Review: Simon Boccanegra (Lyric Opera of Chicago)

| October 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

Frank Lopardo and Krassimira Stoyanova star in Lyric Opera's "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Elijah Mochinsky. (photo credit: Dan Rest)

       
      
Simon Boccanegra 

Composed by Giuseppe Verdi 
Directed by Elijah Mochinsky
Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis
at Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker (map)
thru Nov 9  |  tickets: $54-$259   |  more info 
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     



     
       

A spectacularly sung family reunion

     

Lyric Opera's "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Elijah Mochinsky. (photo credit: Dan Rest)

    
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents
    
Simon Boccanegra

Review by Katy Walsh 

The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Simon Boccanegra. Simon loves Maria.  But he’s poor and she’s rich.  Her dad Jacopo hates Simon.  People encourage him to run for Doge (chief magistrate). Simon’s not interested in power until they convince him that the job will help him get the girl.  He goes for it.  Meanwhile, Maria dies after giving birth to their daughter.  Fast forward, twenty-five years.  Amelia loves Adorno. Jacopo supports the coupling.  But the Doge rejects the match.  Is it because Adorno is a rebel? Or is Thomas Hampson and Quinn Kelsey star in Lyric Opera's "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Elijah Mochinsky. (photo credit: Dan Rest)Simon in love with Amelia?  The past revisits the present when identities are revealed.  Simon Boccanegra is a spectacularly sung family reunion.

This opera boasts a powerhouse of talent.  All four principles take their turn wowing the crowd with their vocal strength.  Ferruccio Furlanetto (Jacopo) grieves for his daughter with his show-stopping, heart-breaking aria “Il lacerrato spirito.”  Already in the prologue, Furlanetto sets the precedence for an evening of enchantment. He doesn’t mislead! Wearing simple but elegant gowns (Designer Peter J. Hall), Krassimira Stoyanova (Amelia) more than holds her own with the boys club. The lovely Stoyanova captivates with her exquisite soprano delivery. In passionate duets with Frank Lopardo (Adorno) and Thomas Hampson (Simon), Stoyanova s effectively hits two very different tender-loving exchanges. A jealous Lopardo provides a fiery delivery. And in the lead, Hampson continually transforms from young lover to tyrannical leader to gentle father to wise retiree. Hampson is outstanding in his robust interpretation. Under the always-animated baton of Sir Andrew Davis, the fab four receive continual applause breaks during the show and a standing ovation at the end.

Designer Michael Yeargan cleverly uses a pillar-based set that transitions quickly at multiple scene breaks. The oversized columns have an Italian majesty. Lighting Designer Duane Schuler effectively adds in the mood and locale (interior or exterior). In particular, the discovery of Maria’s demise is shadows-of-death perfection. The look provides the right statuesque battleground for a love and hate clash to fill the stage with emotion.

With the Lyric’s tradition of excellence, I always anticipate being swept away by a world class singer. The delightful surprise is when all four principles exceed all expectations. Simon Boccanegra boasts the Fantastic Four… this production is most definitely super!

  
Rating: ★★★★
  
   

Simon Boccanegra continues through December 10th at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive (map).  Tickets are $54-$259, and are available by phone (312-332-2244) or online through the Lyric website. More information at LyricOpera.org(Running time: 2 hours 55 minutes, includes an intermission)

Thomas Hampson stars in Lyric Opera's "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Elijah Mochinsky. (photo credit: Dan Rest)

Photos by Dan Rest 


     

artists

cast

Thomas Hampson (Simon Boccanegra); Ferruccio Furlanetto (Fiesco); Krassimira Stoyanova (Amelia); Frank Lopardo (Adorn); Quinn Kelsey (Paolo)

behind the scenes

Elijah Mochinsky (director); Sir Andrew Davis (conductor); Michael Yeargan (set design); Peter J. Hall (costumes); Duane Schuler (lighting); Martin Wright (chorus master); August Tye (choreography)

Thomas Hampson and Ferruccio Furlanetto star in Lyric Opera's "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Elijah Mochinsky. (photo credit: Dan Rest)

3Words: Arriving after the curtain and receiving red carpet Lyric hospitality, my cousin Jennie describes it with ‘powerful, hypnotic, beautiful.’

12-1046

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Category: 2012 Reviews, Civic Opera House, Katy Walsh, Lyric Opera, Opera

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