Götterdämmerung, the final instalment of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, is a story of human passions. Two essentially benevolent creatures, involved with and possibly doomed by their traffic with the gods, find treachery and evil in the world of the humans, and are ruined by the dark side of humanity.
Iréne Theorin, acclaimed worldwide for her portrayal of Wagner’s heroines, stars as Brünnhilde opposite Lance Ryan, who continues his radiant portrayal of the tragic hero Siegfried. The strong cast also includes Mikhail Petrenko as the dark antagonist Hagen and Johannes Martin Kränzle, who once again shines as his father Alberich. Waltraud Meier has a memorable appearance as Brünnhilde’s sister Waltraute.
A musically strong and visually spectacular production…In a very traditional staging, Lee brings an enormous amount of visual detail to the opera…Aida and Amneris lead with superb performances, extracting every ounce of the psychological drama of the later acts…The orchestra, under Fogliani’s direction, play with a brilliant palette of colours. (MusicWeb International)
What makes this production so rewarding are the utterly compelling performances of the Macbeths, Shakepearian in intensity…[Nucci's] Macbeth is a deeply thoughtful portrayal…Valayre is up there with the finest Lady Macbeths.(International Record Review)Nucci’s Macbeth is often described as veteran, which rather dismisses his musical and dramatic insight and his sense of Verdian line…Bartoletti is authoritative in the pit. Liliana Cavani’s production is strong, her stage-on-the-stage set magnifying and scrutinising the Macbeths’ moral descent. (Opera Now)
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.
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.
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)
This tale of love, disguised nobility, murder, and love lost may sound like any other opera to some. But Verdi's Luisa Miller is a gem of the verismo genre. The gorgeous staging is surmounted only by a cast which includes Marcelo Alavarez, Leo Nucci, Fiorenca Cedolins, and Giorgio Surian.
For "La forza del destino", Verdi created one of his most famous melodies, the "fate" motif that permeates the whole of the score. Music and action alternate in masterly fashion between large-scale crowd scenes and intimate interiority, in that way illustrating Verdi's real theme: the manner in which fallible human beings are destroyed by a cruel fate.