Francesca da Rimini


Saverio Mercadante Francesca da Rimini opera to libretto by Felice Romani. Directed 2016 by Pier Luigi Pizzi at the Palazzo Ducale as part of the Festival della Valle d'Itria, Martina Franca, Italy. Stars Leonor Bonilla (Francesca), Aya Wakizono (Paolo), Merto Süngü (Lanciotto), Antonio Di Matteo (Guido), Larisa Martinez (Isaura) and Ivan Ayon Rivas (Guelfo). Fabio Luisi conducts the Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia and the Chorus of the Transylvania State and Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj-Napoca (Chorus Master Cornel Groza). Set and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi; choreography by Gheorghe Iancu; first ballerina was Letizia Giuliani; video direction by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Saverio Mercadante was a popular opera composer in the bel canto era. This is a world première staging of a work he composed in 1831 and which was then forgotten. Richard Lawrence, writing in the May 2017 Gramophone at page 95 says, "The solo singing is stupendous. Merto Sergu is thrilling, Leonor Bonilla sings with bell-like clarity, with good coloratura and trills, and the Japanese Aya Wakizono is a mezzo in a thousand. If you want to hear bel canto magnificently performed by singers you have probably never heard of, go out and buy the disc right now." Lawrence saw this in DVD---poor guy appears not to have a Blu-ray player and display.

Here's a nice official clip from Dynamic: