LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alberto Veronesi Conducts Mascagni's L'amico Fritz To Be Released by Deutsche Grammophon November 17

Alberto Veronesi conducts Pietro Mascagni’s rarely performed opera L’amico Fritz starring soprano Angela Gheorghiu and tenor Roberto Alagna, on a new recording to be released by Deutsche Grammophon Tuesday, November 17, 2009. The album was recorded in 2008 during acclaimed live performances at Deutsche Oper Berlin which were called “a rare musical treat” by Das Opernglas, and for which wrote: “The soloists gave of their phenomenal best and the orchestra under Veronesi played sensationally...I can't recall the last time I heard such enthusiastic (and prolonged) applause at the Deutsche Oper.”

L’amico Fritz is Mr. Veronesi’s third album in an ongoing collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon of recordings of lesser known works from the post-Romantic Italian operatic repertoire known as Verismo. The series began in 2006 with the critically acclaimed complete recording of Puccini’s early opera Edgar with Plácido Domingo in the title role. The second recording, Puccini Rediscovered released in September 2009, is an album of original editions and alternative versions of famous Puccini arias and ensembles as well as little-known orchestral compositions sung by Placído Domingo and soprano Violeta Urmana with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Upcoming recordings in Mr. Veronesi’s Verismo series include three additional recordings to be released in 2010-2011: Leoncavallo's La Nuit de mai, an album of songs and arias performed by Mr. Domingo and pianist Lang Lang; Leoncavallo's opera I Medici also starring Placído Domingo; and Giordano's Fedora with Ms. Gheorghiu and Mr. Domingo.

Mr. Veronesi has done extensive research on works from the late 19th to early 20th Century Verismo operatic repertoire by composers such as Mascagni, Leoncavallo and Puccini, among others, and continues to program and record these composers’ lesser known works in an effort to give this underexposed repertoire a wider audience and establish new masterworks.

L’amico Fritz is Mascagni’s second opera; a light-hearted follow-up to his popular Cavalleria rusticana. The opera tells the story of Fritz (Alagna), a wealthy landowner and confirmed bachelor who falls for Suzel (Gheorghiu), the young daughter of one of his tenants, and includes The Cherry Duet (“Suzel, buon di”) – a love duet considered the best known piece from the opera which has long been part of Alagna and Gheorghiu’s repertoire. The cast on the recording is rounded out by Laura Polverelli as the gypsy boy Beppe, a rare trouser role for the time period, George Petean as David, Yosep Kang as Federico, Hyung-Wook Lee as Hanezó and Andión Fernández as Caterina.

Born in Milan, Alberto Veronesi studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory and while a student, founded the Guido Cantelli Orchestra, which has since remained in residence at the Conservatory. He directed the orchestra until 2000, including performances at the Salzburg Easter Festival (at the invitation of Claudio Abbado), Teatro alla Scala and Maggio Musicale.

In 1999, Mr. Veronesi was appointed Musical Director of the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, where he has not only conducted all of Puccini's operas but was also actively involved in the construction of a new opera house. In 2003, his production of La Bohème at the Festival won the Premio Abbiati, awarded by the Italian Music Critics Association. His performances at the Festival in 2009 included a new production of Manon Lescaut and a gala concert with soprano Angela Gheorghiu.

In 2001 Mr. Veronesi was named Artistic and Musical Director of the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo, where he is performing complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler and Shostakovich, as well as giving prominence to 20th-century Italian symphonic music and continuing to program contemporary works. He was also recently named Artistic Director of the Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Veronesi has led orchestras in New York, Rome, Tokyo, Athens, and Tel Aviv among other cities, and at opera houses such as Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and La Monnaie Bruxelles. He lives in Palermo with his wife and young daughter.

Pietro Mascagni (1863 - 1945)
CD |D|D|D| 000289 477 8358 9 |G|H 2|
2 Compact Discs

Alberto Veronesi, conductor
Chor und Orchester der Deutsche Oper Berlin

Fritz Kobus: Roberto Alagna
Suzel: Angela Gheorghiu
Beppe: Laura Polverelli
David: George Petean
Federico: Yosep Kang
Hanezò: Hyung-Wook Lee
Caterina; Andión Fernández

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