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GIORDANO: Andrea Chenier
Jose Cura , Maria Guleghina , Carlo Guelfi
/ Ariostini / Couwenbergh / Davidsen / Pearce

Bologna Teatro Comunale Chorus & Orchestra / Carlo Rizzi

TDK DVD DVWW-OPACH [123 mins; Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Jan 2006]


Andrea Chenier is an opera that had given me difficulty live at Opera Holland Park, which has been featuring Italian verismo; their Fedora this year a great success.

Our vocal specialist had reservations about an earlier DVD of Andrea Chenier starring Placido Domingo. There is a lot going for this one from Bologna, most of all Carlo Guelfi as Gerard, the most interesting character, who does a sub-Tosca seduction scene in the second act and a volte-face in the Revolutionary Trial scene which follows.

Maria Guleghina is impressive as the heroine who sacrifices herself for love, and Jose Cura sings strongly and persuasively as the poet who has no qualms about her opting to join him in ecstatic death (see cover illustration), a mawkish final scene unless you can capitulate completely to an opera which, in my book, is anything but verismo, having no reality outside the operatic stage.

This is a brand new production, and its filming for TV and DVD, has the virtues of concentration upon the essentials, and I found it intermittently gripping so that I was able to collude in "suspension of disbelief" for minutes at a time.

See also review on Music Web




Peter Grahame Woolf Jly 2006