Simon Boccanegra was basically a newfound treasure, the story is confusing sometimes that I can agree with, but the characters are plausible, the title character is quite complex come to think of it, and the music while not entirely instant classic status is wonderful particularly Orfanella In Tetto Umile and the lovely father-daughter duet that follows, Plebe Patrizi, Fiesco's big aria and the final scene.
This production is very good, however when it comes to other productions of this opera I prefer the 1984 Met, the 1995 Met and 1978 La Scala productions. The costumes and sets are fine with the ones in the prologue particularly atmospheric, and the video directing is excellent. The orchestra and conducting are spot on, and I liked the staging of the final scene and Plebe Patrizi, though I think Orfanella In Tetto Umile could have done with more benevolence.
The performances I have little problem with. Placido Domingo, singing a baritone role, is surprisingly great as Simon Boccanegra, his voice is still rather tenor-ish but it still sounds amazing and he as always does more than just singing. Jospeh Calleja(who I am not a fan of) is an effective Gabriele Adorno, and Marina Poplavskaya is a beautifully sung and decently acted Amelia. Best of all though is Ferruccio Furlanetto's excellent Fiesco.
Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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