Æneas in Pesaro
Gioachino Rossini: Péchés de vieillesse, Vol. III (Morceaux réservés): 2. “L’Esule” – Tancredi: “Ah! segnar invano io tento”
Johann Simon Mayr: Medea in Corinto: “Io ti lasciai, piangendo” – La donna del lago: “Eccomi a voi, miei prodi”
Vincenzo Bellini: Per pietà, bell’idol mio – Adelson e Salvini: “Sì, cadrò, ma estinto ancora”
Fryderyk Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op. 28: 15. Sostenuto
Giuseppe Verdi: I masnadieri: Preludio – Sei romanze: 2. “More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta” – Il poveretto – Album di sei romanze: 6. “Brindisi” – Waltz in F
Luigi Cherubini: Médée: “Eloigné pour jamais”
Hector Berlioz: Les Troyens: “Inutiles regrets”
Jules Massenet: Thaïs: Méditation
Enea Scala (tenor), Michele d’Elia (piano)
E. Scala (© Amati Bacciardi Studio)
Enea Scala has been a star of the Pesaro Rossini Opera Festival since 2006 when he debuted in L’occasione fa il ladro. This year, he starred in the title role in a new production of Eduardo e Cristina.
In the intervening years, Scala has impressed with his bel canto technique and facility in the high register, and his voice has matured into a darker and bigger instrument. Its colour has also changed. He seems to be in the process of moving into a heavier repertoire, as his choices for this recital indicate.
In this recital, the Rossini arias from Tancredi and La donna del lago were performed with style and elegance, but lacked brio. Unlike the previous night with orchestra in the performance of Eduardo e Cristina, his voice is exposed when piano is his sole accompaniment. The timbre of his voice is coarse and somewhat less appealing.
However, there were moments to enjoy in this recital. Enea Scala seems naturally attracted to his namesake Enée. His interpretation of his aria “Inutiles regrets” from Berlioz’s Les Troyens was the most glorious in the selection. He exuded virility and passion, and impressed with his French diction, no mean feat for an Italian singer. Likewise, Jason’s aria “Eloigné pour jamais” from Cherubini’s Médée was outstanding. Again, he conveyed passion and a deep understanding of the character’s state of mind. He was however less convincing in the aria from the rarely performed Mayr’s Medea in Corinto.
Pianist Michele d’Elia was an attentive accompanist, giving his singer the needed support. His solo pieces, which gave the tenor some respite, showcased his musical versatility. The ambitious programme was well‑chosen stylistically. The Chopin pieces blended well with the equally elegiac aria by Bellini. The romances by Verdi were an excellent choice for a recital with piano accompaniment and were effectively interpreted.
Despite the recital’s long duration, the audience couldn’t get enough of Enea Scala, and he rewarded them with two versions of Mattinata, by Tosti and Leoncavallo; both were brilliant.
Ossama el Naggar