ÓPERA ACTUAL – January 2012 – by Andrea Merli
Piacenza, I LOMBARDI ALLA PRIMA CROCIATA – by Giuseppe Verdi

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piacenza-i-lombardi-alla-prima-crociata

Arvino = Alessandro Fantoni, Pagano = Andrea Patucelli, Viclinda = Stefania Ferrari, Giselda = Stefanna Kybalova, Oronte = Ivan Magrì, Pirro = Davide Baronchelli, Sofia = Francesca Arena, Acciano = Daniele Cusani, Prior = Matteo Monni. Conductor: Gioele Muglialdo. Director: Alessandro Bertolotti. Sets and costumes: Artemio Cabassi. Visual effects and lighting: Paolo Panizza. Choreography: Giuseppina Campolonghi. Chorus Master: Corrado Casati.
Teatro Municipale, 24th November 2011.

I lombardi alla prima crociata is one of Verdi’s most complex operas, not only among the ones from the so called ‘galley years’. The work requires great skill on the podium and that was convincingly provided by the young conductor Gioele Muglialdo, who imparted the right energy – one could say the crucial drive – and painted the nuances that characterise Verdi’s works, even the early ones. The performance went well beyond a mere correct music interpretation, it was truly poignant. Just as worthy of praise is the young cast made up of budding singers; first and foremost the young and beautiful soprano Stefanna Kybalovala, Bulgarian by birth but Italian by choice, winner of the latest Busseto Competition awarded by José Carreras himself. Endowed with a vibrant lyrical voice at ease in the top notes and agility passages, and well-supported in the central range, she played a brilliant Giselda. […] The same goes for tenor Ivan Magrì, a very interesting voice, in the role of Oronte. The bass Andrea Patucelli, from Piacenza, was on his own turf, but his artistic maturity and solid technique warranted the wide acclaim won by his Pagano. Fine performances were also those of the bass Davide Baronchelli as Pirro, the tenor Alessandro Fantoni as Arvino, and of the rest of the brilliant cast. The chorus, conducted by Corrado Casati, delivered a flawless performance and obliged the audience with an encore of the famous “O Signore, dal tetto natío”. The staging was a success, well made in spite of the limited resources, profiting from Paolo Panizza’s fascinating video effects, Alessandro Bertolotti’s direction and Artemio Cabassi’s ever first rate sets and colourful costumes. Full house. Sitting amid a jubilant audience was Enzo Dara, much loved in Piacenza and beyond!

Watch the show.

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