What a shame Verdi was diverted from composing more comic operas by the initially poor reception given to his adoption of this genre in the shape of Un Giorno di Regno because, as his other comic opera, Falstaff, later confirmed in his old age, he was actually as good with comedy as he was with tragedy. This cleverly staged and directed version of this his second opera at the Teatro Regio di Parma with the Orchestra e Coro is a real gem, with which, one can well imagine, Verdi would have been well pleased and even more so with the warm reception it received.
If you're the kind of person who enjoys a great romp of a musical production, you'll thoroughly enjoy this one directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi with Donato Renzetti conducting the orchestra. Too many people often fail to realise how diverse the opera genre can be. The styles and nuances of styles in which it can be presented are virtually limitless in a way that cannot be realistically said of any other genre. No one would have appreciated this more than Verdi who we can imagine would have enjoyed composing other kinds of opera besides tragedies; but he needed to make a living and the tragedies were doing that for him.
I like to think of this production as a brilliant example of what might have been. All right, I know the experts say that this work is not up to Verdi's eventual greatness, but it's great stuff as far as I'm concerned. So just buy it and enjoy it just like I do. I don't know what other folks think, but for me, Verdi comes across as one of those lamentably very few great, creative personalities as being truly likeable and nice to know. Having himself faced family tragedy, it seems as if he was always conscious of how difficult life can be for creative musical people. Now, 200 years after his birth, it's inspiring to have this delightful, excellently produced example of yet another side of his genius. It's the kind of production you can watch over and over again and not tire of it. I love it and thoroughly recommend it. Apart from anything else, you're going to just love Anna Caterina Antonacci as La Marchesa del Poggio.
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