Donizetti: Anna Bolena (3CD)
At a time when Donizetti was represented on the world’s stages by little more than Lucia di Lammermoor, and the recording industry was only beginning to capitalise on public hunger for the sublime art of bel canto, this complete recording of the composer’s first great international success was welcomed as a landmark in the history of the opera.
The heroine for this Vienna-made Decca recording from 1970 was the Greek soprano Elena Souliotis. "Everything I cherish in song and singing are embodied in her voice and her musical instincts," remarked the influential editor of Opera magazine, Harold Rosenthal. Anna Bolena was recorded near the end of her career, and critical praise was lavished upon her colleagues such as the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov as Henry VIII and Marilyn Horne as ‘Giovanna Seymour’, Anna’s maid of honour.
Nicolai Ghiaurov – Enrico VIII
Elena Souliotis – Anna Bolena
Marilyn Horne – Giovanna Seymour
John Alexander – Lord Riccardo Percy
Janet Coster – Smeton
Stafford Dean – Rochefort
Piero de Palma – Hervey
Norbert Balatsch, chorus master