…this is…a very attractive production. The sets and costumes are in period and completely traditional and tasteful. The stage action is thoroughly sensible and in accord with the libretto, and the acting by all the principals quite decent. Among the four lead singers, the standout is Silvia Dalla Genetta as Gulnara. Let’s hope that the exposure she receives here launches her on a major international career, for this is a world-class voice—a dramatic coloratura with a rapid but perfectly even vibrato; rich, penetrating vocal color devoid of shrillness on top; excellent breath control, including some marvelous soft singing; spot-on intonation; and an ability to handle wide intervallic leaps with aplomb. As Medora, Irina Lungu[’s]…coloratura technique is sound, and overall she sings creditably…Bruno Ribeiro is…a major asset as Corrado…he is…a fine singer…with a secure top and real interpretive temperament. In the role of Seid, Luca Salsi brings an extremely potent bass voice to bear, and is quite the formidable villain. (Fanfare)
Nabucco was Verdi’s third work for the stage and proved his first great success when performed in 1842. It deals with the Hebrew’s attempts to break free from the yoke of their Babylonian oppressors and is nowadays numbered among Verdi’s most popular works, not least on account of its famous Chorus of Hebrew Slaves, which has one of the best-loved melodies in the whole history of opera.)
Stiffelio was based on the play Le pasteur, ou L'évangile et le foyer by Émile Souvestre and Eugène Bourgeois and was originally censored due to it involving as it does a Protestant minister of the church with an adulterous wife.
The golden timbre of Roberto Aronica graces the title role…His commanding tenor makes one sit up and listen, with some notable long-breathed phrasing and a smooth legato a joy to hear…[Yu Guanqun's] is a rich, true lyric soprano with a glint of steel and strong, even emission in the upper register…[Frontali] sings with great command of Verdian shape and line. (International Record Review)
This production from Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti Modena is conducted by Fabrizio Ventura. He has performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as well as the Arena di Verona and the Sydney Opera House. The cast is led Giacomo Prestia who has performed with some of the world’s greatest conductors including Abbado, Mehta, Muti, Gatti and Barenboim. He is supported by Mario Malagnini and Cellia Costea.
The première of Ernani at Venices' Teatro La Fenice in 1844 failed to come up to Verdi's expectations, primarily because of the poor health of some of the singers. Both critics and audiences, however, soon warmed to Ernani, especially after the following performances. The opera contains some of Verdi's most successful, impassioned arias (first and foremost Elvira's cavatina and Silva's cantabile) and clearly denoted an evolution in terms of dramatic structure, more cohesive and with lesser use of blocks of closed numbers. Despite a turbulent 'premiere', Ernani became a real international success, beginning with the felicitous Vienna productions of May/June 1844. The cast of this Teatro Regio of Parma production features some of today's best singers for this type of repertoire.
I Lombardi alla prima crociata 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.
I due Foscari was Verdi’s sixth opera and based on Lord Byron’s play The Two Foscari. Rich in intrigue, the plot tells of the final days of the famous Venetian doge, Francesco Foscari, and his illegal overthrow in 1457.
Lee’s production of I due Foscari, set against a simple curved backdrop and beautifully costumed, works best on screen…with Nucci giving a baritonal masterclass in the title role, Tatiana Serjan pouring out exciting (if veiled) tone as Lucrezia, and De Biasio enjoying a success as Jacopo. (Opera Now)
Il Trovatore was based on the play El Trovador by Antonio García Gutiérrez and was an instant success. The cast is here led by Marcelo Alvarez, Norma Fantini and Leo Nucci and is conducted by Yuri Temirkanov.
Large symbols…make an effective home for a serious Il Trovatore, precisely paced and balanced by Yuri Temirkanov…Especially notable is his handling of what one might term 'old' Verdi orchestral tricks (ironic Bellinian wind counterpoints of parodistic military brass). The casting here is led by a Manrico from Marcelo Alvarez worthy of vocal and dramatic attention. (Gramophone Magazine)
The singing and musicianship here is of a high standard and Zanetti conducts with verve…Certain aspects of Pier Luigi Pizzi’s production are good while others are somewhat disappointing. (MusicWeb International)
The opera is based on the play La Bataille de Toulouse by Joseph Méry.
The performance is conducted by Boris Brott, who served as Assistant Conductor to the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, and Music Director and Conductor for the Royal Ballet.