Ponchielli's La Gioconda from the Bastille Opera in Paris

« previous episode | next episode »

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ponchielli's 'La Gioconda' from the Bastille Opera in Paris. Ponchielli's La Gioconda from the Bastille Opera in Paris.

• Listen to the Operavore stream

Amilcare Ponchielli's masterpiece La Gioconda, a drama of politics, passion and murder, is so over-the-top sensational that you can't help but love it — one of opera's most delicious "guilty pleasures."

On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents this production of La Gioconda from the Bastille Opera in Paris, with soprano Violeta Urmana in the title role, tenor Marcelo Alvarez as Enzo and baritone Claudio Sgura as the arch-villain Barnaba.


Conductor: Daniel Oren

Gioconda: Violeta Urmana (soprano)

Enzo: Marcelo Alvarez (tenor)

Laura: Luciana D'Intino (mezzo-soprana)

Barnaba: Claudio Sgura (baritone)

La Cieca: Maria José Montiel (mezzo-soprano)

Alvise: Orlin Anastassov (bass)

Paris National Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Comments [2]

Les from Miami, Florida

I think has too long been unjustly maligned and looked down on. Melodrama par excellence, but Shakespeare it ain't. There are, however, outstanding parts for soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone and bass. There is the whirlwind orchestral "Furlana" following "O, monumento" and the celebrated "Dance of the Hours of the Day" in the last act. In addition to "Cielo e mar" for the tenor, there's "Deh! non tremar" for tenor and mezzo that's abandon and beauty in itself. For chorus, there's the "Marinaresca" with a boy's chorus, and the concerted piece that ends Act III whose melody reprises a "hit" aria number, "Tu, sei morta". I think Puccini learned a lot from Ponchielli in that he ended "Tosca" with a short though not literal reprise of "E luchevan le stelle". "Stella marinar" is outstanding for mezzo (if not cut); and besides "Suicidio" in the last act, who isn't swept away by Gioconda's entrance "Ah! come t'amo!" with a pianissimo B-flat (if Gioconda is really great)!

Jul. 18 2013 09:40 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

This opera is a hoot. Hello mudder, hello fadder. How are things in Camp Grenada? I have the album, My Son, the Folk Singer. Fantasia ruined this opera forever. Cannot get the dancing hippos and crocodiles out of my mind. Some great music in this one.

Jul. 18 2013 08:16 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.