Donizetti: Don Sebastiano

COMPOSERS: Donizetti
LABELS: Italian Opera Rarities
WORKS: Don Sebastiano
PERFORMER: Fedora Barbieri, Gianni Poggi, Giulio Neri, Dino Dondi; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Chorus & Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini
CATALOGUE NO: LO 7726-28 ADD mono (distr. RRD)
This late Donizetti piece about the exploits of a 16th-century Portuguese king is a highly sombre work, not unlike Verdi’s Don Carlos. Though at a lower level of inspiration, it deserves better treatment than it received from Giulini in Florence in 1955. This live recording reveals the score to have been hacked about, and a new finale from Donizetti’s Belisario inserted. Enzo Mascherini as the poet Camoens is fine, and the other singers are acceptable. Charles Osborne