Opera Rara in partnership with the Royal Opera House present DONIZETTI: L’ANGE DE NISIDA, WORLD PREMIÈRE
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Sir Mark Elder; Joyce El-Khoury; David Junghoon Kim; Vito Priante; Laurent Naouri; Evgeny Stavinsky; Royal Opera Chorus
Wednesday 18 and Saturday 21 July 2018, 7.30pm
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN
“It’s a work of top quality. Very beautiful... Over half of L’Ange de Nisida has never ever been heard which is terribly exciting.” Sir Mark Elder interviewed by The Observer on the world première of L’Ange de Nisida
When Patric Schmid and Don White conceived Opera Rara in the late 1960s, their dream was to establish a Donizetti collection that would document all his operas through recordings. With nearly 70 operas to his name, this was no small ambition, particularly as at that time only a handful of Donizetti operas were widely known.
On Wednesday 18 July 2018, Opera Rara – in their fourth collaboration with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – will present the world première of Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida. Opera Rara’s Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder conducts two concert performances at Covent Garden, during which a live recording will be made for release in 2019. The recording will mark the company’s 25th complete opera recording by the composer and Sir Mark Elder’s ninth Donizetti title for Opera Rara.
L’Ange de Nisida was due to be among Donizetti’s first operas to be premièred in Paris after the composer’s move to the French capital in 1838. The project had to be abandoned, though, when the commissioning theatre, the Théâtre de la Renaissance, went bankrupt. Although Donizetti would later use portions of its score in La Favorite, which premièred at the Opéra, L’Ange de Nisida was long deemed too fragmentary to be capable of reconstruction. However, opinions were changed in 2009 thanks to extensive research in the Paris archives by the Italian scholar Candida Mantica and, over the last 10 years, the 800-page has been restored. As Roger Parker, Repertoire Consultant to Opera Rara, explains, “L’Ange de Nisida will make people think about Donizetti’s late style in a different way. It will rewrite how we think about him as a composer, in particular about the breadth of his musical inspiration.”
For this world première, Sir Mark Elder is joined by Joyce El-Khoury as Sylvia (featured on Opera Rara’s recent recordings of Les Martyrs and Belisario, both by Donizetti, and in her recital disc Écho), David Junghoon Kim (2017 graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera) as Leone de Casaldi, Vito Priante as King Fernand of Naples (featured on Opera Rara’s recordings of Donizetti’s Linda Chamounix and Bellini’s Il pirata), Laurent Naouri as Don Gaspar (recently heard on Opera Rara’s recording of Gounod’s La Colombe) and Evgeny Stavinsky as the Monk.
As well as a continuing focus on the bel canto repertory, Sir Mark Elder’s tenure has seen Opera Rara renew its interest in 19th-century French repertoire and explore new territories including verismo works from the turn of the 20th century. This November, the company will undertake its second verismo project: a concert performance at the Royal Festival Hall and a studio recording of the original version of Puccini’s first stage work, Le Villi, with Ermonela Jaho – the star of their revival of Leoncavallo’s Zazà – joining forces with Elder and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Between L’Ange de Nisida and Le Villi, Opera Rara release Rossini’s Semiramide on disc starring Albina Shagimuratova in the title role and Daniela Barcellona as Arsace.