FÉLICIEN DAVID (1810-1876): Herculanum.
Catalogue Number: 10R031
Label: Ediciones Singulares
Reference: ES 1020
Description: Dating from 1859, this was David’s only grand opéra and it paints a vivid picture of sensual Middle Eastern royalty and downtrodden Christians in a decadent Roman city waiting for Vesuvius to do its thing in 79AD. His style has matured to include a Rossinian contralto role, a Verdian bass-baritone and (the two Christian leads) a soprano and tenor in a French vocal style stemming from Gluck. The opera’s intensely dramatic scenes, big choruses, spectacular sets, costumes and stage machinery made it successful (64 performances in its first three years) beyond, for instance, the early operas of Berlioz and Gounod. The usual lavish production values (and 42 pages of English articles) from this source. 2 CDs + book. French-English libretto. Véronique Gens (soprano), Karine Deshayes (mezzo), Edgaras Montivdas (tenor), Nicolas Courjal (bass-baritone), Flemish Radio Choir, Brussels Philharmonic; Hervé Niquet.