Rossini With a Twist

Switching a soprano for a high mezzo yields some interesting results.

Composer: Rossini
Repertoire: Il Turco in Italia
Artists: Alessandra Marianelli (sop), Andrea Concetti (mz), Filippo Adami (tenor), Marco Vinco (bass-baritone), Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento/Antonello Allemandi
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Vocal
Label: Dynamic CDS 566/1-2

This live recording from last year’s Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro is notable chiefly for the irresistible performance by young soprano Alessandra Marianelli as the fickle, flirtatious and headstrong heroine, Fiorilla. It’s always fascinating when a soprano, rather than a high mezzo, tackles the role – the character sounds younger and flightier – but the fresh-voiced Marianelli also brings a wonderful depth of pathos to the famous final aria, ‘Squallida veste’. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is only fair-to-middling, but conductor Antonello Allemandi brings a lively sense of comedy to the score.