Plácido Domingo’s magnificent second coming as a baritone…
Placido Domingo sings the title role in the company premiere of a once obscure Verdi masterpiece. The opera tells the story of a pirate, come home to become by plebeian conscription a powerful but wise statesman, and his noble obsession with brotherhood and unification to quell political unrest, even as he is caught in a tangled quest for the long-lost, illegitimate daughter he had never known.
This dark opera, notorious for its complicated plot that tortuously interweaves politics with romantic melodrama, is dominated by dark male voices led by the megastar tenor in his second coming as a baritone (Domingo fans will remember that he started out as one), a longstanding dream first fulfilled when he essayed Boccanegra, his favorite baritone role, in Berlin in 2009. Soprano ANA MARIA MARTINEZ sang Boccanegra’s daughter Amelia, the opera’s lone female role. LA Opera Music Director JAMES CONLON conducted the orchestra.
Watch a video of excerpts from the opera:
LA Opera’s magnificent landmark production created by ELIJAH MOSHINSKY, originally staged in 1991 for the Royal Opera House, was fresh, flawless and elegant in its execution, as was the singing, led by Domingo’s soaring baritone, which further illumined the cast’s convincing character portrayals–altogether making for an exceptionally satisfactory Verdian experience that exceeded all expectations.
Note: Since his role debut in Berlin, Domingo has sung the Simon Bocanegra with the world’s major opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, La Scala, and Teatro Real.
Added note of interest: Simon Bocanegra is an opera in which Domingo has performed more than one role, certainly not a common happening in an opera singer’s career. It will be remembered that it was later in his career–only in the 1990s–that Domingo added Simon Bocanegra‘s lesser tenor role of Gabriele Adorno to his repertoire.