Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia opera to a libretto by Felice Romani. Directed 2012 by John Pascoe at the War Memorial Opera House in San Fransisco. Stars Renée Fleming (Borgia), Michael Fabiano (Gennaro), Elizabeth DeShong (Maffio Orsini), Vitalij Kowaljow (Duca Alfonso), Christopher Jackson (Jeppo Liverotto), Brian Jagde (Oloferno Vitellozzo), Austin Kness (Apostolo Gazella), Ao Li (Ascanio Petrucci), Daniel Montenegro (Rustighello), Igor Vieira (Gubetta), Ryan Kuster (Astolfo), Blanche Hampton (Princess Negroni), Jere Torkelsen (A Voice) as well as Mary Finch, Claire Kelm, Sally Mouzon, and Sally Monro (Ladies of the Court). Riccardo Frizza conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra (Acting Concertmaster Laura Albers) and Chorus (Chorus Master Ian Robertson). Production designs by John Pascoe; lighting by Jeff Bruckerhoff; choreography by Lawrence Pech; directed for TV by Frank Zamacona. Producers were Jessica Koplos and Matthew Shilvock; David Gockley was Executive Producer. Released 2013, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A
This San Francisco production has impressive traditional sets, beautiful costumes, and apt personal directing for great old-style story-telling. I recently reviewed a modern version of this opera with stripped down mise-en-scène directed by Christof Loy in Munich. I suggest you consult that review first if you are not familiar with the plot of Lucrezia Borgia.
The first screenshot shows Michael Fabiano as Gennaro in a wonderful period-inspired costume created to please modern taste:
Wearing the trousers is Elizabeth DeShong as Maffio Orsini, Gennaro's best friend and comrade-in-arms:
Our heroes bow before the Duke and Duchess of Grimani in Venice at a party; the next day the soldiers will depart for Ferrara to visit Duke Alfonso d'Este, the husband of Lucrezia Borgia. The elaborate costumes help me distinguish the various factions involved:
Lucrezia Borgia (Renée Fleming) is in Venice to see Gennaro, her son abandoned as a baby. We never learn about the sad history of this mother and son, and Lucrezia will not reveal the truth to anyone until the end of the opera: