Ennio Porrino I Shardana opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed by Davide Livermore at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Italy. Stars Manrico Signorini (Gonnario), Angelo Villari (Torbeno), Gianpiero Ruggeri (Orzocco), Domenico Balzani (Norace), Paoletta Marrocu (Bèrbera Jonia), Alessandra Palomba (Nibatta), Gabriele Mangione (Perdu), Enrico Zara (Sardinian Shephard / The Lookout / Second Warrior), Nicola Ravarino Guagenti (A Voice / First Warrior), and special guest Elena Ledda. Anthony Bramall conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Fondazione Teatro Lirico di Cagliari (Chorus Master Marco Faelli). Set design by Giò Forma Production Design; costume design by Marco Nateri; light design by Loïc François Hamelin; video designs by D-Wok; directed for video by Davide Mancini. Released 2015, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!
The Shardana or Sherden were a war-like and seafaring people who lived in Bronze Age Sardinia (beginning about 1800 BC) in what is called the Nuragic Civilization. This name comes from about 7000 nuraghes, or stone tower-fortresses, that even today are found all over Sardinia. Little is known about the Nuragic era. But it appears from this libretto that the Shardana practiced all manner of evils such as worshipping the stars and the ocean, and they were keen on topless dancing. Porrino attempts to write the opera that Puccini might have written had he lived longer and gotten interested in the history of Sardinia. The opera was first staget in 1959 with Porrino conducting. According to Joe Cadagin, who reviewed this title in the October 2015 Opera News (pages 69-70) Porrino's score is "derivative and sappy" and the singing is "forced" and "strained." But director Livermore does whatever he can to keep the production interesting. So this may well be a good bet for lovers of rare and exotic Italian opera productions.
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