The great Italian opera composer recalls his eventful life on his deathbed: his childhood in Busseto, his studies in Milan, his first opera "Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio", the death of ... See full summary »
The great Italian opera composer recalls his eventful life on his deathbed: his childhood in Busseto, his studies in Milan, his first opera "Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio", the death of his wife and his children killed by smallpox. Written by
Salvatore Santangelo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you are an opera fan you'll find much to like, if you're not you won't so much. As a lifelong opera enthusiast and someone who wants a career in it, Giuseppe Verdi was interesting and I'm glad I saw it. But the overall result wasn't really that mind-blowing. There are definitely a lot of things to love, the characterisations of Verdi and second wife Giuseppina are spot on, intense and affecting. The music is outstanding as well, Rigoletto, Otello, Nabucco and Il Trovatore all to name a few are a sheer treat to listen to and staged very well, the Otello death scene is incredibly powerful. As is the singing, especially with Mario De Monaco and Tito Gobbi. Del Monaco sounds absolutely thrilling and doesn't resort to the shouty quality his voice did have later on while Tito Gobbi sings with deep feeling, great word painting and he practically embodies Rigoletto especially through his voice alone. The direction does feel rather dull though, and the film while not amateurish isn't a beautiful-looking film either, rather flat instead. The story doesn't really ring true, it's interesting definitely and gets to the point well enough but gets melodramatic and only really comes to life in the opera stagings. The dialogue is also very soap-operatic in tone and while it was nice to see Donizetti, Rossini and Victor Hugo featured apart from the performances of Verdi and Giuseppina the rest fall into caricatures. In conclusion, very mixed on Giuseppe Verdi, interesting but not great. Opera fans will be in heaven, those wanting good dialogue and direction will be disappointed. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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