21 August 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
Words fail me...
As a big fan of Joan Sutherland, I saw Lucrezia Borgia expecting to be wowed over. And I was. This is a truly glorious production of a very underrated and little-performed opera. I don't know why Lucrezia Borgia isn't performed as often as it deserves to, the story is not the most compelling of all stories, but as always Donizetti's music is phenomenal. Here the costumes and sets are stunning, Sutherland looks so imposing, and the video directing is excellent. The orchestral playing play with feeling, and while I have known him to be on the stodgy side Richard Bonynge conducts with precision. The singing is superb. Anne Howells has a beautiful and rich mezzo voice and Stafford Denan is appropriately repellent. Alfredo Kraus is very dashing and charming and sings perfectly. And I simply adored Sutherland here, although I love her with all my heart I did find her hit(Lucia and Anna Bolenna)-and-miss(Norma) in the 80s. Fortunately, this performance is one of the hits. The final scene especially is incredibly moving and fiery and Sutherland sings her top notes with no difficulty at all. In conclusion, glorious. 10/10 Bethany Cox