horizontal line

This looks like an enjoyable night out at the San Francisco Opera. Alas, I am not sure that an opera about Lucrezia Borgia is really supposed to be quite this pleasant. John Pascoe’s production is traditional: the sets are budget monumental, the costumes a bizarre riff on traditional crossed with futuristic leather and lots of nasty shiny silk. Renée Fleming talks in a bonus interview about the dramatic opportunities the title role offers, but then turns in one of the blandest performances I have ever seen from her. Her singing is gracious, accomplished – and dull. Michael Fabiano’s Gennaro is far more idiomatic and fresh-toned, and Elizabeth DeShong’s Maffio Orsini has bravura and coloratura aplenty. Vitalij Kowaljow’s Alfonso is a dull dog and stylistically at sea. Riccardo Frizza’s conducting tries to add some vigour. If you just want to see Renée warble in some big frocks, this could be for you.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

   Read full review   

To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.

Read more classical music reviews online here:

Opera Now, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing