DVD | 

Alfano: Cyrano de Bergerac



While best known today for having composed the ending to Puccini’s unfinished Turandot, Franco Alfano wrote some dozen operas, including Cyrano de Bergerac (1936) with a libretto by Henri Cain based on Edmond Rostand’s drama of the same name. It is a moving tale of romantic misunderstanding, swashbuckling bravado and heartbreaking loyalty, in which the eloquent Cyrano feels unable to express his love for Roxane because of his famously protuberant nose except on behalf of his handsome but inarticulate friend, Christian. When Domingo and Radvanovsky sang Cyrano and Roxane at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Andante magazine wrote: ‘Incredibly, Cyrano is his 121st role. And it suits him splendidly … Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky was luminous as Roxane, her passionate outbursts showing off her powerful upper register to good effect’.

Toronto-based dramatic soprano Sondra Radvanovsky positively glows as Roxane next to tenor Placido Domingo's turn as Cyrano. This musically and visually satisfying 2007 production from the Queen Sofia arts centre in Valencia, Spain, is also a compelling showcase for the talents of Italian opera composer Franco Alfano, best remembered as the man who completed Puccini's Turandot in 1926. The 1936, four-act Cyrano de Bergerac is a faithful adaptation by librettist Henri Cain of Edmond Rostand's famous 1897 play. Alfano's musical style underpins recitative-style singing with a lush orchestral score. There are no arias, per se, so the bursts of emotion are conveyed by the orchestra, well shaped by conductor Patrick Fournillier.

Toronto Star, John Terauds, 2010