Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Radio New Zealand Concert network
Sunday 2nd of November 2008 at
3 - 5.10 pm

REVIEWS Nicole Cabell's fansite

DONIZETTI: Imelda de' Lambertazzi, an opera in two acts
Orlando Lambertazzi..... Frank Lopardo
Imelda, his daughter..........Nicole Cabell
Lamberto, her brother....... Massimo Giordano
Bonifacio Geremei, her lover........ James Westman
Ubaldo.......................... Brindley Sherratt
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Orch of the Age of Enlightenment/
Mark Elder (Opera Rara ORC36)

You have heard of Romeo and Juliet? Well, they came back to life as Tony and Maria on the West Side, but in an earlier incarnation (13th C) they were Bonifacio and Imelda, from the feuding Geremei and Lambertazzi families of Bologna. The ending is the same: corpses on the stage, but the difference is that no potions or poisons are involved. Actually, in the original version of the story, and in historical fact, Bonifacio Geremei is killed by a poisoned sword wielded by Lamberto Lambertazzi, and Imelda dies when she tries to suck the poison out of her lover's body (presumably to revive him rather than to deliberately kill herself?).

Bonifacio (the baritone!) asks Imelda to run away with him, but she declines; so he approaches her father and brother to beg for permission to marry Imelda and thus make peace in the city. They are not interested in his insulting proposal, and when he tries to see Imelda again, Lamberto stabs him; and although Lamberto is himself mortally wounded, when Imelda tries to flee, he slays his sister, too (as in Verdi's Force of Destiny). Imelda declares her guilt and seeks reconciliation with her father as she dies.

Expect some noisy crowd scenes and furious fighting.

This recording is from the Opera Rara series. In my town, Palmerston North, NZ, a selection from this series is broadcast every Tuesday night, on John Ward's Gramophone Room.

1 comment:

  1. That isn't how the opera ends at all - Lamberto isn't wounded, he stabs Bonifacio with a poisoned dagger, and Imelda dies after trying to suck the poison out.