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Verdi: Lombardi Crociata (Parma Festival 2009) (Roberto De Biasio/ Michele Pertusi/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Daniele Callegari) (C Major: 720704) [Blu-ray] [Region A & B]
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To celebrate Giuseppe Verdi's bicentenary in 2013, C Major is proud to present the truly unique project, TUTTO VERDI: All 26 operas released on DVD and Blu-ray, together with his immortal Requiem and special documentary.
I Lombardi alla prima crociata (The Lombards on the First Crusade) was Verdi's fourth opera and received its first performance at La Scala, Milan, in February 1843. The grandiloquent subject matter is fleshed-out with broad-brushed musical and dramatic effects and lavish choral scenes created a correspondingly impressive impact. A great success in Milan, it spread to the rest of Europe within a matter of only a few years.
Credit goes to Santuzza Calì for the transformation that michele Pertusi's Pagano undergoes, from gothic baddie of Act 1 to bald, eye-patched hermit of Act 2. Pertusi is on absolutely fine form throughout, completely nailing his first aria 'Sciagurata! Hai tu creduto' and offering a sympathetic portrait as the hermit afterwards… the other highlight is the Act 3 trio for Pagano, Giselda and the dying Oronte… this trio is sublime…. This production should persuade other houses to take up this neglected opera. --Mark Pullinger, International Record Review
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Top Customer Reviews
In order of composition I Lombardi follows immediately after Nabucco in the Verdi canon. Some would say 'a hard act to follow' and maybe this is why I Lombardi has mostly come off worse in any comparisons between the two works. This outstanding production restores the work to its rightful place among the greatest of Verdi's compositions. Apart from anything else, the choral singing is an inspiration, allowing the viewer to sit back and bathe in it. Verdi is so good with his chorus's and this production does him justice.
Dimitra Theodossiou gives an inspiring performance in the role of Giselda, the daughter of Arvino and Viclinda. Although, often enough, we are able to say 'this is great singing' with Theodossiou in this role we have that something extra. With her the acting and singing blend into a harmony that suggest ultra-reality of a most inspiring kind. She certainly inspired the audience who cheered her to the rooftops. Theodossiou also integrates well with the rest of the cast from whom she receives enthusiastic co-operation.Read more ›
Act I of I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata sets the tone well, if the tone you are striving for is Gothic melodrama overload. With fervent prayers (Verdi controversially setting the 'Hail Mary' to music), dark curses ("Dreadful monster of Hell!") and dire pronouncements of torment ("More than the fire and the serpents of Hell, terror consumes my flesh!"), it's fairly standard high melodrama material for Verdi then that harks back to his first opera Oberto, but it is certainly handled with greater aplomb here. The switch to Antioch and the Holy Land and the Eastern inflections sometimes feel a little forced however, and at times it's almost like Verdi is trying his hand at the writing of sacred music in all the prayers, devout sentiments and stirring choruses.Read more ›