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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nabucco... Giuseppe Verdi

From Covent Garden. River Oaks Theater, this morning to a crowd of - 50?
Which is many more than at the 2 productions (Les Vespres Siciliennes, Prince Igor, and Parsifal) seen earlier. And who, I may confidently state, was completely awed. The power of Verdi's Music just cannot be gainsaid! As were my friend and I.
Awed by the indestructible Placido Doming singing with baritonal power the forte parts of NABUCCO

(albeit his piano was a bit underwhelming), acting with conviction and surprising agilit, physically (he can get up from his knees much better than I could ;-), and of course, vocally-still.
Awed by the humongous range and power of Liudmyla Monastyrka-here in a video clip (Milan in the same production).

The Ukrainian Soprano fluted her pianissimi with a clarity, belted out her fortes with ringing steeliness; growled low and twittered high. An incredible Abigaille... most likely the best as Abigaille. HGO goers will remember her AIDA (post of 10/16/13)
Monastyrska as Abigaille -photocredit Catherine ASHMORE for ROH
Care and Pizzolato, Photo Catherine Ashmore for ROH
Bass BaritonVitalij Kowaljow was a most sonorous Zaccaria, Andrea Care a handsome Ismaele with a clear and strong tenor, Marianna Pizzolato a sweet voiced Fenena with a strong sound, IMO, more soprano than mezzo; and Bass Robert Lloyd as Gran Sacerdote who sang adequately but not as strong as I have heard him in the past; David Butt Phillip, Tenor, was Abdalla, but, IMO, did not impress sufficiently, while the small part of Anna was sung by young soprano Dusica Bijelic.
The orchestra was guided superbly by Maestro Luisotti, who gave the score, so it seemed to me, a fresh and different reading. Daniele Abbado gave the old story of greed, jealousy, dominance and true belief in God, a novel way, setting it in an almost unidentifiable area, and period - although the uniformly blah looking costumes (who were the Hebrew who the Babylonians?) with not much difference there to ID who were who,  hinted at the 30's (specially when the women disrobed prior to execution), yet the design - sparse and geometric in its way, was modernistic and never distracted from the plot and the music (by Alison Chitty), projections and lighting were well done.
Of course, everyone KNOWS Va Pensiero, the Hebrews longing for light and home, sung very well by the chorus of ROH (Royal Opera House), which Riccardo Muti asked the public, when he conducted Nabucco in Rome, to sing along in protest against Berlusconi (as in the video clip above)....and Verdi most certainly meant it to be the unofficial Italian anthem during Italy's occupation by French and Austrian troops.

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