Donizetti: Le Duc D'Albe (Sir Mark Elder)

Originally conceived as the second grand opera the composer was to stage at the Opéra de Paris after Les Martyrs, Donizetti abandoned his score for Le Duc d’Albe after completing only the first two acts due to conflicts of interest with the theatre. The opera remained unfinished until over 30 years after Donizetti’s death when it was completed by one of his former pupils, Matteo Salvi, using the composer’s sketches for Acts 3 and 4. While the opera has sporadically received performances in its Italian translation (Il duca d’Alba) since its première in 1882, the opera in its original French version was only given its première in 2012 by Vlaamse Opera using a new critical edition prepared by Opera Rara’s Repertoire Consultant, Roger Parker for Ricordi. For this first ever studio recording of Le Duc d’Albe, we decided to record only the first two acts using this new critical edition: “the part of the opera that was 95% completed by Donizetti himself. Acts 3 and 4, although they have some sketches of Donizetti’s ideas, have virtually no orchestration and leave two large sections with virtually no music at all. However, Acts 1 and 2 show thrillingly how, at the end of his hectic career, the composer was still adapting his musical language to new dramatic challenges.” Sir Mark Elder – Opera Rara’s Artistic Director and the Hallé’s Music Director – conducts Angela Meade in her recording debut as Hélène d’Egmont; Michael Spyres as Henri de Bruges, in his second recording for Opera Rara and Laurent Naouri as Le Duc d’Albe.

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Hélène d'Egmont: Angela Meade
Henri de Bruges: Michael Spyres
Le Duc d'Albe: Laurent Naouri
Daniel Brauer: Gianluca Buratto
Sandoval: David Stout

Opera Rara Chorus
Chorus Master: Stephen Harris
Conductor: Sir Mark Elder
Year: 2016