Donizetti: Anna Bolena - Scotto, Marsee, Kolk, Ramey, K. Ciesinski; Rudel. 1975
Listen to a Sample:
Although Anna Bolena is often thought of as a vehicle for a great soprano, the supporting parts are still crucial for the opera’s success. The ideal scenario is when a dynamic soprano can be cast in the title role with singers in the supporting roles that can stand up to her talent. That is exactly what we have in this inspired performance. Renata Scotto is heard at her absolute dramatic height. By 1975 her voice was beginning to take on a darker hue allowing for forays into more dramatic territory. Those forays would eventually take their toll, but at this point she can still maintain the bel canto discipline that made her so memorable in parts like Adina and Lucia. She throws herself into the part with abandon and extracts meaning from each note whether it is a coloratura flourish or even a single word of recitative. She is well supported by the Giovanna of Susanne Marsee who brings an agile voice with remarkable heft. Samuel Ramey is both imposing and youthful as Enrico. Stanley Kolk sings admirably but comes across a little light in comparison to the oversized presence of his colleagues. A young Katherine Ciesinski stands out as Smeton. The sound is excellent.