Lado Ataneli ó Opera Arias

The liner notes, taken verbatim from Ataneliís web page (, praise the singer as ìone of the worldís most sought after interpreters of Verdi, Puccini and verismo roles,î and as such, the disc features Ataneli in fourteen well known musical excerpts from operas by Puccini, Leoncavallo, Ponchielli, Giordano, and Verdi. Regretfully, in the ìverismoî canon as with Ponchielli, there is only one selection per composer, and the rest of the tracks are devoted to some of Verdiís most demanding music for the baritone.
Pagliacci: Si puo? (Tonio)
Un Ballo in maschera: Alla vita (Renato)
Un Ballo in maschera: Alzati!…Eri tu (Renato)
Rigoletto: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata (Rigoletto)
La Traviata: Di provenza il mar (Giorgo Germont)
Don Carlo: O Carlo, ascolta (Posa)
Otello: VanneÖCredo in un Dio crudel (Iago)
Il Trovatore: Il balen del suo sorriso (Conte di Luna)
Macbeth: Perfidi!…Pieta, rispetto, amore (Macbeth)
Nabucco: Ah prigionero io sono!…Dio di Giuda (Nabucco)
La Forza del Destino: Morir! Tremenda cosa!…Urna fatale del mio destino (Don Carlo)
La Fanciulla del West: Minnie, della mia casa son partito (Jack Rance)
La Gioconda: O monumento! (Barnaba)
Andrea ChÈnier: Nemico della patria?! (Gerard)
After listening to this disc several times, and in spite of some very positive and encouraging reviews of live performances, I cannot warm up to this singeróhe can deliver some clear high notes, he has excellent diction, and his instrument has a pleasant timbre and the warm, dark quality required to sing some of these roles. To this listener, however, Ataneli offers little interpretive understanding of the subtleties inherent in each of the charactersí emotions. Through most of the recording Ataneli sounds as though he is holding back or bored (Otelloís Credo, Trovatoreís Il balen del suo sorriso, Pagliacciís Si puo), that he is singing outside of his range (Balloís Alla vitaÖAlzatiÖEri tu!) or that he is singing without knowing what the words mean. Though he has been praised for ìglittering high notes and irreproachable legato,î on this recording, he occasionally eliminates or avoids legato, at times the forte is unpleasant, and more than once the heavy vibrato almost becomes an annoying wobble.
Ataneli has been compared to the greatest baritones of yesteryear and hailed as their successor, and in fact his instrument is reminiscent to the likes of Bastianini, Bruson, Milnes, Capuccilli, but listening to this disc makes one wish one were listening to them, instead.
ChÈnierís Nemico della patria!, and Rigolettoís Cortigiani, vi razza dannata come closest to the interpretation which one would expect, and are by far the best tracks in the disc, filled with emotion and conviction. Ataneliís first disc is sincere, and well intentioned, but marred by some inconsistencies which in time he will overcome, and at a time when there is a dearth of baritones, he is a welcomed addition.
Daniel Pardo

image_description=Lado Ataneli ó Opera Arias
product_title=Lado Ataneli ó Opera Arias
product_by=Lado Ataneli, baritone; Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ivan AnguÈlov, Conductor
product_id=OEHMS Classics OC 517