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Simon Boccanegra - 31. 3. 1984


English Translation Heidi Hochstein

Giorgio Strehler took his Milan production with its gloomy gothic sets by Ezio Frigero to Vienna. The prologue, with its individual emerging dreamlike acts, was very impressive. It is a very solemn and low-key production that does not always agree with the drama of the music but shows the inner struggle all the clearer.

Renato Bruson in the title role is an incredibly fine singing artist who also is very moving. But sometimes I missed the heroic penetrating power of a Cappuccilli. For Ruggero Raimondi, the role of Fiesco is a role to show off all the power and daemonic genius of his vocal capabilities. Unfortunately, Katia Ricciarelli is not in best vocal condition at the moment and her Amelia was without luster. Jose Carreras gave the role of Gabriele Adorno dramatic expressive power. Why Felice Schiavi was cast in the role of Paolo is a mystery: the Vienna Staatsoper already has singers of this caliber and with his acting abilities, Schiavi was totally out of place.

Claudio Abbado directed discreetly, delicately and clearly. The orchestra was marvelous and Abbado accompanied the singers with loving care. At the end there was great cheering for Abbado and the singers. EEM