CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921): Ascanio.
Catalogue Number: 10W005
Label: B Records
Reference: LBM 013
Description: In the tradition of French Grand Opera, this five-act work completed in 1888 has as main character the artist Benvenuto Cellini. Ascanio is his apprentice and the libretto follows their amorous pursuits at the Parisian court of François I in 1539. Saint-Saëns calls for dramatic soprano, light lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, Tenore di grazia, baritone and bass – a spectacular cross-section of glorious French singing as existed in its time and there is also a half-hour divertissement allowing him to conjure up colorful pastiches of Renaissance music. Although it was premiered in 1890, it was never given without significant cuts until this performance dating from two nights in Geneva in November 2017. 3 CDs. French-English libretto. Bernard Richter (tenor), Jean-François Lapointe (baritone), Clémence Tilquin, Karina Gauvin (sopranos), Chœur du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Chœur et Orchestre de la Haute école de musique de Genève; Guillaume Tourniaire.