Monday, October 20, 2014

Old doge: I Due Foscari @TheRoyalOpera

Plácido Domingo in I due Foscari © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2014
The Royal Opera's production of I Due Foscari which opened last week is a chance to see Plácido Domingo in an age-appropriate role.

Verdi's opera is intriguing for its use of leitmotifs for each of the principal roles, but lacks much dramatic fire, other than to see the predictable  tragedy of an ageing ruler weakened and lose everything.

Thankfully it is short but it is also give much more interest with some star power and seems a perfect vehicle for Domingo.

When his voice was at his strongest, you could also be forgiven for thinking he was back in tenor territory with its rich and bright sound. And at 73, it is an event to watch see such an experienced master at work.



Plácido Domingo and Francesco Meli in I due Foscari © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2014The star power was shared with Francesco Meli as his condemned son Jacopo, and Maria Agresta as Jacopo's wife.

Maria Agresta and Plácido Domingo in I due Foscari © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2014
There was plenty of passion in their voices and some sublime subtle harmonies with the three principals together.

A night to remember for the performances and the fine music making, even if the opera is probably an acquired taste.

I Due Foscari is a co production with Los Angeles Opera, Palau De Les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia and Theater An Der Wien, Vienna.

It runs for five more performances up to 2 November. Tickets are currently available.

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Photo credit: Production photos by Catherine Ashmore