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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS -

“Vil­lazón throws him­self into the part with a be­witch­ing com­bi­na­tion of aban­don and sub­lety”

MASS NET: WERTHER Soloists: Rolando Vil­lazón, So­phie Koch, Audun Iversen, Eri Naka­mura. Orches­tra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Con­duc­tor: An­to­nio Pap­pano Deutsche Gram­mophon 4779340 ★★★★★ Massenet’s great melodic gifts are not al­ways matched by dra­matic in­ten­sity, but in Werther there is plenty of both. The story is more melan­choly and sub­tle than Massenet’s more fa­mous Manon, but his melodic in­spi­ra­tion here is fully ap­po­site. This live per­for­mance marks the re­turn of Rolando Vil­lazón to the Covent Garden stage af­ter a long ab­sence due to vo­cal dif­fi­cul­ties. While his voice is not quite a free as be­fore, Vil­lazón throws him­self into the name part with a be­witch­ing com­bi­na­tion of aban­don and sub­lety. Es­pe­cially mem­o­rable is the con­tri­bu­tion of An­to­nio Pap­pano. The con­duc­tor gives the mu­sic an Ital­ianate warmth and pas­sion that en­riches this quintessen­tially French score. deutschegram­mophon.com/vil­la­zon-werther

COL­MAN MOR­RIS­SEY

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