Competition: win a copy of Amici e Rivali2:25, 15th December 2020
Amici e Rivali (Friends and Rivals), released on the Erato label, comprises arias, duets and trios from seven of Rossini’s operas written between 1815 and 1826: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Otello, Armida, La donna del lago, Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Le siège de Corinthe, and Ricciardo e Zoraide. The album celebrates the singers who created the tenor roles in these operas, including Andrea Nozzari, Giovanni David, Manuel García, Louis Nourrit and Adolphe Nourrit.
Recorded at the Teatro Ristori in Verona, Lawrence Brownlee (this month’s Opera Now cover artist) and Michael Spyres were joined by the ensemble I Virtuosi Italiani and conductor Corrado Rovaris, with guest appearance from Irish mezzosoprano Tara Erraught and Spanish tenor Xabier Anduaga.
Lawrence Brownlee explains the pair’s vocal chemistry: ‘Our voices complement each other because they have similar qualities to the voices that Rossini wrote for – voices which worked together. They are of similar range, but very different vocal colour, though we can both handle the challenges of highlying legato and coloratura. My voice has been characterised as a leggiero or light-lyric tenor, like Giovanni David’s. Michael’s is a lyric tenor, or maybe a so-called “baritenor” with a darker character, like Andrea Nozzari’s.’
‘The duets that Rossini wrote for very different tenors precisely highlight our vocal strengths,’ affirms Spyres. ‘The vocal writing for Nozzari feels like it was composed for me. It was made to fit the character of a warrior and it contrasts wonderfully with the writing for Larry’s voice type.’
Amici e Rivali is now available on Erato (Warner Classics 9029526947).
Competition closes on 8 February 2021.