Quite possibly the best Lucrezia Borgia I've ever seen
I did love the later Sutherland and the Devia performances as well, but I was blown away by this production. Visually it is absolutely gorgeous, the costumes were so wonderfully regal that I got rather envious. The settings are just as stunningly sumptuous. Donizetti's music is wonderfully dramatic with his recognisable style still there. It is performed with plenty of passion and musicality by the orchestra and chorus, and while some might question the tempo of Come E Bello I had no problem with it. The staging is never static and never resorts to distasteful touches, just a good dramatic story unfolded in this production to truly great effect. The performances are wonderful, especially from Joan Sutherland who could well be the ultimate Lucrezia. Her colouratura technique for me has always been unmatched, and few colouratura sopranos have had high Ebs and the like as huge, brilliantly controlled and spot-on as Sutherland, both of those are here as well as a big incisive sound overall and some of her best ever acting. Robert Allman, even if I do prefer Stafford Dean, sings equally incisively and successfully managed to make us be repulsed by his character Alfonso. Ron Stevens is not as good as Alfredo Kraus, but he still makes for a solid Gennaro with a pleasant tone to his voice. Graeme Ewer, Gregory Yurisich, Lyndon Teraccini, Josephine Bermingham and Margreta Elkins all give fine support. In conclusion, a superb Lucrezia with Sutherland in one of her finest ever performances. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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