinta.

Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur. Poveri Fiori.


Verdi: Otello. Gia nella notte densa.

Part II.

Fabio Armiliato:

Puccini: Turandot. Nessun dorma.

Giordano. Andrea Chenier. Improvviso.

Daniela Dessì:

Puccini: Madama Butterfly. Un bel dì di vedremo.

Puccini: Tosca. Vissi d’arte.

Giordano: Andrea Chenier. La mamma morta.

Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur. Io son l’umile ancella.

A curious recital this one by the couple from Genoa, both of them always interesting singers whose performance was anticipated with great excitement by opera lovers in San Sebastian.

The recital was strange from the outset however because on entering the theatre we were immediately told of a change to the program for the first part, although not a very important one, and then this was followed by an announcement that the program for the second part would depend on how the tenor’s voice would hold up! Fabio Armiliato was unwell it seemed, something we were told about again after the interval.

The original programme, only slightly modified for Part One, struck me as rather short, with just two arias for each singer and one duet. In the end, Part Two consisted of four arias from Daniela Dessì and only two from Fabio Armiliato. He was almost voiceless by that point.

Armiliato is one of the most interesting tenors in the verismo repertoire, although his changes between registers are not to everyone’s liking. He began with a good interpretation of the Tosca aria, where he took refuge in some kind of piani. He was more sonorous than nuanced in Otello, was at his best in ‘Nessun Dorma’, whilst haveing serious voice problems in the very demanding and long Improvviso from Andrea Chenier, which finished him off completely.

Daniela Dessì began with a decently correct interpretation of Liu’s aria, followed by a good ‘Poveri Fiori’ from Adriana Lecouvreur. The best she offered was in the second half, although there were some problems with the words, resolved by some quick thinking by the pianist. She was however, totally excellent singing ‘Vissi d’arte and in her final ‘Io son l’umile ancella’ also from Cilea’s Lecouvreur. She is an fine singer, with a rather dry top to my ear, but her belcantista credentials are always beyond question.

The pianist was Damiano Carissoni, who much was better at accompanying the soloists than in interpreting the Manon Lescaut Intermezzo.

San Sebastian’s renovated and beautiful Teatro Victoria Eugenia was full although the concert’s unfortunate conditions were clearly not the most appropriate for an overwhelming success. There was warm applause however even though the unusual circumstances led to some fairly mixed results.

José M Irurzun

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