Alberto Zedda / Czech Chamber Soloists

Gioachino Rossini: L'inganno felice

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L'inganno felice (The Happy Deception, 1812) was one of five one act farces Rossini wrote for Venice audiences very early in his career. It's the least well known of the set, but it has fared well on disc. This version is based on a 2005 performance at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival in Bad Wildbad, Germany. The cast performs with a proficiency and assurance that don't betray the provincial origins of the production. American tenor Kenneth Tarver's voice is not large, but he sings with ringing, heroic tone, velvety legato, and effortless coloratura. Soprano Corinna Mologni begins with a somewhat wide vibrato that she brings under control by her impressive second aria, which she sings with gleaming tone. Lorenzo Regazzo has the role of Tarabotto sewn up; he appears on all four versions of the opera available as of 2008. Baritone Marco Vinco and bass Simon Bailey are vocally compelling and dramatically effective as the schemers; Vinco's interactions with Regazzo are among the most delightful moments on the recording. Alberto Zedda leads Czech Chamber Soloists in a lively reading of the perky score. Naxos sound is basically good, but the singers seem to be miked too closely, which occasionally makes them a little overwhelming and distorted. The recording is of special interest because it uses a newly revised version of the score. Overall, it doesn't supersede Marc Minkowski's suave and polished 1996 Erato release, which features a stellar cast that includes the radiant Annick Massis and Rodney Gilfry, although Tarver is more impressive than Raul Gimenez.

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