Considered one of the most stirring works of Verdi's early years, Ernani was a triumph at its Venice world premiere in 1844. Audiences are invariably captivated by the infectious energy of the music, which requires four principals boasting magnificent vocal beauty and technical prowess.
The macho yet romantic nobleman, Don Juan de Aragon, disguised as the bandit Ernani (tenor Marcello Giordani) loves the young, nobly born Elvira (soprano Angela Meade). She returns his love, but must endure the attentions of both the King of Spain, Don Carlo (baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky) and Don Ruy Gomez de Silva (bass Ferruccio Furlanetto), her aged uncle who hopes to marry her himself. Silva's protection of Ernani from the angry king's pursuits results in Ernani owing the old man a terrible debt, which precipitates the opera's tragic dénouement.
The busy Marco Armiliato conducts.
Elvira: Angela Meade
Ernani: Marcello Giordani
Don Carlo: Dmitri Hvorostovsky
de Silva: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Conductor: Marco Armiliato