Label: NUOVA ERA
Rita, a one-act comic opera, is supposed to have been composed by Donizetti in eight days when he had nothing better to do. It was composed to a French libretto and so has spoken dialogue, though this version is in Italian. It features three soloists and no chorus, and is a rather mixed bag of Donizetti's ability to write comic opera. There is some marvelous material but there is also some rather pedestrian writing. Overall, the better parts win the day and Rita is well worth listening to. Indeed, it is quite delightful, though if one does not understand Italian the spoken bits are best skipped. The three soloists are more than adequate, and produce a lively performance, aided by a good chamber orchestra well directed. The recording was apparently made of a concert performance before a live audience, recorded in a church in Palermo. Both the recording and the acoustics are very good.