Magazine article Opera Canada


Magazine article Opera Canada


Article excerpt



EUROARTS: 2059678

The multi-talented Canadian director/designer team of Robert Carsen and Michael Levine began their collaboration more than 25 years ago with this critically acclaimed production of Boito's Mefistofele, a co-production between San Francisco Opera and the Grand Theatre de Geneve, where the production made its debut in 1989. Since then, the show's red devil has successfully strutted his stuff across stages in Europe and the U.S., including the Metropolitan Opera. This San Francisco revival recorded in 2013 shows that the Carsen/ Levine vision of the piece remains as fresh as ever. Since they created this ambitious production--it requires about 500 costumes and multiple set changes--the duo has gone on to collaborate on more than two dozen projects.

Boito was a man of many interests. Apart from composing, he was also a novelist, journalist, poet and librettist. Indeed, he's chiefly remembered today for his work as librettist, particularly for Verdi's Otello and Falstaff, and Ponchielli's La gioconda.

As a composer, Boito wrote very little. Besides Mefistofele, he completed only one other opera--Era e Leandroi--and this he eventually destroyed. His final opera, Nerone, was unfinished at the time of his death, though Arturo Toscanini and Vincenzo Tommasini later completed it for premiere at La Scala in 1924.

In the programme note included in this release, director Carsen speaks highly of both Boito's libretto (inspired by Goethe's Faust) and his score. …

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