Melba has given us a beautiful release on which Richard Bonynge, the famous Australian conductor, Orchestra Victoria and soprano Elizabeth Whitehouse, explore some of the rare operas of the Italian and French repertoire from 1850 to 1920.
In addition to the rarities, there are included some quite famous arias that surely many opera lovers will know, but the value of this disc is from being able to discover beautiful passages for soprano and orchestra from operas like Sapho, La Reine de Saba, Cinq Mars and Le Tribut de Zamora (Gounod), Amleto (Faccio), Salvator Rosa (Gomes), Étienne Marcel (Saint-Saëns), Chatterton and Zazà (Leoncavallo), Marion Delorme (Ponchielli), Siberia and Andrea Chénier (Giordano), Gloria and Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea) as well as Isabeau and Sì (Mascagni).
In addition, we can enjoy soprano Elizabeth Whitehouse, one of the more interesting Australian voices in the international arena, whose repertoire includes Senta (Der fliegende Hollander), Manon Lescaut, Fidelio, Feldmarschallin (Der Rosenkavalier), Marie (Wozzeck), Tufa, Maddelena (Andrea Chénier), Katerina (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Fata Morgana (Love for Three Oranges), Kostelnicka (Jenufa) and the Foreign Princess (Rusalka).
As is usual from Melba, the disc is SACD, presented and displayed in a luxury case with texts in English, German and French.
In summary, these are extraordinary rarities here that demonstrate there are still other operas to discover.