Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Miss Ernani

If you've got any taste for opera--and if you missed the opener Saturday--remind yourself to make room for the replay on Wednesday March 14 of the Met's HD presentation of Verdi's Ernani.

Yes, it's early, green Verdi, not up to the standard of the the bigfeet of decades to come.  The plot is absurd even by operatic standards and you pretty much skip the (short) fourth act.   But if you want to understand the arc of Verdi's career, it's essential.  This is the one in which, as the serious students might say, Verdi becomes Verdi: you've got your lovestruck but troubled soprano; your faintly befuddled tenor; your imperious and manipulative baritone and your sinister passacaglia basso.  Good singing all around here, but I'd say that the prize goes to Ferruccio Furlanetto, who has lately taken total command of those Verdi basso roles (I see he'll be back at the Met next year in Don Carlos).  In a break-time interview, Joyce DiDonato asked him a question about (I'm quoting from memory) how you deal with the ahem somewhat shaky structure of the plot.  His answer was something on the lines of you just have to make the character carry conviction and the  rest will take care of itself.  Good point: works for Verdi's great progenitor, Shakespeare, and Furlanetto shows how it can be made to work here, too.   


Anonymous said...

Anyone who would like to experience a few moments of sheer happiness should find Furlanetto's performances of Leporello from 15-20+ years ago, when he owned that role and was also superb in Mozart's other comic basso creations. The clips are easy to find on youtube. Absolute delight is guaranteed. And it cannot be overstated how he dominated the role of Leporello in those years.

Buce said...

Thanks, I did not know. I'll look for them.