Ponchielli's La Gioconda from the Bastille Opera in Paris

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Ponchielli's <em>La Gioconda</em> from the Bastille Opera in Paris.

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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.

Cast:

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