This is one of Verdi's late middle period operas, which he wrote for the Paris Oprea. It is a long opera & very uneven, with five acts and the obligatory ballet - for the demanding Paris audience of the late 19th Century. What makes this performance so special, is the singing of Susan Dunn as Elena. Her singing of the Act 4 aria "Arrigo, ah parle ad un core" is amazing -the purest lirico spinto I have heard in a long time - better than Callas - and that is not an exaggeration. The applause lasted more than five minutes in the recording - and this is a long time when one has come to listen to opera. I would recommend to anyone interested in great singing to listen to Susan Dunn's rendition of the Act 4 aria - it is spellbinding singing, the clarity of her voice and breath control is truly wondrous.
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