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Another rarity is Franco Faccio’s Hamlet (Amleto), premiered in Genoa in 1865 and revised six years later after which it sank without a trace. It’s been restored in a critical edition by Anthony Barrese (see his website to find out more) and received a major revival at the Bregenz Festival last year, whence this film. It’s an uneven piece. Faccio was close to Boito, who provided the libretto, and had a stormy relationship with Verdi (he conducted the premiere of Otello). There are indeed presages of Boito’s Mefistofele in the orchestration and another opera whose premiere he conducted, Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, where the dramatic descending chords before ‘Suicidio’ must surely have struck him as outright theftfrom Amleto. Oliver Tambosi gives it a striking production, traditional-with- a-twist, but the opera itself, though faithful to the play, rarely springs to life. Take Ofelia’s mad scene – she witters awhile before hitting a gorgeous tune which goes nowhere, then splash. Pavel Cernoch is outstandingly brooding in the title role, the rest of the cast works hard with variable results, Paolo Carignani holds it all together from the pit.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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