Donizetti: La Favorita - Verrett, Kraus, Elvira, Morris, Hendricks; Queler. 1975
Listen to a Sample:
- If you are going to present a Donizetti rarity like La Favorita, you had better assemble a world-class cast that can make a worthy case for the opera. Eve Queler has done just that in this performance, imparting her keen sense of style all while giving the singers room to demonstrate their prodigious vocal abilities.
- The title role in this opera never seems to get a break. Fortunately once Shirley Verrett hits her stride there is no stopping her.
- Alfredo Kraus sings with sweetness and poise and, surprisingly, you never get the sense that he is outmatched vocally by Verrett. No doubt that was due in part to the fact that she was a conscientious colleague, but it also seems clear that despite the lyrical nature of his voice, he knew how to make some sound when he needed to.
- As Ines, Barbara Hendricks doesn't take long to assert that she is a world-class talent.
- James Morris as Baldassare and Pablo Elvira as Alfonso, also in the early stages of their careers, are both excellent.
- There are occasional patches of static in Acts 2 & 3.