Montemezzi: L'Amore dei tre re - Zeani, Rossi-Lemeni, Fioravanti, Buoso, Porzano, Vozza; Arena. Milano, 1974
Listen to a Sample:
It is amazing that even after decades of voraciously devouring every opera in sight, you can still stumble upon a masterpiece that creates a sonic world hitherto unexplored. This was exactly my experience hearing Montemezzi's L'Amore dei tre re for the first time a few days ago. This opera enjoyed initial success when it premiered but has sadly been forgotten (wouldn't it be great if someone like René Pape were to champion it and bring it back into the standard repertoire.) In this performance Virginia Zeani is joined by real-life husband Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. Rossi-Lemeni's bass voice may have lacked the booming quality of Boris Christoff but he brings a regal and refined bearing to the role. Virginia Zeani is sublime in the role of Fiora. As an extra special bonus I have included the world premiere (and the only recording available) of Montemezzi's short opera L'Incantesimo which premiered in 1943 conducted by the composer. It shows an imaginative musical palate. The sound is very good.