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RODERIC DUNNETT was at Dorset Opera's
recent production of 'Salvator Rosa'


Three cheers for companies prepared to take risks. Dorset Opera had been eyeing up the Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes (1836-1896) for some time; admired by Verdi, Gomes studied in Milan and brought the roof down at La Scala with the premiere of his opera Il Guarany in l870. Well-placed to capitalise on unified national sentiment, he hit the jackpot yet again with Salvator Rosa, first seen in Genoa in 1874, which details the l647 Neapolitan uprising against the Spanish and to spice up the drama manufactures some apocryphal links with the Italian painter and patriot, Salvator Rosa.

Salvator Rosa (Fernando Del Valle) and Masaniello (Micheal Gluecksmann). Photo (c) 2000 Terry Donovan

This opera has all the ingredients : Gomes combines arias of considerable demands across the full range of voices, electrically charged recitative and structured, protracted ensembles of very considerable impact. His librettist, Antonio Ghislanzoni, contrives - at the very least - to interpaste effectively the love-theme-versus-political-tensions elements. All this results in a very big, Verdian offering indeed.

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Copyright © 31 August 2000 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK





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