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Dmitry

I agree about Ferruccio Furlanetto. He was magnificent. And Giordani was having one of his all-too-rare good nights. But Hampson was just awful. The voice is completely wrong for this repertoire. It's light-weight and dry; he has absolutely no gravitas. And his occasional weird distortion of music on vowels - no doubt to suit some odd notion of drama - were more than annoying. But he died well. Finally. I realized this was my first time hearing Gheorghiu live and I was as unimpressed seeing her live as I have been by her recordings and live broadcasts. The voice has its attractive qualities, but she's never managed to grab my attention for more than a second or two. She did all she could here, but all she has isn't enough for this role. And she had a really difficult time keeping up with Luisi's erratic conducting of her first aria. I initially liked Luisi's conducting, but quickly changed my mind. It was messy, random, and unpredictable - in a bad way. And ultimately boring. "Simon Boccanegra" is one of my favorite Verdi operas; I think it is his most underrated. Musically, anyway. And this was a performance to not remember in spite of fine contributions by Furlanetto, Giordani, Gerello, and Bernstein. I'll have to put on the magnificent Abbado recording to wash this performance away!

philip

I was trying to figure out if it was Gheorghiu or Luisi who wanted that fast tempo for the aria; it seemed like it got even faster after she started to sing! It was more like a cabaletta...

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