Leoncavallo, Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana

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2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: Leoncavallo,Mascagni
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Cavalleria rusticana
PERFORMER: Dennis O’Neill, Nelly Miricioiu, Phillip Joll, Alan Opie, Peter Bronder, Rosa Mannion; Choirs, LPO/David Parry
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 3005(2) Reissue (1998)
Buy this set for Dennis O’Neill’s thrillingly Italianate double-act in the two tenor leads and for David Parry’s warmly Mediterranean conducting and you get a thoroughly acceptable Pag, with especially fine singing from baritones Alan Opie (a snarling Tonio) and William Dazeley (a smooth-voiced Silvio). In Cav, though, Chandos sabotages its own opera-in-English policy: Turiddu’s Siciliana is sung so far off-stage, that it could be in any language; Nelly Miricioiu’s Romanian-English is heavily accented; while Phillip Joll’s blustery Alfio mangles his words along with his music. And why is the opera’s punchline politely elocuted by Diana Montague’s Home Counties Lola, not shrieked by a village woman as the score demands? Mark Pappenheim