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Cyrano de Bergerac (2008)

While best known today for having composed the ending to Puccini's unfinished Turandot, Franco Alfano wrote some dozen operas, including Cyrano de Bergerac (1936) with a libretto by Henri ... See full summary »

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(libretto), (homonymous novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sondra Radvanovsky ...
Arturo Chacón-Cruz ...
Christian
Rodney Gilfry ...
Patrick Fournillier ...
Himself - Conducted by
Corrado Carmelo Caruso ...
Roberto Accurso ...
Javier Franco ...
Carbon
Nahuel di Pierro ...
Silvía Vázquez ...
Lise - A Nun
Miquel Solá ...
Juan José Navarro ...
The Musketeer
Juan Felipe Durá ...
A Cook
Antonío Lozano Mora ...
First Sentinel
Antonío Gómez Cano ...
Second Sentinel
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Storyline

While best known today for having composed the ending to Puccini's unfinished Turandot, Franco Alfano wrote some dozen operas, including Cyrano de Bergerac (1936) with a libretto by Henri Cain based on Edmond Rostand's drama of the same name. It is a moving tale of romantic misunderstanding, swashbuckling bravado and heartbreaking loyalty, in which the eloquent Cyrano feels unable to express his love for Roxane because of his famously protuberant nose--except on behalf of his handsome but inarticulate friend, Christian. When Domingo and Radvanovsky sang Cyrano and Roxane at New York's Metropolitan Opera, Andante magazine wrote: "Incredibly, Cyrano is his 121st role. And it suits him splendidly...Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky was luminous as Roxane, her passionate outbursts showing off her powerful upper register to good effect".

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Drama | Musical | Romance

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2 March 2008 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Alfano: Cyrano de Bergerac  »

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16:9 HD
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There is one thing we don't mention...
13 August 2009 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Franco Alfano is best known for his completion of Turandot. Most Puccini fans hate it but I have always admired it so I welcomed this chance to hear some Alfano in his own right. Cyrano de Bergerac stars the indefatigable Plácido Domingo as the eponymous nasally-challenged soldier and poet. Domingo gamely wears the required prosthetic nose and I was surprised that it did not affect his singing voice. Sondra Rodvanovsky is a rather matronly Roxane, the oblivious object of Cyrano's passion. Arturo Chacón-Cruz is the nice but dim Christian, the object of Roxane's affection.

This lavishly-staged production, from Valencia, closely follows Rostand's play. Alfano's librettist Henri Cain has managed admirably to retain the gist of the play while shaping it to a manageable 2-hours or so opera. I was reminded of Fawlty Towers' "Don't mention the Germans" by the scene in which Christian is warned, on joining the regiment that: "There is one thing we don't mention…" In the ensuing scene he finds himself repeatedly alluding to Cyrano's nose.

So far, I have not mentioned the music. For the first three scenes it struck me as adequate but not particularly musical. Things look up in scene four where Roxane gets her big aria. The final scene between the widowed Roxane and the dying Cyrano is truly moving. I had to wipe the tears from my eyes, as one should in any decent opera.

In summary, Alfano's opera is not a forgotten gem but it does make an effective evening's entertainment, musically, dramatically and visually.


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