Giovanna d'Arco


Verdi Giovanna d'Arco opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed 2017 by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Francesco Meli (Carlo VII), Anna Netrebko (Giovanna), Carlos Álvarez (Giacomo), Dmitry Beloselskiy (Talbot), and Michele Mauro (Delil). Riccardo Chailly conducts the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni). Set design by Christian Fenouillat; costume design by Agostino Cavalca; lighting design by Christope Forey; video design by Étienne Guiol; movement direction by Leah Hausman; directed for TV by Patrizia Carmine. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: NA

Giovanna d’Arco is rarely performed or recorded because of a weak libretto: there are only two Blu-ray versions other than this new one with Anna Netrebko as Giovanna. Mark Pullinger, writing in the December 2018 Gramophone at page 121, warns of unusual directing, but declares that Netrebko, “is becoming one of the great Verdi sopranos of our day “ and “is in magnificent voice.” Per Fred Cohn, writing in the October 2018 Opera News at pages 56-57, the directors worm their way around the book by setting this in an insane asylum. We see not an unfolding of events but Giovanna’s hallucinations as portrayed by Netrebko “in stupendous vocal form.” Cohn also praises Chailly for directing the music with a faith as strong as Giovanna’s faith in God, which allows Chailly to “reveal the spiritual force of Verdi’s genius.”

So this appears to be something of a “must buy” for avid Netrebko fans. And these comments from the print critics may help you follow the interesting and informative official clip below: