Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vitalij Kowaljow as Don Alfonso and Renée Fleming as Lucrezia Borgia in 'Lucrezia Borgia' Vitalij Kowaljow and Renée Fleming in 'Lucrezia Borgia' (Cory Weaver, San Francisco Opera)

Almost 178 years after its premiere, the San Francisco Opera brings Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia to the stage as a vehicle for soprano Renée Fleming. A femme fatale, renowned for her ruthless pursuit of power, Borgia reveals her  poignant vulnerability when she comes face to face with her long-lost son. The production also stars American tenor Michael Fabiano and bass Vitalij Kowaljow.



Lucrezia Borgia  Renee Fleming
Muffio Orsini   Elizabeth DeShong
Gennaro   Michael Fabiano
Alfonso d'Este  Vitalij Koaliow
Rustighello   Daniel Montenegro
Jepo Liverotto   Christopher Jackson
Oloferno Vitellozzo  Brian Jagde
Apostolo Gazello  Austin Kness
Astolfo   Ryan Kuster
Ascanio Petrucci  Ao Li
Gubetta   Igor Vieira


CONDUCTOR:  Riccardo Frizza



Comments [4]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

DONIZETTI'S LUCREZIA BORGIA is a masterpiece. And it was a masterful considered casting to have RENEE FLEMING, whose musicianship, voice and acting talents combined with genuine determination to convey the composer's manifest motivations in text handling. She is a treasure ! HAPPY HANNUKAH, MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY NERW YEAR !!! HANDEL'S ORATORIOS ARE THE MOST REVERED OF HIS COMPOSITIONS. ONE THAT IS NOT AS OFTEN PERFORMED AS IT DESERVES TO BE IS HIS "JUDAS MACCABAEUS." ITS "SOUND AN ALARM"' IS STIRRING. IT'S MY CLOSING SELECTION ON MY SOLO DEBUT IN THE ISAAC STERN AUDITORIUM OF CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT "{LIVE" ON MY VALHALLA RECORDS CD AND MAY BE DOWNLOADED FROM MY THREE WEBSITES. My cousin MICHAEL BLANKFORT wrote both the books and screenplays for the 1953 film THE JUGGLER Hollywood film made in Israel starring KIRK DOUGLAS and the 1950 Hollywood film BROKEN ARROW starring JAMES STEWART and JEFF CHANDLER [Cochise]. The music for THE JUGGLER was composed by opera composer GEORGE ANTHEIL, in whose opera VOLPONE I sang the tenor leading role [Mosca] in its professional world premiere in NEW YORK in 1953. ANTHEIL, famous for his opera TRANSATLANTIC and BALLET MECHANIQUE looked exactly like Peter Lorre. I am a romantischer heldentenor. I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I opened my three hour concert with the Invocazione di Orfeo from Jacopo Peri's opera EURIDICE composed in 1600, the first opera, composed in the same year as Shakespeare wrote HAMLET. It can be heard from the live performance on my three websites,, ,, and It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. My voice teachers were the legendary MET OPERA singers Alexander Kipnis, Friedrich Schorr, Martial Singher, John Brownlee, Karin Branzell and Margarete Matzenauer. In another commentary on one commented about all operas that were once NEW but now not new and therefore should be relegated to museum status. As an opera composer myself ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] I fully comprehend the assumed urgency of recognition of the still living. However, it's important to revere and enjoy the MASTERPIECES of art, music, literature, architecture and science in its multiple formats . I am the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute in Boonton, NJ where I train actors in all the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers in all the Wagner opera roles.

Dec. 09 2012 11:41 AM
Larry Eisenberg from New York City

The plot may be lurid, I know,
But Donizetti's bel canto,
Abetted by voices
At which one rejoices,
Can never, to me, be de trop!

Sep. 29 2012 02:47 PM

great score, way ahead of its time, Verdi was greatly influenced by it and lifted many of its numbers and structure for his Rigoletto. Too bad the conducting for this San Francisco production is so pedestrian, where's Jonel Perlea or Richard Bonynge when you need them?

Sep. 29 2012 01:55 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Lucrezia does not deserve her bad reputation.It is the habit of ruling families to refer to the women of rival families as sluts and whores. She was a political pawn for the Borgias. Her last marriage, I think to the Duke of Ferrara was a happy one. She died from complications of childbirth. She was the mother to seven or eight childen. The opera makes reference to wines of Syracusa. Seems the Borgias would use this wine to poison enemies. I have been lucky to sample some of the Siracusan wine. Rather wonderful wine it is as are many of the wines from my bella Sicilia.

Sep. 29 2012 09:42 AM

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