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Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, from the little-known Reate Festival, suffers from another directorial cliché – or rather two: firstly it’s updated to the time of composition and secondly the chorus forms an audience, commenting upon the action. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to hear Fabio Biondi and the Europa Galante provide a taste of the reduced scoring that would have been common in the nineteenth century. The version given here was adapted for La Scala in 1840, with a lower tessitura for Anna and some judicious cuts. Federico Benetti is a shallow-toned Enrico, Laura Polverelli a wayward Giovanna and Moisés Marín Garcia sounds uncomfortable as Percy. Thankfully Marta Torbidoni’s Anna reveals a pliant soprano, her stage presence elegant and assured.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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