|Metropolitan Opera Orchestra||Actor|
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The Metropolitan Opera's lavish 1984 production of one of Giuseppe Verdi's great operas has been given a simple presentation for its release on DVD. Simon Boccanegra has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo. The opera is performed in the original Italian, with optional English language subtitles. No additional bonus materials appear on this edition.Sherrill Milnes, Vasile Moldoveanu, Paul Plishka, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, and Dawn Upshaw star in this lavish production of what many regard as one of Verdi's finest and most challenging operas. Set in 14th century Genoa, two men conspire to have Boccanegra named Doge of Genoa, while another, Fiesco, looks for a way to bring him down. Fiesco's disgust with Boccanegra is not without just cause; Boccanegra seduced Fiesco's daughter, which caused her to have an illegitimate child who died as an infant. Meanwhile, Boccanegra has set his sights on another woman, Amelia, but she will not take his hand. Not only doesn't Amelia love him, but the current Doge has recently learned she is actually his long-lost daughter. Simon Boccanegra was recorded during a live performance at New York's Metropolitan Opera House on December 29, 1984.
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This is a pretty good performance. The singers are all pretty good, and the orchestra, chorus, sets and costumes are all pretty good. I'm obviously not very enthused about it, and that's because I used to have the laserdisc of this opera with TeKanawa and Solti, and that one was better in all ways than this one. Unfortunately, it's not available on DVD. There is a more recent (1995) Met performance available from Barnes and Noble on DVD with TeKanawa and Domingo. I haven't seen it, but I'll bet it's better than this one.