Few operas by a major 19th century composer have experienced comparable neglect.
Few operas by a major 19th century composer have experienced comparable neglect. The fifth of six operas Meyerbeer wrote for Italian opera houses during his nearly nine years in Italy (1816 to 1824), L’esule was apparently produced only once following its 1822 premiere at La Scala, Milan (in Florence four years later), and thereafter remained silent until now. L’esule di Granata deserves our attention as a pivotal work in Meyerbeer’s output. While Meyerbeer clearly embraced the innovations of Rossini he also managed to make many others to accommodate his own musical ideas. The most significant of these was the concept of scale, We see this in the complex, multi-movement introduction which makes up the first scene of L’esule di Granata. From the moment the curtain rises, he is already working on a larger canvas, employing all the effects at his disposal – choruses, stage bands, scenic effects, and above all, brilliant vocalism.Ironically, it is the singers produced by today’s so-called “Rossini Renaissance” that have enabled Opera Rara to investigate the vocal splendours and challenges of Meyerbeer. L’esule di Granata is no exception and none of the cast on this recording will disappoint.