Notes & Reviews:
Placido Domingo, Daniel Barenboim and Federico Tiezzi joined forces at La Scala in 2010 for this stunning production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Domingo is joined by La Scala elite Anja Harteros, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Fabio Sartori in this historic performance that marked Domingo's triumphant return to his baritone roots (his first debut with the Mexican National Opera, in 1959, was as a baritone). La Scala's critical audience rapturously praised Placido Domingo's return to the stage with a 15 minute ovation!
"Although Domingo's voice has become darker with time, the colouring of his voice is still that of a tenor, and certainly not that of a baritone. This said, and despite the fact that his voice has at times shown little signs of senescence, his performance was stunning throughout the night. Domingo was extremely expressive especially in the most intimate and pained parts of the opera. Some of his solo parts were the most memorable moments of the evening... Anja Harteros was a wonderful Amelia Grimaldi. The German soprano seems to be at ease both in Wagnerian roles (she was a convincing Elisabeth in last month's Tannhäuser here at La Scala) and in lyric Verdian roles such as Boccanegra's daughter... Barenboim managed to masterly depict the gloomy atmosphere which marks certain parts of the opera (first and foremost the prologue)... The staging was by Federico Tiezzi and the overall quite stylized and minimalistic sets were by Pier Paolo Bisleri. Some of Tiezzi's ideas are noteworthy: the evocative and huge trees with visible roots coming down slowly in the background as Boccanegra and Amelia are gradually reunited as father and daughter in Act 1 ('Favella il Doge'), also one of the musical highpoints of the entire night; or the final act which manages to convey, in its simplicity, the image of Boccanegra's solitude, by leaving the Doge alone with the grand and opulent golden throne on stage, symbol of the power that Simone was never eager to achieve." -Musical Criticism (4 Stars)
BBC Music Magazine
Some signs of vocal wear ([Domingo] was 69 at the time) could be seen as fitting the character; in fact they're surprisingly few and far between...The finest vocal contribution comes from soprano Anja Harteros: as Amelia she sings with radiant tone and an effortless command of the role's difficulties...Barenboim stresses the score's sombre tones and gives it momentum.
The Northern Echo
Placido Domingo returns to his baritone roots in his portrayal of Simon Boccanegra, performing live at Milan's Teatro Alla Scala under the direction of Federico Tiezzi. THe cast includes Anja Harteros as Amelia Grimaldi (Maria). Highly recommended.
Run Time: 149 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Korean
The one negative that took me by surprise had to do with the camera angles and continual cutting in from close-up to pulled-back view in the later portions of the 2nd act. This choppiness was totally unnecessary and detracted from the production on video as a whole.
That being said, this is a remarkable performance and is certainly a worthwhile addition to this opera lovers collection.
Submitted on 01/02/13 by KlingonOpera
Works DetailsVerdi, Giuseppe : Simon Boccanegra
- Performers: Placido Domingo (Tenor); Ferrucio Furlantetto (Bass); Anja Harteros (Soprano); Fabio Sartori (Tenor)
- Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
- Ensemble: Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1857