Wagner: Lohengrin (In Italian) - Py, Ricciarelli, Carroli, Berini, Cava; Bartoletti. La Fenice, 1973
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The regulars of this site already know my almost perverse obsession with Wagner operas sung in Italian. They are hard to find these days as the idea of opera sung in the vernacular has become dated, however, there is always something illuminating about hearing Wagner sung in Italian. It highlights his connections to bel canto and the natural cadence of Italian seems right at home with Wagner's melodic writing. This recording has the bonus of an excellent cast. A very young Katia Ricciarelli sings Elsa. The role fits her perfectly and it is a shame that among the other roles that Karajan bullied her into singing, Elsa was not one of them. Her young soprano shimmers and blooms. Bianca Berini is also very well suited to the prodigious demands of Ortrud and delivers a very exciting "Entweihte Götter." Gilbert Py sings a very lyrical Lohengrin bringing a touch of Italian slancio to the proceedings. SIlvano Carroli is also very good as Telramund. Bruno Bartoletti conducts. The sound is slightly muffled.