I don't suppose Lucrezia Borgia will ever be one of my favourite operas, but it is beautifully sung here. The star is in splendid voice; Alfredo Kraus, who had been singing for at least a quarter century in 1980, is very eloquent and touching (I remember his fine Werther); Anne Howells and Stafford Dean do very well. There is a problem with this production, and it is that the sets and costumes are very opulent, sometimes distracting us from the drama.
The scenes unfold before our dazzled eyes; sometimes it's like looking at a Klimt painting come to life. Anne Howells is singing a trouser role, Matteo, and she wears doublets with huge puffed sleeves that make her look almost grotesque. Wasn't there any sharp eye among the costumers that would have caught this? Still this is a very entertaining night at the opera.
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