Please Wait...

“Aureliano in Palmira” (𝟣8𝟣3) – G. Rossini

by Luca

“Aureliano in Palmira” (𝟣8𝟣3). Here in the role of Arsace (II Act – “Gran Scena di Arsace”), Martine Dupuy, young and fresh from one of her most important successes, Romeo in Martina Franca. Dupuy did not repeat Arsace on stage, instead performed in concert the arias, which already in 1980 emphasized elegance, softness of emission and in the trellises embellishments of every kind and considerable extension, in essence the most reliable reconstruction and repropose of the vocality always courtly and always soft of the first Rossinian women. Isabella Colbran, Marietta Alboni and Giulia Grisi, in primis.
Velluti (the castrato who, first, performed this role) refused to sing “Aureliano” for almost fifteen years and the opera circulated in Italian theaters by CAROLINA BASSI MANNA, GIUDITTA PASTA AND MARIETTA ALBONI. Not by another castrato or by a falsettist.
Recorded LIVE in Savona, November 𝟣6, 1980
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro dell’Opera Giocosa di Savona
M.° Francesco Maria Martini Conductor.


Two “mysteries” cloak the title that Rossini wrote for La Scala at the end of the 1813 season, “Aureliano in Palmira”, after “Tancredi” and “L’Italiana in Algeri”, namely THE LACK OF THE AUTOGRAPH SCORE and the relationship with Giovan Battista Velluti, last of the CASTRATI, who performed only this title of the Rossinian catalog. To the Rossini-Velluti relation and the influence of the latter (despite the tradition that doesn’t favor relations between the two causes the overflow and personal embellishments of the castrato) is dedicated an essay on the “Bulletin of the Rossini Study Center”, in which the philologist director overshadows a relationship of the type master Velluti – pupil Rossini. It’s true that Velluti refused to sing Aureliano for almost fifteen years and that the opera circulated in Italian theaters by CAROLINA BASSI MANNA. Not by another castrato or by a falsettist.
One thing, however, is certain that the role of Arsace, in some ways the true protagonist of the work, looks, like Tancredi, to the past, or to the music figures of Mercadante (Andronicus), Zingarelli (Romeo ) and Morlacchi (the protagonist of “Tebaldo and Isolina”). Arsace in “Aureliano in Palmira” was the other role that, even less than Tancredi, GIUDITTA PASTA performed in her career. And if we add that the same Pasta wrote “claris litteris” to Rossini that never would have performed Arsace of “Semiramide”, in spite of the facilities, proposed by the author and that Stendhal declares, opposing her to Isabella Colbran, that Pasta was the singer that most recalled the great tradition of the “singing that is felt in the soul”, we have further proof that the musician of “Aureliano” belongs to an aesthetic and musical world different from Arsace of “Semiramide”, Calbo and Malcolm. Other data: Arsace was a role that the great Rossini contraltos (Pisaroni, Alboni, Albertazzi, Brambilla Marchisio) either sang occasionally or didn’t have in repertoire, and this is certainly not due to the more acute writing of this Arsace, according the practices of that time.