A Diamond from Rough Times: Verdi's I Masnadieri
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic drama follows a wealthy and murderous crook as he engages in a doomed romance with his cousin. It's a hot-blooded, messy affair with an array of brilliant musical numbers and arias tailored for the opera's first leading lady, legendary soprano Jenny Lind.
I Masnadieri premiered in London at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1847. When Verdi received the commission for the new work, he thought it might lead to a box office hit and a healthy paycheck. Only part of that came true. Audiences found the opera excessively violent. Despite the appearance of Lind as the female lead, the opera had a short run. Still, it did earn Verdi more money than any of his previous works.
On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents I Masnadieri from historic La Fenice, in Venice, Italy. Soprano Maria Agresta and tenor Andeka Gorrotxategui star as a pair of lovers whose severely dysfunctional family life makes their romance more than a little bit hazardous. The production is led by conductor Daniele Rustioni.
Daniele Rustioni: conductor
Amalia: Maria Agresta (soprano)
Carlo: Andeka Gorrotxategui (tenor)
Francesco: Artur Rucinski (baritone)
Count Moor: Giacomo Prestia (bass)
Arminio: Cristiano Olivieri (tenor)
Rolla: Antonio Feltracco (tenor)
La Fenice Orchestra and Chorus