Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera in Review: Florentine Opera: Nabucco

Magazine article Opera Canada

Opera in Review: Florentine Opera: Nabucco

Article excerpt

Florentine Opera is importing all its visual productions from the L'Opera de Montreal this season, and for this Nabucco, they brought in a Canadian stage director as well: the venerable Irving Guttman. Using every inch of space available in designer Claude Girard's handsome and spacious flat-floor settings, Guttman offered a staging that might best be described as utilitarian. Throngs of distraught Levites and hordes of conquering Assyrians marched through, milled about or just stood and sang. Choristers lacked individuality, but were organized in lines or well-ordered groups that moved en masse, and the principals were always well placed in centre stage. Religious factions were clarified by color-coded costuming, in atypically garish designs by the noted designer Nicola Benois.

The music-making was mixed. Maestro Arthur Fagan led a crisp, tightly controlled and dramatic reading of the score. Both the Milwaukee Symphony and the Florentine chorus were in fine form, well prepared, energized and highly responsive. …

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