Thursday, June 30, 2016

#Simon Boccanegra, by Giuseppe Verdi, in Milan LaScala Opera

#Simon Boccanegra, by Giuseppe Verdi, in Milan LaScala Opera

Many years ago, I entered a music shop in Ankara Kizilay center, and asked CD with La Diva Turca "Leyla Gencer" singing any opera. Music Shop Clerk said, "We have no studio recording, since she avoided at all times, but we have an available recording only in live broadcast of "Simon Boccanegra" by Giuseppe Verdi where Leyla Gencer was singing Amelia character in Salzburg opera house in year 1961. I purchased the CD with no prior information on Simon Boccanegra. The opera was composed, first played in Venetian opera house in 1859, ignored and forgotten in time, then renewed by the composer in 1881 for LaScala but forgotten again.

La Diva Turca Leyla Gencer preferred to sing in forgotten operas, and she avoided any studio recordings. The other diva of LaScala, soprano Maria Callas has many clean studio recordings of popular operas, whereas Leyla Gencer loved to sing forgotten operas with no studio recordings. CD at my hand was a poor recording of live opera performance, filled with unwanted background sounds, coughs, applauses. Leyla Gencer had accomplished a difficult job for this opera.

Simon Boccanegra, nowadays is a very popular opera. Great tenor / baritone Placido Domingo (75) sings and creates great news. The artist plays alternately in Milan LaScala and New York Metropolitan. He did not coincide with us, but the cast we watch was also very good.

Leo Nucci baritone character in Simon Boccanegra, Amelia was played by beautiful soprano Carmen Giannattasio. South Korean conductor Myung-Whun Chung was amazing. We should not forget extraordinary Stage Director Federico Tiezz. Each choir members played different characters. Performance had a great big scene reasonable size unobtrusive decor, costumes of the 13th century were great.

On 22- June 2016 on Wednesday evening, we were in LaScala opera house in Milan for Giuseppe Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra". We watched the opera from the first balcony lodges. We received our Internet tickets at 19: 00, from the box office. Main doors opened at 19:30. Ushers had wearing a black gown custom assemblies, guiding and directing us to our seats. Audience were dressed very carefully in serious formal business suits, ladies in night dresses. Usher opened the balcony door to the lodge. We occupied the front seats.

Opera began and then an angry lady cry was heard with verbal criticism revealed from one balcony. In LaScala tradition, we understand that loud critique of the audience can appear instantly, artists would appreciate it to get critics. Poor performing conductor, detour singer, the poor decorator, costume designer , even though all stage directors may receive such criticism live and loud instantly. The orchestra was great, we had great acoustics in the space. We do not know how we spent 3-hours.

During half an hour intermission, we went down to the foyer due to curiosity.  Foyer was small. opera shop was open for sales. Opera shop was selling all articles that come to mind about opera, CDs, DVDs, books, souvenirs, what were you looking for. Last EMI recording CD Simon Boccanegra was tagged at 25 €.

Italian artists were saying and as if showing us that "Opera is to be staged so, this is how you should play, and present a great opera" they taught.

We had a great scene, reasonable decor, wonderful cast, great acoustics, individual choir members with separate theatrical performance. After seeing LaScala performance, I am quite uneasy, displeased, and felt quite unsatisfied with opera performances at our home country.

Opera was over. There was no car parking nearby, since that magnificent opera house was built 200-years ago when automobiles were not existed. All- black dressed business people, beautiful ladies in their night dresses, and we walked together though Gallery Victoria Emanuel to nearby Duomo metro station to reach our homes.

Prinkipo 30-June 2016


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