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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Balanced, All Round Great Production., 18 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Verdi: I Due Foscari (Parma 2009) (Leo Nucci/ Roberto De Biasio/ Tatiana Serjan/ Roberto Tagliavini/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Donato Renzetti) (C Major: 721104) [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
The libretto for this work was adapted by Francesco Maria Piave from Byron's play entitled 'The Two Foscari.' The opera was first performed in the Teatro Argentina on 3 November 1844, which means that it is one of Verdi's earlier works. He, himself, soon realised that it was too gloomy overall. However, the work is important in that it reveals another significant step in the development of Verdi's greatness in that it shows how he was always ready to explore new ways to better articulate his compositions.

This particular rendition of the work in the Teatro Regio de Parma is greatly helped by the excellence of the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma conducted by Donato Renzetti and by the sympathetic staging and the stage direction by Joseph Franconi Lee. There's careful blending without anything getting in the way of anything else as, sadly, does happen sometimes.

Whilst appreciating the point concerning the 'too-gloominess', I have to say that this in no way encumbered my own particular enjoyment of this rendering of the work. In any case, there's a very real bright spot, with dancing and capering around, on the waterfront at the beginning of Act 3, which was especially well staged and a real delight to watch.

The performance is well directed with all participants clearly giving of their best. They interpret Verdi's music in the best possible fashion, bringing out the nuances involved in coping with the cross-current of emotions involved in the turmoil of human machinations. Leo Nucci is just perfect in the role of Francesco Foscari, octogenarian Doge of Venice. The whole gambit of problems involved in the conflict between his role as a father and his duty as Doge of Venice could not have better brought out. Roberto De Biasio is equally convincing in the role of his wrongly condemned son Jacapo Foscari.

For me, Tatiana Sergan is perfect for the role of Jacapo's wife, Lucrezia Contarini, bringing so well, as she does, the anguish of a wife and mother about to be separated from a loyal and caring husband and father to their children, who appear on stage and go through the agonies of imminent separation in realistic fashion. It really could not have been better staged.

Then, of course, we have the villain in the shape of Jacopo Loredano, well played by Roberto Tagliavini, who blames Jacapo Loredamo for the death of both his father and uncle. Foscari the elder is torn between his duty as Doge and his love of his only surviving son. The outcome is bad all round. The truth that son Foscari is innocent comes too late, just after it's reported that he has died on the ship bearing him into exile in Crete. The Council of Ten, the top governing body of Venice force Doge Foscari to resign, soon after which he dies and the whole business ends in agonising tragedy in typical Verdi fashion.

I was very impressed with this production, which I shall enjoy watching many times. I was able to relax and allow all the beautiful music and singing to flow around me. Nothing is perfect and I dare say there are those who will discern faults where I was able to find none. All I can say is that it's perfect enough for me and I'm more than glad I bought this Blu-ray DVD. I have seen another production of this work, but for me, this one is the best. That's why I'm giving it five stars. It's a well balanced, all round great of a production.
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