Shield, William: Rosina - Bonynge, Richard

Shield, William: Rosina - Bonynge, Richard

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Among the bel canto and verismo operatic repertoire Richard Bonynge recorded for Decca, he also found time to unearth much hitherto forgotten ballet scores, as well as forgotten music from the Baroque and Classical eras. Music by J.C. Bach and Salieri were recorded, rare Baroque overtures were explored and he also recorded three largely forgotten Baroque operas – Graun’s Montezuma and Bononcini’s Griselda (both in highlight form) and Shield’s Rosina (complete). All three recordings emanated from the 1960s and many included Australians in the casts, among them Lauris Elms, Joan Sutherland, Monica Sinclair, Margreta Elkins and Kenneth MacDonald.

The music, in genial pastoral style, bubbles away, and the overture in particular will amuse, with its incorporation of Auld lang syne towards the end. The notes are lifted from the LP and are written in entertaining mock-eighteenth century style by producer David Harvey. According to Gramophone, the original (1966) release marked the first time than an English opera of the late eighteenth century had been recorded with its original orchestration (albeit, not on period instruments). This marks this recording’s first release on Decca CD.

“there is charm in abundance ... Margreta Elkins’s voice is warm and pleasing. Monica Sinclair seizes the few chances she is given of injecting vitality into the proceedings. The orchestral playing is assured. [...]Performance and quality are excellent” Gramophone

“William Shield's 1782 comedy was a firm favourite in its day and retains its simple charm in this spirited performance, with an excellent cast putting its songs over with affection and point.” BBC Music Magazine *****