Thursday, February 25, 2010

Simon Boccanegra in HD

Simon Boccanegra........Plácido Domingo
Amelia..................Adrianne Pieczonka
Gabriele Adorno.........Marcello Giordani
Jacopo Fiesco...........James Morris
Paolo Albiani...........Stephen Gaertner

Conductor...............James Levine
Production..............Giancarlo Del Monaco

I went last night to the rerun of the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast of Simon Boccanegra with Plácido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra, James Levine on the podium, Adrianne Pieczonka as Amelia Grimaldi, Marcello Giordani as Gabriele Adorno and James Morris as Fiesco / Andrea Grimaldi. The audience in the house really loved this.

Is it necessary to review the plot? Fiesco, a Genoa aristocrat, has a daughter Maria. She gets knocked up by Simon Boccanegra, a lower class person. Baby is misplaced and turns up later as Amelia Grimaldi, Fiesco renamed. That's enough.

Anyone wants to see this because Plácido Domingo is singing Simon Boccanegra, a baritone part. Can he do it? The answer appears to be yes. The part lies well for him and he keeps his regular tenor tone. He is such a wonderful actor and carries it virtually on charisma alone.

The shock came with James Morris as Fiesco. This part did not lie well for him. His voice completely disappeared on the low notes. My previous complaints about him having a wobble, however, were not in evidence. He sounded great on the parts you could hear.

It was a stylistic mish-mash. Marcello Giordani sang beautifully in a very Italian style. Domingo and Morris were a kind of generic Verdi. Adrianne Pieczonka has a nice hefty voice for Verdi but absolutely no idea of how to phrase Verdi. Perhaps the Verdi curse will move to New York.


Anonymous said...

umm, am going to see the film in March in New Zealand. Am looking forward to Placido but you make me apprehensive of the others!

Dr.B said...

Placido is worth seeing. The villain is good. Marcello Giordani is great. James Morris was better than expected. Only the soprano is a complete bust, but not in a cringe-worthy way. If you know how this stuff is supposed to go, you can't help but be disappointed.