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Simon Boccanegra (2010)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  10 July 2010 (UK)
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Credited cast:
Gabriele ardorno
Ferruccio Furlanetto ...
Fiesco / Jacopo
Chris Jenkins ...
Boccanegra's Guard
Simon Johns ...
Boccanegra's Guard
Armit Louise ...
Amelias maid servant
The Ship builder
Marina Poplavskaya ...
Amelia grimaldi
Jonathan Summers ...
Paolo albiani
James Unsworth ...


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Release Date:

10 July 2010 (UK)  »

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£2,500,000 (estimated)

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Remake of Simon Boccanegra (1991) See more »

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22 December 2010 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

This production marks Placìdo Domingo's much-anticipated descent into the baritone register. In fact, I think it is an old production of Elijah Moshinsky's. Moshinsky uses a fairly minimalist box set which does little to elucidate the bonkers plot. Without much to look at, I spent too long thinking about the plot holes and coincidences. The plot bears a superficial resemblance to Shakespeare's Pericles. Simon's infant daughter Maria is lost for 25 years before they are reunited. Apparently she has been living all this time in the home of Simone's enemy Fiesco. Fiesco is Maria's grandfather although he does not realise it. He has picked her at random from an orphanage, ignorant of their relationship. Fiesco has managed to conceal himself and grow rich in Genoa under by the simple expedient of changing the colour of his beard. Meanwhile Maria has become betrothed to Adorno, another enemy of Simon's. When Simon and Maria realise that they are father and daughter they, for some unknown reason, do not tell anyone. This confuses Adorno who thinks they are having an affair and tries to kill Simon.

Confused? You will be. In the only other production I have seen of this opera from Firenze all this nonsense was unimportant because of the wonderful display of bass and baritone singing particularly in the final act as Simon is slowly dying of poisoning. In this Covent Garden production the singing and the production were not good enough to keep my mind off the ridiculous plot. Domingo has a pleasant-sounding baritone voice but, to my mind, it lacks the oomph of a career baritone. Marina Poplavskaya trilled sweetly as Maria, tenor Joseph Calleya was an effective Adorno and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto was the best of the bunch as Fiesco.

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