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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Djamileh- a forgotten treasure, February 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Djamileh (Audio CD)
This is one of only 2 recordings of this opera. The other - Mercier/Todorovitch/Maurette/Le Roux, is more recent (1999)) but not as good. The piece contains some of Bizets most lyrical music and it is conducted by Gardelli with sensitivity and pace. Popp's creamy soprano gives the title role the warmth required for the opera's only really sympathetic character and Bonisolli tackles the demanding role of Haroun with assurance. LaFont's Splendiano is much better than LeRoux's, which makes too many demands on the latter's baritone. It is really a tenor role. the only pity is that this recording omits much of thte spoken dialogue making the story difficult to follow at times
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravishing, July 4, 2000
By 
John Cragg (Delta(greater Vancouver), B.C Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Djamileh (Audio CD)
Djamileh is not Carmen, but by the same token Carmen is not Djamileh. Djamileh also is not the Pearl Fishers though it is closer to it. This one-act opera stands on its own, showing in what very different and original ways Bizet could rise to a challange. The story of the slave girl and the variety seeker may have produced a delicious frisson in the breasts of the corsetted 19th century audience, but now it is both politically incorrect and not overly interesting. Nevertheless, Bizet lavishes some splendid music, in many instances quite far in advance of its time, on this work. Lucia Popp sings with a melting sweetness that should win any heart even if you cannot make out most of her words. Franco Bonisolli in the unsympathetic tenor role matches her perfectly. Gardelli makes it all fit together, including the splashes of "oriental colour", bringing the best from his orchestra and choir. The booklet contains the libretto.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impregnated with a sweet atmospheric oriental grace..., June 19, 2000
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This review is from: Djamileh (Audio CD)
I never grow tired of hearing this beautiful recording (Bizet's opera: Djamileh (Paris, 1872)), sung with such strength and elegance, and impregnated with a sweet atmospheric oriental grace. It is lyric music of the best caliber, the final duet in the tradition of the "opéra comique".
Djamileh's aria: "Nour-Eddin, Roi de Lahore", is quite beatiful, even though the diction of Ms. Popp is not as superb as Ms. Denyce Graves in her CD "Héroïnes de l'Opéra Romantique". Her knowledge of the french style is evident.
The exotic charm of the overture, and Djamileh's dance are unforgettable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming little comic gem, September 11, 2011
This review is from: Djamileh (Audio CD)
Despite the politically incorrect datedness of its theme and its reliance upon a feeble, predictable plotline - the usual heartless aristocrat seduced and converted by the guileless love a slave-girl - this opera was esteemed and mounted by Mahler, thought good enough by Richard Strauss for inclusion in his "Opera Museum" and performed by Jussi Björling, all of which suggest a good enough pedigree to merit the attention of the curious operaphile.

Furthermore, it offers the added attraction of two singers in its cast each of whom deservedly has a band of dedicated admirers. The late-lamented and too-soon-departed Lucia Popp deploys her silvery, agile soprano to bring alive the stock character of Djamileh, who believes that the constancy and purity of her love can redeem the feckless Haroun. Her trills, plangent half-voice and shining top notes are a delight. Franco Bonisolli yet again gives the lie to his careless reputation as a preening belter by singing with admirable delicacy and restraint in excellent French yet also delivering some shining top B's and B flats. At first, in his dreamy opening aria, he sounds uncannily like another estimable tenor who was able in the French repertoire, Jaime Aragall, but the baritonal heft of his voice gradually emerges to distinguish him as almost another Corelli - not that any great heroics are required for this miniature comedy lasting just over an hour. Jean Philippe Lafont is witty and warm-voiced as Haroun's tutor, confidant and slave-buyer - a previous reviewer seems to think this part was meant for a tenor, which is clearly not the case, as his line in the ensembles indicates. Lamberto Gardelli is entirely at ease in this elegant music indeed the German forces assembled her could easily be French, they are so idiomatic.

The music is primarily the product of the long-lasting fascination exercised by the exotic Orient over the 19C imagination and there are many echoes of "Les pêcheurs de perles" but also of "L'Arlésienne" in the more percussive instrumental sections. The arias and duets prefigure "Carmen" in their rhapsodic nature and the last extended duet for the lovers confirms Bizet's ability to build a work to a suitably emphatic climax.

While not a major work, its sheer exuberance and melodic invention surely speak for a revival; it could happily be paired with another comic opera like Weber's "Abu Hassan".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizet - Djamileh / Popp · Bonisolli · Lafont · Gardelli, June 15, 2012
By 
Bjorn Viberg (European Union) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Djamileh (Audio CD)
Bizet - Djamileh / Popp · Bonisolli · Lafont · Gardelli is a 1988 Orfeo recording being led by Lamberto Gardelli who leads Munchner Rundfunkorchester. Djamileh is a comic opera in one Act by Georges Bizet. Lucia Popp sings the part of Djamileh and does this quite well. The booklet contains short but well-written music notes and all the lyrics. Highly recommended. 5/5.
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Djamileh
Djamileh by Georges Bizet (Audio CD - 1995)
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