L’amico Fritz, the three-act 1891 opera by Pietro Mascagni is Mascagni’s most famous work after Cavalleria rusticana outside Italy, where both it and Iris are still frequently staged. The “Cherry Duet” is the best-known piece in the opera.
Sad to say, L’amico Fritz is rarely produced on this side of the ocean notwithstanding its superb parts for tenor, soprano, mezzo-soprano and baritone and its lovely lyrical music.
The Dynamic DVD release of Mascagni’s opera features the cast of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2022 production, given a sensible 1960’s update nicely directed by Rosetta Cucchi and lovingly designed by Barry McCann, with visible telephones, a radio, an Olivetti typewriter, a golfcart, and nice off-the-rack costumes.
The cast features tenor Charles Castronuovo as Fritz and soprano Salome Jicia as Suzel. They are both perfect for their roles. Baritone Massimo Cavaletti as Rabi David and mezzo-soprano Teresa Iervolino in the pants part of the violin-playing gypsy Beppe are terrific.
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra and chorus are led by Riccardo Frizza in a first-class reading of Mascagni’s lyric comedy.
Rafael de Acha © 2023
Leave a Reply