Verdi - Simon Boccanegra (James Levine, Vladimir Chernov, Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo) [2002/1995]
NTSC 4:3 (720x480) VBR | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) Italiano (Dolby AC3, 6 ch) Italiano (DTS, 5 ch) | 7.84 Gb (DVD9)
Classical | Deutsche Grammophon | Sub: Italiano, English, Deutsch, Francais, Espanol, Chinese | 141 min | +3% Recovery
Simon Boccanegra is one of Verdi's most difficult operas to pull of successfully. First of all, unlike most operas, it is not a love story. Though the relationship between Amelia and Gabrielle is profiled here, it is not the focal point of the plot. Furthermore, there is a constant somber mood that covers the entire opera. Still, this opera is Verdi at his best. The music is haunting and powerful, the plot interesting and touching.
THis production, taped at the Met in 1995 is just about as good as you'll see anywhere. Too often we hear of operas "golden age," a time when an opera like this could be cast without a weak link. Well, the same thing goes here. There are four amazing singers under the direction of a great Verdi conductor.
Vladimir Chernov uses is powerful baritone to the full effect here and proves himself to be a terrific Verdi singer. He is also one hell of an actor, to boot! Robert Lloyd sings just as well as Fiesco, but acts even better than Chernov. When he is on stage, one feels that the opera is about him. In it is true luxury casting to have Kiri Te Kanawa and Placido Domingo as the young lovers. OK, so both of them were in their fifties at this point and hardly look like young lovers, but still, their voices sound as youthful as ever and it is a treat!
Levine brings alot out of the orchestra and his conducting shows true mastery, particularly in the Council Chamber scene.
The production, by Gian Carlo del Monaco, is colorful at times, dark and somber at other times- how perfect for an opera such as this! By Rochambeau Fan
Simon Boccanegra - Vladimir Chernov
Maria Boccanegra (Amelia) - Kiri Te Kanawa
Jacopo Fiesco - Robert Lloyd
Gabriele Adorno - Plácido Domingo
Paolo Albiani - Bruno Pola
Pietro - Hao Jiang Tian
Un capitano dei balestrieri - Charles Anthony
Un' ancella di Amelia - Joyce Olson
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor - James Levine