Menotti: Goya

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
In "Goya," as in "La Loca," written several years before it Menotti set before himself the difficult task of creating one of the most notoriously treacherous types of opera -- the biographical opera that spans many years of the protagonist's life. The compression of an entire life into a few episodes is rarely effective; the bio-operas that succeed, such as "Boris Godunov," Pfitzner's "Palestrina," and Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler," work because they focus on a single episode or a limited time period in the protagonist's life and have an overriding theme larger than the biography of an individual. "La Loca" and "Goya" concern larger-than-life historical figures, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
In "Goya," as in "La Loca," written several years before it Menotti set before himself the difficult task of creating one of the most notoriously treacherous types of opera -- the biographical opera that spans many years of the protagonist's life. The compression of an entire life into a few episodes is rarely effective; the bio-operas that succeed, such as "Boris Godunov," Pfitzner's "Palestrina," and Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler," work because they focus on a single episode or a limited time period in the protagonist's life and have an overriding theme larger than the biography of an individual. "La Loca" and "Goya" concern larger-than-life historical figures, spanning the characters' lives from youth to old age, but treat no theme larger than the individual's biography and are inevitably episodic rather than dramatically cohesive. Even episodic operas can overcome scenarios that are more like snapshots than integrated narratives "La bohème," for instance if the music is strong enough. The music in "Goya," however, doesn't have enough character or distinctiveness to make the drama come alive. Menotti has written a very grand "Grand Opera" that is relentlessly overwrought musically and dramatically and full of nineteenth century-style Spanish exoticisms. The opera was written as a vehicle for Plácido Domingo, so the composer's desire to employ the emotional bel canto lyricism at which Domingo excels is understandable, but the music sounds generically like Romantic grand opera and has few moments that are truly memorable. Significantly, those moments are often the lightest, such as the Duchess of Alba's wicked joke of dressing her ladies in waiting in copies of the Queen's gown. Menotti's depiction of the beginning of Goya's deafness at the end of the second act is also genuinely effective. The recording is taken from a live 1991 performance at Spoleto, in a revised version of the score the composer made after the premiere at the Washington Opera five years earlier. The opera is performed in Italian translation. Steven Mercurio leads the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and the Westminster Choir in a spirited performance. Tenor Cesar Hernandez's lyrical intensity and passion amply fill the demanding title role. Sopranos Suzanna Guzmán as the Duchess of Alba and Penelope Daner as the Queen, and baritone Andrew Wentzel as Godoy are his equals in the musical and dramatic vividness of their characterizations. There is some audience and stage noise, but generally the sound is clear, with good balance between the singers and the orchestra.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/8/2005
  • Label: Opera D'oro
  • UPC: 723721082659
  • Catalog Number: 1426
  • Sales rank: 261,481

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–24 Goya, opera in 3 acts - Gian Carlo Menotti & Gian Carlo Menotti (109:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steven Mercurio Primary Artist
Hernandez Primary Artist
Guzman Primary Artist
Wenzel Primary Artist
Mercurio Primary Artist
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