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Covent Garden, brings little more joy. Thaddeus Strassberger’s production is gloomy and old-fashioned: by which I mean stand, sing, swirl cloak or kick train, turn, look at conductor, repeat… The sets look stagey and are dark with some splurges of garish colour, and the costumes are equally eye-popping, like Thierry Mugler on a bad day in the ’80s. Antonio Pappano conducts with gusto. The cast is variable. Plácido Domingo sings Francesco Foscari with relatively even tone in a low tenor devoid of baritonal hue. He looks exhausted, not inappropriately. Francesco Meli delivers Jacopo with a slender but pleasing tenor and offers generalised anguish. Maria Agresta brings a bit more zest to Lucrezia, having both lyric charm and some passion, but the voice doesn’t seem to sail out into the house. The whole evening comes across as opera-by-numbers and sometimes inadvertently camp. Dispiriting stuff.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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