Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fedora

In the continuing saga of unwatched opera videos today we have Fedora by Giordano. It comes after his Andrea Chenier and is roughly contemporary with Tosca.

This presentation at the Met was done especially for Mirela Freni—it is her favorite, and it’s not hard to see why. The character Fedora is in every scene. The hit tune from Fedora, “Amor ti vieta,” is for tenor, but not to worry. Fedora gets to be anxiously awaiting the fate of her mortally wounded lover, to swear vengeance upon his killer, to pursue the killer and try to entrap him, to instead fall madly in love with him, to express bliss, regret and any other emotion, and finally to commit suicide. How could you possibly top this?

Placido Domingo has a nice part as her lover and enemy, Loris. Please forgive my former cracks about him. What was I thinking?

I enjoyed it, but then I cannot get enough of scenery chewing. By the end the entire set is in tatters. It is popular in Italy, I understand. Mirela Freni is no longer at her peak, and Placido is struggling a bit to come up to the required level of melodrama. What would this have been like 10 years before?

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