FRANCO LEONI (1864-1949): L'Oracolo.
Catalogue Number: 09M051
Label: Oehms Classics
Reference: OC 952
Description: Premiered at Covent Garden in 1905, this one-act work depicts melodramatic events in and around a Chinese opium den in San Francisco. Richard Bonynge recorded this for Decca way back in 1977 (reissued briefly on CD in 1997) and Michael Oliver in "Gramophone" describes it best with his first line: "Hokum, but any opera that begins with three crashes, a very loud cock-crow, a chorus shouting in fake-Chinese and then launches into a vehement unaccompanied solo for Tito Gobbi has clearly got something going for it." Well, no Gobbi here, of course, but plenty of long, singable lines from a composer who knew his Puccini and Ponchielli well. Italian-German libretto. Ashley Holland, Peter Sidhom, Franz Mayer (baritones), Annalisa Raspagliosi (soprano), Katharina Magiera (mezzo), Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra; Stefan Solyom.