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About Simon Keenlyside

Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal
by Gaetano Donizetti
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"On Saturday, [Mark] Elder will . . . [conduct] what is believed to be the British première of [Donizetti's] rarely heard final work, Dom Sébastien, in concert performances that open the Royal Opera's 2005-06 season.

"The star-studded cast is led by Vesselina Kasarova, Simon Keenlyside and the latest hotshot Italian tenor Giuseppe Filianoti, and Opera Rara will be recording the event. This, says Elder, is Dom Sébastien's big chance to re-establish itself in the repertory."
--from article by Rupert Christiansen at
telegraph.co.uk, 5 September 2005
Opera Rara is releasing in spring 2007 on three CD's a recording of Donizetti's Dom Sébastien, taken from concert performances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in September 2005.

amazon.fr "Cet article paraîtra le 5 avril 2007."

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amazon.com Release date May 8, 2007
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March 30, 2007

Geoff Brown at
timesonline.co.uk gave the recording four stars out of five, and wrote:  "Donizetti’s last opera, this: a five-act epic about the crusading King of Portugal, uneven but often inspired, equally stamped with a baleful grand sweep and those trademark jog-trotting rhythms. Lovely stuff to explore in this live concert performance (Covent Garden, 2005). The star is Simon Keenlyside (as an Arab chief); others can be overtheatrical, but it’s better to be hammy than dead. On-the-ball conducting from Elder."

May 10, 2007


"Carmelo Corrado Caruso, que sustituyó a Renato Bruson, canta dignamente el papel de ‘Camoëns’, pero su voz no es especialmente atractiva y está afectada de un vibrato que puede resultar molesto, pese a lo cual 'O Lisbonne' resulta buena. Mucho mejor Simon Keenlyside, uno de los mejores barítonos de su generación por la morbidez de la emisión y la magnífica articulación de la palabra: las explosiones de cólera de ‘Abayaldos’ y la arrogancia de sus arias son estupendas.

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"No me extrañaría que este Dom Sébastien se convirtiera en una de las grabaciones del año."--Raúl González Arévalo,
mundoclasico.com


May 11, 2007


"Opera Rara's recording was taped during concert performances at Covent Garden in 2005. There's some blazing conducting from Mark Elder, but it needs a more consistent cast than the one we have here. Giuseppe Filianoti is the sympathetic king, while Simon Keenlyside is truly outstanding as the Muslim leader Abayaldos. Less successful are Alastair Miles as his Christian counterpart and Vesselina Kasarova, hopelessly mannered, as the put upon heroine Zayda."--Tim Ashley,
guardian.co.uk

May 19, 2007

"El Dom Sébastien, és una òpera per dos barítons, el Camoëns i el Abayaldos. El primer havia de ser Renato Bruson, però el van substituir per
Carmelo Corrado Caruso (web espectacular), que no m’acaba d’agradar, crec que no l’havia sentit mai, però te una veu desagradable amb un  vibrato molest. El segon és el gran Simon Keenlyside, que està magnífic, dramàtic i molt llençat. Posseeix una dicció francesa portentosa i la seva musicalitat característica. Tot un luxe."--IN FERNEM LAND

June 9, 2007

"
Simon Keenlyside schließlich zeichnet ein so stimmschönes wie wirkungsvolles Bild des verschlagenen Araberhäuptlings Abayaldos."--Miguel Cabruja, klassik.com
"It calls for singers of the highest calibre, and Opera Rara have assembled just such a cast for this recording."--Serena Fenwick, Musical Pointers

September 2007

"The performance here should have made more of an effect than it does.  It is the right idea to produce the work as a concert event in front of an audience.  Supposedly that was what happened at Covent Garden in 2005, when the present recording was made--but somewhere between the live show and the editing studio, Joan Crawford apparently went around with spot-cleaner after she sent the rugs out.  If there was an audience, no evidence of it is left, and much of the performance is too careful, a feeling exacerbated by the clinical, un-atmospheric sonics.  Most likely, a lot of this recording comes from a dress rehearsal. . . .

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"As Abalydos, Simon Keenlyside doesn't offer as distinct a character as one expects from this artist, but he makes beautiful sounds."
--William R. Braun,
Opera News