Anna Bonitatibus

Semiramide: La Signora Regale - Arias & Scenes from Porpora to Rossini

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At a quick glance, it would be easy to mistake this album as a recording of the famous opera by Gioachino Rossini, but closer inspection reveals that it is actually a recital of arias from several different operas on the subject of Semiramis, the legendary Queen of Babylon. Anna Bonitatibus has selected lesser known arias by 18th and early 19th century composers (while still including Rossini, who is represented by the original version of Bel raggio lusinghier), and the variety of Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic renderings is dazzling. Bonitatibus is a mezzo-soprano with a beautiful low range, but she possesses a clear and flexible soprano voice that holds her in good stead in the most florid arias by Nicola Porpora, Niccolò Jommelli, Tommaso Traetta, Giovanni Paisiello, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and others who explored the popular material with varying degrees of artistic and financial success. Bonitatibus is supported by the Accademia degli Astrusi and La Stagioni Armonica, led by Federico Ferri, and the refined sound of the instruments is fully in keeping with historically informed practice, which complements the singer's ornate interpretations. Many of these selections are world-premiere recordings, and the Rossini receives its first performance here.

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