Ferdinando Paer’s AGNESE and Francesco Morlacchi’s TEBALDO E ISOLINA both recently released respectively by DYNAMIC and SWR by way of NAXOS are both obscure operas.

AGNESE dating back to 1809 was for several years as popular an opera as any in its time, getting first rate productions all over Europe. Morlacchi’s TEBALDO E ISOLINA first saw stage lights in 1822, and much like Paer’s opera enjoyed successes all over Europe.

And then?

Paer’s AGNESE, thanks to the enterprising Teatro Regio Torino is receiving its first performance in quite a while. And a good one this one is, recorded on video in 2019 and given a stylish, tongue-in-cheek production directed by Leo Muscato and designed by Federica Parolini, Silvia Aymonine, and Alessandro Verazzi.

The nine-strong cast features a terrific group of singing actors: Maria Rey-Joli, Markus Werba, Edgardo Rocha, Filippo Morace, Andrea Giovannini, Lucia Cirillo, Giulia Della Peruta, Federico Benetti, and a charming six-year old named Sofia La Cara.

The Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Regio Torino are beautifully conducted by Diego Fasolis, and the video and sound are first rate.

Morlacchi’s TEBALDO E ISOLINA was recorded in 2014 during the XXVI Rossini Festival in Wildbad. Here it receives a winning revival with a young cast, supported by the Camerata Bach Choir and the Virtuosi Brunensis, led by Antonio Fogliani.

For the inveterate collector both these offerings will make a nice addiction to an opera collection.

Rafael de Acha