As Verdi's career was winding down, and Puccini's was achieving full flight, Catalani tried to take Italian opera in a different direction, combining Italian passion and lyricism with a German Romantic style of drama. La Wally was by far his greatest success, although you may think you haven't heard it before. The title character's beautiful aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana" in the first act has one of the most familiar and frequently heard melodies in all of opera. The aria also played a leading role in a well-known movie, the 1981 film "Diva," which helped make a star of American soprano Wilhelminia Fernandez.
On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone brings us Catalani's La Wally from Switzerland's Grand Theater of Geneva. The production features soprano Barbara Frittoli in the title role, with conductor Evelino Pidò leading the Suisse Romande Orchestra.
Wally: Barbara Frittoli (soprano)
Hagenbach: Gregory Kunde (tenor)
Stromminger: Balint Szabo (bass)
Gellner: Andrzej Dobber (baritone)
Walter: Ivanna Lesyk -Sadivska (soprano)
Afra: Ahlima Mhamdi (mezzo-soprano)
Grand Theatre Chorus
Suisse Romande Orchestra
Evelino Pidò, conductor