Donizetti: Maria di Rohan - Zeani, Zanasi, Tei; Previtali. Napoli, 1962
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Maria di Rohan could not be called a masterpiece, but it is a vocally gratifying, musically intriguing work in which Donizetti breaks many of the rules of Bel Canto. He ends the opera, for example, with the heroine still alive and with no melodramatics: the opera ends when the action does, with no chance for the soprano to show off. This is, in one sense, a shame, as it robs Virginia Zeani of another chance to flaunt her vocal prowess. However, she has many chances to do just that, displaying a creamy soprano equally capable in the dramatic and coloratura passages of the role. Mario Zanasi, as Maria’s husband, rather overshadows the palid tenor of Enzo Tei, as her lover, though both are significantly less interesting than Anna Maria Rota’s cameo turn as their political rival. The sound is very fine, though the audience noise is occasionally distracting.