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Posted October 1, 2010
This opera hardly lets up for a second- political intrigue, murder, marital affairs, revenge, religious scheming, backstabbing, betrayed loyalties, deceit, what more could you want. It's often cut due to it's length and the demands it places on the opera house, but the Met does it complete here. Freni deliberately plays Elisabetta without much emotion, making her dignified and regal. This is the first time I've seen Bumbry, and she is very very good- a rich voice and excellent acting. Domingo, as always, ''gets into'' his character so well. Quilico's acting is a little forced, but he dies wonderfully. I've never liked Ghiaurov much, but he interacts well with the other singers. In short, this isn't a perfect cast, but everyone does an excellent job with Verdi's splendid music. However, you may want to wait until 5/13/03 when the French version with Mattila, Meier, Alagna, Hampson, van Dam and Pappano comes out. I had it on laserdisc, and I liked it better than this one.
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