The great diva Maria Callas and bass Nicola Rossi Lemini singing the adorable duet ‘Bella Italia…Serva, servo’ from Rossini’s delightful comic opera Il Turco in Italia.
Very much a sister opera to Il Barbieri di Siviglia and one the most charming, melodious compositions Rossini wrote. In this duet the soprano AND the bass have to join together in very florid, buoyant passages that not only have to be sang with supreme vocal dexterity but also with a playful, joyful sense of expression.
Callas sounds so vivacious in this recording, lightening up her voice with such angelic sweetness that you wouldn’t even believe it was the same voice that commanded such fire and drama in Norma and Medea. Vocally tip-toeing her way through the typically frenetic Rossini coloratura passages and scales as if she’s merely giggling, alongside a vibrant heroic counterpart in Lemini. For such a robust instrument, showing all the sensitivity and warmth of a Rossini Bel Canto role.