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Tutto Verdi

La Battaglia di Legnano

Rolando - Leonardo Lopez Linares
Lida - Dimitra Theodossiou
Arrigo - Andrew Richards
Barbarossa - Enrico Giuseppe Iori

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico 'Giuseppe Verdi' di Trieste/Boris Brott

This is a superlative DVD release in Unitel's ongoing Tutto Verdi series.

A rarity on the stage (25th most frequently performed of Verdi's operas and rated the 1443rd of operas in the world !) La Battaglia di Legnano (1849) is the last of his "early" operas, with particularly fine duets. It deals, by historical analogy, with the Risorgimento movement for a united Italy.

New to us, unsurprisingly, we found La Battaglia riveting and unexpectedly moving. The singing is fine by our reckoning, with ideal sound balance and recording quality; the voices never too prominent over the orchestra.

Although an Italian review of the Trieste production on TheOperaCritic is no more than lukewarm, this DVD rises to a different level with the work of the video technical team. Movements across the wide stage are matched by those of the cameras. Strongly recommended.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Tutto Verdi Luisa Miller


Leo Nucci, Katarina Nikolic, Marcelo Alvarez [L to R]

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/Donato Renzetti

Teatro Regio and Verdi Festival Parma, 2007

Unitel ClassicaTUTTO VERDI 14
C Major: 722904


- - musically rich and psychologically powerful - - (Buxton 2010)

New to us (a huge bonus from following the Unitel Tutto Verdi series) Luisa Miller demands an awareness of its historical background with acceptance of what can seem a simplistic and improbable domestic plot, graced with marvellous intense music and some great duets and ensembles.

More modestly staged than La Battaglia in Trieste [above], it is well filmed for the TV screen and captures strong performances by the goodies (Luisa and her fiance Rodolfo and father - the great Leo Nucci); less good by the villainous aristocratic entourage.

We are promised a revelation of how the Count obtained his "nobility", but that never comes before the young lovers die with Luisa's "secret" - pretending to love the villainous Würm - forced upon her to rescue her father from captivity and death threat; all that beginning to come out only during the poisoned young lovers' death throes...

Composed the same year (1849) as La Battaglia, it is the precursor of the famous operas with domestic themes and concentrating on father/daughter relationships.

One really needs to separate the score and its acting on this fine DVD from the seemingly ludicrous & improbable plot, not unravelled until too late...

We loved it.

Peter Grahame Woolf