Dear Greg, Barry and list:
I more or less agree with Barry's assesssment of this opera, having had the
MRF LP at one time (don't remember the cast) and having it on a Bongiovanni
CD with Magda Laszlo, Danilo Vega (an excellent tenor I had never heard of
before) and Carlo Tagliabue. I liked some of the music, but not enough to
keep coming back to it the way I do to the four other Giordano operas I have
gotten to know well and love:
Cena delle Beffe
I guess that I preferall of these and Madame Sans-Gene to Il Re.
It might be of interest to mention that it was created at the Metropolitan in
1915 with Farrar, Martinelli and Amato.
It is described as a "Commedia", but I don't remember laughing, although it
does end happily.
Now, let's hope we finally also get a Siberia on CD---although I can't think
of any tenors who could do justice to the role of Vassily, which had been
created by Zenatello, and sung later by the likes of Amadeo Bassi, Francesco
Merli, Giuseppe Borgatti and Fiorello Giraud. Mario Gilion also made a
wonderful recording of the "Orride steppe", while Amadeo Bassi's
"T'incontrai per via" blew my mind.
Three cheers for Giordano