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Cat. No. CHAN 3136(2) Price: £18 No. of discs: 2
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CHAN 3136 - Verdi: Nabucco
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Available From: 01 November 2006
The Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North perform Verdi’s popular opera Nabucco with a strong international cast including Alan Opie, Susan Patterson, Alastair Miles and Jane Irwin, under the baton of David Parry.

Roderic Dunnett of The Independent commented at the time of the performances that “the conductor David Parry’s splendid contributions to Chandos’s Opera in English series, sponsored by the Peter Moores Foundation, are a feather in the record company’s cap. Now, a shivering recording of Nabucco, the opera that clinched Verdi’s nationalist credentials and universal popularity, looks poised to join them.”

Verdi’s third opera was an overwhelming success at its March 1842 premiere, so much so that La Scala impresario Bartolomeo Merelli revived it in the autumn for a record 67 performances. Audiences were ecstatic and it is not difficult to see why – Nabucco is the epitome of Grand Italian Opera at its most impressive, surging with a boundless, self-confident energy as it chronicles the Hebrew opposition to the Babylonian tyranny.

This production from Opera North is brought to life in a new way with its English libretto, making full use of the exciting solo writing combined with magnificent choruses.

Alan Opie was everything that he has been for some time now, the finest British Verdi baritone since Peter Glossop.
Seen and Heard

Alan Opie’s Nabucco is a remarkable achievement…All ears, of course, are on the Abigaille, the one Verdi role that makes Lady Macbeth seem a walk in the park, and Susan Patterson does not disappoint. The voice is powerful from top to bottom and she sings fearlessly, snarling the more vicious moments of the text and caressing the softer ones… the minor roles as just as well performed… Opera North’s Chorus and Orchestra, wonderfully rehearsed by David Parry, are ideal… Very highly recommended.
International Record Review

Her [Susan Patterson] ample voice is evenly produced, however, and sounds comfortable in this famously treacherous role, and she demonstrates the wherewithal to dominate the proceedings when the situation merits. The title role on the other hand, has a number of moments that transcend the blood-and-thunder idiom and point the way to more mature Verdi. Alan Opie makes the most of them in his thoughtful well-nuanced portrayal. He neatly conveys Nabucco’s controlled anger in leading off the concertanto section of the first finale while also demonstrating a find sense of line; similarly he brings keen dramatic sense and compelling phrasing to the mad utterances at the end of Act 2. Alastair Miles imparts a warm cantante style to Zaccaria’s music… The Opera North Chorus is splendid…The Opera North Orchestra responds to David Parry’s rhythmically vital conducting with a crisply delineated performance in which the score’s eruptions unfold within an ordered framework.

The strengths here lie in the secure choral singing and disciplined playing of the Opera North forces and in the conducting of David Parry, who shows a good understanding of how the score should go. The soloists form an effective group.
BBC Music Magazine

Reviews from the Opera North performances of Nabucco:
… a fine cast who sang with an impassioned involvement… Alan Opie found the innate humanity buried beneath Nabucco’s aggression.

The Stage

The performance has plenty of vigour, and I like hearing Nabucco in English, especially given the fairly high level of intelligibility. The singers are all outgoing, committed actors; the chorus (an important ‘character’ in this opera) is full-throated and involved in the drama; and the conductor leads with great energy and genuine feeling for Verdi’s musical lines.
American Record Guide

Heading the cast is Alan Opie, perhaps giving his best performance to date on disc. He reveals every facet of the troubled King’s character… Susan Gritton… conveys every bit of the anti-heroine’s scheming and unforgiving character sings pretty much all of her taxing part with firm, full tone, then at the close shows suitable remorse in Act 3 finale… Alastair Miles proves his pre-eminence among British basses today in Verdi: every note of his two solos is sung with strength and a feeling for line, and he is as happy on high as below… David Parry makes the most of Verdi’s early, rudimentary style, conducting the piece for all its, supported finely by the Opera North Orchestra.
Gramophone ‘Disc of the Month’


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