Rossini's Aureliano in Palmira, a story of romantic intrigue among warring leaders of the ancient world, is rarely heard in modern opera houses, though it is home to some of his best-known music. Its rousing overture was later recycled to kick off Rossini's comedy, The Barber of Seville.
On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents Aureliano in Palmira from a festival that's become renowned for resurrecting the composer's many, unjustly neglected dramas, the annual Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy. Tenor Michael Spyres stars in the title role, and soprano Jessica Pratt gives a smashing performance as Aureliano's nemesis, Queen Zenobia of Palmira. The production also features the G. Rossini Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Will Crutchfield.
Zenobia: Jessica Pratt (soprano)
Arsace: Lena Belkina (mezzo-soprano)
Aureliano: Michael Spyres (tenor)
Publia: Raffaella Lupinacci (mezzo-soprano)
Gran sacerdote: Dimitri Pkhaladze (bass)
Licinio: Sergio Vitale (baritone)
G. Rossini Symphony Orchestra
Chorus of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna
Will Crutchfield, conductor