Gaetano Donizetti – La figlia del reggimento
CAST: Maria: Anna Moffo, Tonio: Giuseppe Campora, Sulpizio: Giulio Fioravanti, La Marchesa: Jolanda Gardino, Ortensio: Antonio Cassinelli, Caporale: Teodoro Rovetta, Un paesano: Tommaso Frascati
Coro e Orchestra della RAI di Milano
Franco Mannino, conductor
Archipel – Walhall, 2011
This recording of Gaetano Donizetti‘s La figlia del reggimento (sung in Italian) is one of those unfortunate cases where a famous name is not a guarantee of success. It caught my attention for a young Anna Moffo as Maria… and I have to confess that she is the only reason of interest after I listened to it, since the other singers and the direction are generally of mediocre quality.
Moffo is here at the beginning of her career, as it is easy to guess after you listen to her for a while. She is superb indeed and her character is graceful and nice, but you notice that she lacks her usual wit and liveliness and portrays an independent young girl without any other precise feature. Convien partir is her best moment, but even there I could not feel the usual overwhelming enthusiasm.
Giuseppe Campora as Tonio has a beautiful voice, but this is the only good feature I can find in him, because he is usually inaccurate and imprecise. He is almost negligible in his duet with Moffo in Act I and what should have been his “greatest moment”, Amici miei, che allegro giorno, turns out to be a complete disaster because he is generally tone-deaf. I only hope to forget him soon.
Giulio Fioravanti as Sulpizio is definitely better and he is a good companion for Moffo in their duet in Act I and in the terzetto in Act II. He has a dark voice, not extremely beautiful and warm but firm and correct, which is a great achievement in this recording. Jolanda Gardino as La Marchesa is not remarkable in any respect and actually it is not to regret that her aria at the beginning of Act I has been cut, considering her unpleasant and disagreeable voice.
Conductor Franco Mannino limits his direction to cold correctness and it is difficult to remember anything about it after the end of the opera. The traditional cuts are also a little displeasing.
At last, I consider this recording a failure. There is no unity and I cannot find the expression of any clear intent in it. I probably will not listen to it again.