Donizetti: Caterina Cornaro

This BBC studio recording helps us understand why the opera has had such a chequered history since its 1844 premiere

Based on the true story of a beautiful 15th-century Venetian woman who unwittingly became queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro was the last Donizetti opera to be produced in his lifetime. This BBC studio recording, conducted by David Parry, helps us understand why it has had such a chequered history since its unsuccessful 1844 Naples premiere.

The Prologue has an atmospheric gondoliers’ chorus and a rousing soprano-tenor duet, but the following two acts find “Dozinetti” – composer by the dozen – rehashing early 19th-century Italian conventions. Giannattasio consolidates her reputation for vocal temperament, Lee sings gracefully in the tenor role and there’s some attractive music for bass (Vuyani Mlinde) and baritone (Troy Cook).

Donizetti

Caterina Cornaro

Carmen Giannattasio/Colin Lee

(Opera Rara, 2 CDs)

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

More on this topic

Suggestions below based on CD & DVD Reviews

Boxed In: Melt — review

Band leader Oli Bayston sings in a lugubrious singsong amid an inventive mix of sounds built around strong rhythms

Warpaint Heads Up — review

The band’s hypnotic brand of post-punk with enigmatic strings and Portishead-style dub effects still shows in their third album