Simon Boccanegra

Verdi Simon Boccanegra opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2007 by Giorgio Gallione at the Teatro Comunale di Bolgona with assistant director Gianni Marras. Stars Roberto Frontali, Carmen Giannattasio, Giacomo Prestia, Giuseppe Gipali, Marco Vratogna, Alberto Rota, Enea Scala, and Lucia Michelazzo. Michele Mariotti conducts the Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Comunale di Bolgona (Chorus Master Paolo Vero). Costumes and set design by Guido Fiorato with assistant set designer Monica Boromello and assistant costume designer Giorgio Cardosi; lighting by Daniele Naldi; directed for TV by Francesca Nesler. Released 2010, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio  sound. Grade: B

 This, folks, is full-throttle Italian opera: it appears that every credited artist in this production is a cousin of Verdi. The diction of the singers is unbelievably clear. Even with my paltry "opera Italian" I could understand complete sentences. The wildly improbable plot could easily be turned into a Mexican TV soap. Watch the radiantly pure Amelia get chased about by various male relatives, protectors, lovers, and lechers. And do you agree that this is a political allegory with Amelia standing in for the whole Italian nation? Watch the youngest conductor you ever saw direct the rough-and-tumble Bologna band. With this recording you don't get the impression that you're in a recording studio---you feel like you're in a small theater in a little città sitting right next to Joe Green himself.

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