The Three Queens (Donizetti)
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents The Three Queens, a program that brings together the finales of Gaetano Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, showcasing three of the most fascinating heroines of opera history. These extraordinary women are interpreted by soprano star Sondra Radvanovsky, who performs them together with an excellent ensemble of soloists and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Donizetti specialist Riccardo Frizza. Singing these three breathtaking roles on one night is an enormous challenge for any soprano, and this live recording captures all the excitement of this exceptional achievement.
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious opera houses. Riccardo Frizza is among the most sought-after conductors for nineteenth-century Italian opera, while Sondra Radvanovsky is one of the most in-demand singers of her generation on both sides of the Atlantic. All three make their PENTATONE debut with The Three Queens.
“…This is the finest work I’ve heard Radvanovsky do, not only in the Tudor trilogy, but of her entire gallery of roles. It is evident that she has not only put in the hard work and constant refining to achieve this, but it should be noted that the soprano is 50 here, and the voice is still in its prime, full, unblemished, and actually more secure than ever.
Moreover, this is one of the best performances of Maria’s last half hour on record. Radvanovsky has the true dramatic soprano and grandeur of tone to fill out the Scottish queen’s 3 scenas: the prayer “Deh! Tu di un’umile preghiera—beautifully poignant, with some lines excitingly raised; the penitent “Di un cor che muore,” and most of all the concluding “Ah, se un giorno ritorte,” where the soprano effortlessly unleashes the fullness of her voice, which abets Maria’s mounting urgency with awesome, majestic power.” – Parterre