Great cast for tale of revenge
ANGELA GHEORGHIU is the clear bill-topper for this revived production marking the 25th anniversary of her Covent Garden debut. But there’s stiff competition to be star of the show.
The Royal Opera has put together a powerful line-up for Francesco Cilea’s sadly neglected tale of love, betrayal and revenge. The fine supporting cast is led by baritone Gerald Finley, as stage manager Michonnet, who is secretly in love with the lead character. Brian Jagde is suitably macho as her cheating lover Maurizio and mezzo-soprano Ksenia Dudnikova gives Gheorghiu a run for her money as scheming love rival, the Princess de Bouillon.
Israeli conductor Daniel Oren brings out the charming melodies and colourful orchestration in Cilea’s masterpiece.
The four-act opera is staged on two lavish sets of the Prince’s palace, sandwiched between a lifelike copy of the backstage area of the ComédieFrançaise of the 1720s, where the tragedy is set.
This opera’s neglect is partly blamed on the complicated plot but also on the composer living in the shadow of his contemporary, Puccini. But, as the cast proved with their diva, eclipses don’t last for ever.