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Nice Matin
Famiglia Cristiana

CHENIER-Nice(2at).jpg (53130 bytes)

26, 30 Maggio; 3, 7, 11 Giugno 2000

CHENIER Nice (1).JPG (86294 bytes)


Andrea Chenier   FABIO ARMILIATO
Maddalena de Coigny  DANIELA DESSI               
                        Gerard   JEAN-PHILIPPE LAFONT

Conductor   EUGENE KOHN





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"Andrea Chenier": apotheosis of the Opera Season.

Flowers and standing ovation for the extraordinary quartet in the opera which closed the Season: Armiliato-Dessi-Lafont-Del Monaco

Armiliato showered by enthusiastic applause
Everyone speaks of «la Dessi»
From the grandeur of the ‘Ancien Régime to the guillotin

How long was it since we did not witness a performance like this one? Flowers pouring at singers´feet from a standing audience!
It seemed like going back in time,  to those passionate days when audiences would not applaude for mere protocol reasons, ashamed to expose their own enthusiasm. Audiences recover their own voice. Last Friday, with Andrea Chenier, the Opera season closed with an apotheotic performance.

Open curtain applause followed every big aria. Fabio Armiliato was the first to receive such greetings.  With his slender profile, almost shy presence, he  endowed the role with all his stamina, full  heart and spirit. The result: truly impressing (lett: Il nous a bouleversés.)  He will certainly not forget his stay in Nice. As much as we won´t forget it ourselves.

Daniela Dessi was her partner. She was captivating too. Along theatre corridors, after the performance was over, one could still hear people talking about «la Dessi». Had we anticipated this, we would have left not a single flower in the flower market for her sake! Only marble hard hearted people could have remained untouched at the sight of the two lovers at the end of the opera, singing “Viva la morte insiem”, heading towards the scaffold!

All performers plunged us into the wonderful giddiness of opera, making us loose our minds  as well as Andrea Chenier lost his head!"

 André PEYREGNE - NICE MATIN 28 May 2000

"The “Annuario Lirico” (Yearly book of Opera records) in 1940 lists over 47 names of tenors available to sing Andrea Chenier.  Nowadays, it is already something short of miracle to find a single one. This did happen at the Nice Opera,  often visited by many italians, where Neil Shicoff was replaced by our Fabio Armiliato.  A change which in the end made no difference at all, because the tenor from  Genova boasted his skills as an interpreter, displayed his security and good intentions obteining a brilliant personal success. "


....  in the title role he was replaced by Fabio Armiliato who, already after singing his first lines succeeded in putting aside – at least during the whole night– any possible regrets in his audience for the absence of his great colleague.   Indeed, his rendition of the recitative which precedes the “Improvviso“ (“Colpito qui m’avete”) was believable and seductive, and he coloured the whole aria itself with all the strength and lustre of his voice which,  although somehow lacking in nobility, is certainly quite unique and well led. He reaches high tones without any effort, and the baritonal shade of his voice renders an equally beautiful and enjoyable central register. In his duets with Maddalena and scenes with Gerard, Armiliato proved that besides from outstanding technical skills he knows how to join any ensamble in a remarkable way.”

P. König  OPERNGLASS –  7/8 2000

In this new production (staged by company general director Giancarlo del Monaco, and seen on May 30), Genoa ruled Nice once again, thanks to the presence of Genoese singers Fabio Armiliato, in the title role, and Daniela Dessì, as Maddalena de Coigny, who fully embodied their characters in terms of music and acting and were entirely in sync with the particular French-Italian flavor of this production. Armiliato, in excellent voice, replaced an indisposed Neil Shicoff on four days' notice, yet his performance was profound and memorable. Dessì, perhaps responding to the sudden cast change, was much more spontaneous than usual, making her Maddalena a compelling dramatic presence.

Fred Plotkin - OPERANEWS - October 2000