Based on Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love), Verdi’s tragic melodrama Luisa Miller revolves around the loves of the heroine of the title and Rodolfo, son of Count Walter, and the machinations of the Count’s steward, Wurm, who wants Luisa for himself, resulting in the death of all three. Directed by Arnaud Bernard, who took as his inspiration Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1976 film 1900, this La Fenice production is led by the outstanding Bulgarian soprano Darina Takova whose intense characterization of Luisa emphasizes the heroine’s inner torture, and Giuseppe Sabbatini who brings a thrilling theatricality to the rôle of Rodolfo, especially in the most famous aria from the opera, "Quando le sere al placido".
With the collaboration of Naxos.
Melodramma tragico in three acts
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro La Fenice
Conductor | Maurizio Benini
Chorus Master | Emanuela Di Pietro
Luisa | Darina Takova
Rodolfo | Giuseppe Sabbatini
Il conte di Walter | Alexander Vinogradov
Miller | Damiano Salerno
Federica | Ursula Ferri
Wurm | Arutjun Kotchinian
Laura | Elisabetta Martorana
Un contadino | Luca Favaron
One of the world`s leading stage directors, Nikolaus Lehnhoff has presented an outstanding new production of Giuseppe Verdi's popular opera Rigoletto. With international stars like Juan Diego Flórez and Diana Damrau and directed by the new chief conductor Fabio Luisi, this opera production demonstrates a convincing and highly qualified musical standard. A wonderfully timeless event, which took place in the marvellous atmosphere of Dresden’s Semperoper.
Envy and conspiracies, but also passion, jealousy, revenge and final forgiveness come together in Verdi's masterpiece, which aroused the wrath and prohibitions of the censors of the time to the point of forcing the composer and librettist to make changes to it: from the original Sweden to faraway Boston.
The great Polish tenor Piotr Beczala returns to the Liceu with one of his signature titles, accompanied by soprano Keri Alkema. Vincent Boussard's staging reinforces the dark and mysterious atmosphere surrounding the piece, with costumes by Christian Lacroix and the sober scenography of Vincent Lemaire, which allows us to concentrate our attention on the dramatic core of the score. The cast, directed by a true specialist like Renato Palumbo, also features a benchmark in Verdian singing: Dolora Zajick.
David Alden approaches the setting of Othello from the point of view of Giuseppe Verdi’s adaptation of the Shakespeare text. In the first act of the play, which Verdi omits, we see the great love of Desdemona, a young, beautiful woman of the Venetian upper class, for the rough-mannered and hot-tempered foreign soldier Othello. Her father, the patrician Brabantio, opposes their love. In the first act he asks how his daughter could have chosen to “run from her guardage to the sooty bosom of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.”
Desdemona’s love for Otello is even thought to be a thing of magic. In contrast, Otello’s love for Desdemona is perfectly logical: Desdemona is so refined, so white, so aristocratic and so devout that anyone could understand why Otello would fall in love with her. They love each other, but their difference in social standing is undeniable. And these differences will be how the resentful, devilish Lieutenant Iago is able to wreak his vengeance on his General, Otello, for not promoting him to Captain as he had hoped.
This vengeance requires a minimum of effort, because all he really has to do is convince Otello of what everyone else already believes: such a gentlewoman could never really love someone like him. Consequently, it is very easy for him to make Otello believe that Desdemona has fallen in love with a man of her own rank, Cassio, whom Iago describes as the antithesis of Othello. And so, despite Otello’s noble soul - even though Desdemona truly loves him, even though Cassio is loyal and honourable -, Iago’s insinuations take root and Otello believes that Desdemona is unfaithful to him.
In the play, Shakespeare explains the action through the theme of racism, this is the driving force of the tragedy. But both the librettist, Arrigo Boito, and Verdi understood that the drama could be even more intense if racism played a less prominent part. The focus was put on the fragility of a character who physically differs little from any of the others; a vulnerable character who is dominated by inner turmoil. Thus Verdi reduces racism to a marginal issue which is scarcely mentioned. David Alden takes a similar approach: Otello is an outsider; he is “other” because that is how he feels inside. He need not be black or physically different from the other characters.
His conflict is internal: insecurity, that which has led so many men to commit the worst atrocities. We watch with horrified fascination the tragic disintegration of the hero, locked into the destructive cycle of destiny. The set design suggests a courtyard in Cyprus, but above all, this is a militarised, brutal world with dehumanised soldiers in a war which prevents them from responding to love or tenderness. In this context, Otello brings us face-to-face with one of the most secret human fears: to not feel worthy of what one loves most.
Renato Palumbo, who has conducted Les Huguenots, Tosca and La Traviata at the Real, returns with another Verdi classic with the Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho, much acclaimed for her performance in La Traviata in 2014. She is accompanied by tenor Gregory Kunde, whose interpretation of the difficult role of Otello is one of the most highly regarded. He also opened the 2016 season at the Teatro Real to great applause for his Roberto Devereux. Alongside them as the cruel and crafty Iago is baritone George Petean, who brought the 2016 season to a close in the opera I puritani.
In the midst of the Bicentennial and 20th anniversary celebrations, the Teatro Real revived one of its most monumental and emblematic productions of its recent history: Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi. It premiered in 1998 with the staging, scenography, and costumes by Hugo de Ana. Now we will see a restored and updated version of one of the most popular operas by the composer from Busseto.
Under the baton of Nicola Luisotti, principal guest musical director of the Teatro Real and Prize for the Best Musical Director Opera XXI for Turandot at Teatro Real.
“Va pensiero,” the famous chorus from Verdi’s Nabucco is often cited as an official national anthem for Italy and proved as much throughout the Risorgimento when the country is battling for its independence from the Austrian.
The choral passage, with its nostalgia for a home lost, was truly emotional and established. Verdi as an composer of the revolutionary movement. So it is no surprise that at the same point, some production of Verdi’s Nabucco would be set, not in Babylon, as the libretto originally notes, but during the era where the Hebrews, seeking independence, would be portrayed as Italians and Nabucco and his oppressive babylonians would be Austrian Empire.
Three of the greatest operas of Giuseppe Verdi were inspired by the admiration he felt towards the genius of William Shakespeare: Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, his final opera and second comedy. It is an ideal work, teaching us to take life lightly and laugh at ourselves, and it comes to the Teatro Real in a new production by the talented master in humor, Laurent Pelly. His most recent productions on this stage have been: La Fille du régiment, Hänsel und Greteland The Golden Cockerel. Daniele Rustioni conducts two markedly Spanish casts, together with the house Chorus and Orchestra.
After its initial rejection, Verdi’s unique opera, whose action unfolds in a contemporary setting, La traviata, based on Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady of the Camellias, became one of the most acclaimed works of the composer. This came about because of the universal values that are brought to light following the tragedy of a high-society courtesan -another of those left in the wake of the history of opera- who renounces even life itself to protect the honour of her lover, demonstrating with her self-sacrifice a grandeur lacking in the hypocritical bourgeois society that abused and then rejected her.
A story that brought Verdi legendary status through music with a profound sense of humanity and psychological portrayal of the characters and their feelings. Behind the outward show of luxury and frivolous pleasure, the “populous desert they call Paris” hides the stark cruelty of a social class for whom everything can be bought and sold. With this backdrop of bitter transience, only Violetta stands as a classic heroine, whose sacrifice transcends love and death. These two themes that the opera revolves around are also brought to life by the staging of David McVicar, who, with his usual elegance, sets the drama in a world of romantic references while retaining an up-to-date perspective.
Critics praise her and the audience loves her - Kristine Opolais, the primadonna and the star of the New York Metropolitan opera in a splendid solo concert at the Latvian National Opera. The programme includes arias both from operas that brought Kristine international acclaim and pieces that will be included in her future repertoire.
The beautiful programme, mostly dedicated to Italian music, will encourage you to dream about love and think about what is truly important. It will touch your heart in many ways.