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Gerard Fagan (Dublin Ireland)
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Simon Boccanegra: Royal Opera House (Solti) [DVD] [2007]
Simon Boccanegra: Royal Opera House (Solti) [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Alexandru Agache
Price: 14.99

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covent Garden provides supreme "Boccanegra", 25 Sep 2007
The Royal Opera House under Georg Solti provides me with an opportunity to ramble down memory lane as I was present on the first night of this production. I was bowled over then and on watching the DVD I am still bowled over! Kiri te Kanawa as Amelia outclasses herself both on the CD version (also with Solti) and on the Met DVD where her singing is less appealing and she begins to look her age. Michael Silvester as Gabriele gives the performance of his career and manages to make something of a relatively dull character. Alan Opie as Paolo sings gloriously and looks supremely malevolent proving that Paolo when well sung can be interesting.
Roberto Scandiuzzi is a noble and aristocratic Fiesco. Which leaves us with Alexandru Agache in the title role. He presents to perfection the various apects of Boccanegra's charcter : lover in the prologue and father twice over (to Amelia and to the Genoese people he rules) and he songs divinely. The sets are sparse enough but that only serves to underline the quality of the performance. What took the DVD so long to appear?


Verdi - La Battaglia Di Legnano (Hernandez, Cebrian, Matos) [DVD] [2007] [All Regions] [NTSC]
Verdi - La Battaglia Di Legnano (Hernandez, Cebrian, Matos) [DVD] [2007] [All Regions] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ G. Verdi
Price: 19.61

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Catania's Teatro Bellini treats neglected Verdi kindly, 12 Jan 2007
Verdi's 'La Battaglia di Legnano' has not had much look sincre its premiere in Rome in January 1849. It began well with its entire last act being encored. It's initial success was due less to its music than to its capturing the mood of the Italian people who were (unsuccessfully) attempting to shake off the yoke of the Austrian Empire. After enjoying a brief renaissance of its fortunes after Italian independence the difference between the lofty ideals the opera espoused and the disappointment the new Italian State proved to be ensured the opera's relapse into oblivion.

The production here at the Teatro Massimo Bellini at Catania for the Verdi centenary in 2001 makes the opera's case effectively. The sets are very effective depicting their supposed locales and facilitating rapid scene changes. The costumes for the soloists are beautiful but disconcertingly the chorus is garbed in 20th Century attire. one is left believing this is to save money on costuming and given that Italian opera hopuses tyo day are being given less funding than heretofore this may in fact be the case. The tenor Cesar Hernandes sings the part of Arrigo heroically lending a visceral excitement to the role which compensates for any lack of subtlety. Soprano Elisabete Matos displays a fine dramatic soprano which does justice to all Verdi's vocal demands. (Sample her performance of Lida's Act III Gran Scena for a particular proof of her prowess )Giorgio Cebrian provides a strongly sung Rolando even if he wouldnt stand comparison with Rolando Panerai in the 1951 Cetra Recording (who could!)The filling of the other parts leaves nothing to be desired. All in all a welcome addition to the Verdi canon on DVD. Please record companies, release 'Oberto''Un Giorno di Regno'Álzira''I Masnadieri'and 'Aroldo' so Verdians can see all the great master's works on DVD
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2010 4:54 PM GMT


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