Ernani, Giuseppe Verdi's fifth opera (1844) is melodic from beginning to end. Based on Victor Hugo's play, whose tumultuous reception in 1830 marked a decisive turning point in the development of romantic drama, this violent and somber story of frustrated passion, honor fatally impugned, and ambition thwarted and rewarded, is set by the young composer to a succession of irresistible tunes, unsurpassed even in his mature works. The opera's dramatic impetus is unstoppable.
For Luca Ronconi's production which opened the 1982/3 season at La Scala, Milan, four of the world's leading Verdi singers were engaged: Placido Domingo as the bandit, Ernani; Renato Bruson as the scheming, dangerously suave King Charles of Spain; Nicolai Giaurov as the proud Spanish Grandee whose implacable sense of honor propels the action to its tragic conclusion; and Mirella Freni as the gentle heroine desired by these three rivals.
Placido DomingoMirella FreniRenato BrusonNicolai GhiaurovGianfranco ManganottiAlfredo GiacomottiJolanda Michielli
Composer: Giuseppe VerdiLibretto: Francesco Maria Plave
Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, MilanConductor: Riccardo Muti
Producer: Luca RonconiSet Designer: Ezio FrigerioCostume Designer: Franca SquarciapinoDirected for video by: Preben Montell
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