53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...




selling Internationaly

Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Tutto buffo
Paolo Bordogna (bass-baritone)
Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini/Francesco Lanzillotta
rec. Auditorium Nicol˛ Paganini, Parma, 9-13 September 2014
Booklet notes in English and Italian. Sung texts in original language.
DECCA 481 1685 [62:52]

Born in 1972 Paolo Bordogna has since around the turn of the millennium profiled himself as one of the leading buffo singers of our time. He has appeared on a number of complete opera sets but this is, to my knowledge, his first solo disc. Here he has picked some of the best known buffo scenes, where he is up against comparison with the great ones of the previous century. There are also some scenes where competition isn’t so keen. His is a typical bass-baritone voice, which suits most buffo characters. His patter singing is expert, he has a trill – both features important in this repertoire – but he is rather monochrome and one gets the impression that it is basically the same character, appearing in several operas. In a way that is also the case with the characters: Don Pasquale, Doctor Bartolo, Don Magnifico are all cut from stock material, elderly, pompous, often with considerable girth. An audience knows what to expect and adjusts to the convention. There isn’t much depth in these men, to be honest. Their exterior can differ, and this production has a trump-card: there are photos of Bordogna in costume and mask in all the roles but one. I found that looking at the photos while listening I could associate the sound with the looks, so to speak. Objectively though there is very little differentiation between the characters.

Let us not be too pernickety. This is good singing and the patter is impressive. Il turco in Italia for instance: what energy. Don Magnifico has some human aspects and here is more three-dimensional. There is even some falsetto singing in his aria. Dulcamara’s grateful aria from L’Elisir d’amore has a lot of theatricality about it. In the enjoyable duet scene from Don Pasquale he manages to differentiate between the two characters even though Bordogna sings both roles; they still have the same timbre.

He gives a vivid portrait of Falstaff in the honour monologue, but Gianni Schicchi sounds stone-face, despite the mask being marvellous.

The rarities are welcome. Donizetti’s Le convenienze e le inconvenienze teatrali is occasionally played today and it was seen in Stockholm some 25 years ago, then titled Viva la mamma!, with Ingvar Wixell, no less as Mamma Agata. It’s nice to have this duet as a souvenir.

Mascagni’s Le maschere, premiered in 1901, was the composer’s homage to Rossini and the Italian opera buffa. It was never a success, and Mascagni’s revision of 1931 was also met with a chill. The stuttering aria performed here sounds very calculated and, honestly, humour based on people’s disabilities has had its day.

Nino Rota, best remembered for his film scores for Fellini and Visconti, wrote a lot of other music including a couple of operas, of which The Italian Straw Hat, as it is normally called in English, has been seen in a number of theatres and was also filmed. The aria here confirms that Rota had a rich melodic vein.

Readers who love opera buffa and want a collection of the best scenes will find a lot to enjoy here. Be warned, though, that the sung texts are printed only in the original Italian. For good translations one has to search online. The recommended dose, by the way, is one or two arias at a time.

G÷ran Forsling

Track listing
Domenico CIMAROSA (1749 – 1801)
Il matrimonio segreto:
1. Udite, tutti udite! [5:32]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
Don Giovanni:
2. Madamina, il catalogo Ŕ questo [5:21]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia:
3. A un dottor della mia sorte [6:23]
Il turco in Italia:
4. Se ho da dirla avrei molto piacere [4:16]
La cenerentola:
5. Sia qualunque delle figlie [5:13]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848)
Le convenienze e le inconvenienze teatrali:
6. Lazzrune, scauzacane! [4:44]
(with Vittorio Prato)
L’Elisir d’amore:
7. Udite, o rustici [7:11]
Don Pasquale:
8. Son nov’ore [2:54]
9. Bella siccome un angelo [4:10]
10. Ah! Un foco insolito [2:11]
(Paolo Bordogna sings both characters)
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901)
11. Ehi! Paggio! ... L’onore! [4:31]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)
Gianni Schicchi:
12. Era eguale la voce? [2:33]
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863 – 1945)
Le maschere:
13. Quella Ŕ una stra-stra-strada [2:48]
Nino ROTA (1911 – 1979)
Il capello di paglia di Firenze:
14. ╚ una cosa incredibile! [5:01]



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger