Opera Rara revives Donizetti’s neglected masterpiece.
Belisario proved a triumph on stages throughout the 19th century. Yet, incredibly, it is little known today.
Opera Rara’s Artistic Director and one of today’s most celebrated conductors, Sir Mark Elder, will conduct this neglected masterpiece. It is, quite simply, one of Donizetti’s finest achievements. Dating from the high watermark of his maturity, it premiered in 1836 (the year after the debut of Maria Stuarda in Milan and Lucia di Lammermoor in Naples).
The libretto, by Salvadore Cammarano (who collaborated with Donizetti on Lucia), tells the moving and typically complicated story of the 6th-century Byzantine general. Falsely accused by his wife, Antonina, of killing their son, he was blinded and exiled as his punishment. Only the recognition by his daughter, Irene, that her father’s former captive, Alamiro, was her long-lost brother restores Belisario’s reputation; tragically, too late to save his life.
Sir Mark will direct the choral and orchestral forces of the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra and the stunning cast is headed by young Sicilian baritone, Nicola Alaimo (Belisario). Rising Canadian star soprano Joyce El-Khoury makes her recording debut as Antonina, American tenor Russell Thomas is Alamiro, Welsh soprano Camilla Roberts is Irene and the role of Emperor Giustiniano is sung by the esteemed bass Alastair Miles.
Please support us in bringing this powerful opera back to life. With your invaluable help, Opera Rara will restore this wonderful work to its rightful place, producing the first-ever studio recording of the opera. A concert performance of Belisario will be given at the Barbican, London on Sunday 28th October 2012. Opera Rara requires £200,000 to create the studio recording and concert performance of Donizetti’s Belisario.
All donations are appreciated and we welcome support at the following levels:
- Orchestra member £350
- Chorus member £500
- Assistant conductor £1,000
- Bass – Alastair Miles £2,500
- Sopranos – Joyce El-Khoury £5,000, Camilla Roberts £5,000
- Baritone – Nicola Alaimo £5,000
- Tenor – Russell Thomas £5,000
- Conductor – Sir Mark Elder £10,000
- Opera Rara CD production costs £20,000
Experience a real sense of ownership by supporting this opera. As a donor:
- your name will be credited in the CD booklet, in the concert programme, on the Opera Rara website and in Opera Rara promotional materials
- you will receive a complimentary copy of the recording
Donors contributing over £10,000 will enjoy additional benefits, including their names on the CD box, invitations to Opera Rara private events throughout the year, a complimentary copy of the CD signed by the artists and two complimentary seats to the concert performance on Sunday 28th October 2012 at the Barbican, London.
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