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Your reaction: I due Foscari

What did you think of Thaddeus Strassberger's production of Verdi's early tragedy?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

15 October 2014 at 10.46am | 15 Comments

Press reviews:
Express ★★★★★
Guardian ★★★
Financial Times ★★★
Arts Desk ★★★
What's On Stage ★★★
Telegraph ★★
Independent ★★

What did you think of I due Foscari?

The production is a co-production with Los Angeles Opera, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, and Theater an der Wien, and is given at the Royal Opera House with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE, Colm and Ella Kelleher and Mrs Philip Kan.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

15 October 2014 at 10.46am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Thaddeus Strassberger, Francesco Meli, I due Foscari, Maria Agresta, Placido Domingo, Production, review, Social Media, twitter

This article has 15 comments

  1. Susan Gasson responded on 15 October 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

    So the story isn't wonderful but it is full of dramatic tension and emotional conflict. The production served Verdi well and everything came together to create one of those ROH magic nights to remember rather than some others that are best forgotten!

  2. Sean O'Byrne responded on 15 October 2014 at 8:32pm Reply

    It was an enjoyable evening in many ways. Splendid singing from the principals. There are two wonderful young singers to watch here. Lovely to see Domingo still displaying his stagecraft. Great playing from the orchestra as always. Nice costumes. Interesting display of the young Verdi. Silly story but seemingly true. Then there is the production. It was bland and inoffensive. No sense of place or time and wasn't that wonderful! At last a production that doesn't offend with adolescent re-imaginings or some clumsy contemporary 'take' (although Operation Yewtree could be a possibility for that on the future). Great for absence of Eurotrash but a bit dull.

  3. Gabriela Elena responded on 16 October 2014 at 9:54am Reply

    Saw this production twice in Vienna beginning this year and don't understand the negative comments. I like the way it's set up, to me far from bland and inoffensive, but probably a matter of taste. The maestro is superb in this role, at the end I couldn't hold back tears. No doubt about this.

  4. francois responded on 16 October 2014 at 10:44am Reply

    It is globally a good performance and I was glad to see this seldom-played opera. Excellent performances from Francesco Meli and Maria Agresta, who have to deal with extremely difficult scores for the tenor and soprano. Domingo is splendid in Act III. Traditional production but for that kind of opera it was the right option.

  5. Saw it last night. The opera ... not one of Verdi's best, but an interesting theme. The production (through Domingo's performance) highlighted an interpretation of the title as a reference to Francesco's duality as a loving father and a dutiful ruler. Meli was fantastic and Domingo likewise. The pairing was very moving - a wonderful, vibrant young tenor in tandem with a maestro. I'm glad I was there.

  6. Nick Scott responded on 26 October 2014 at 5:43pm Reply

    Meli and Agresta are the real deal. Pappano drew great playing from the orchestra, as usual, and produced an authentic Verdi sound. The only thing missing was a baritone.

  7. Malcolm Beet responded on 27 October 2014 at 9:57pm Reply

    Bored beyond belief. The libretto is an action-free zone - how long is the audience told that Jacopo must leave immediately? Fifteen minutes? And the staging! Lots of utterly point;less wandering about, and a dungeon scene which was laughable in its attempt to provide at least some sense of action. Domingo was OK, but is obviously past his prime, and was out-sung by other members of the cast. Verdi's long-forgotten opera? It deserves to remain so, especially with staging as ludicrous as this was.

  8. Roger Butterworth responded on 28 October 2014 at 12:48am Reply

    Did we watch the same performance? I have seen this opera before but it was nothing like tonights performance. Domingo was brilliant but I did feel he was showing his age. But he can still do it. The others were excellent with some really exquisite moments. . It may be an early opera but Mr Green knows how to use his chorus. But it was the direction that was so good. I have never seen an opera with so much darkness and horror that was not unnecessarily sensational. The whole thing was like looking at hell (in some ways through the eyes of Caravaggio) and it worked. I thought the whole interpretation was inspired without descending into bad taste. I loved it.

  9. Stephen Ratcliffe responded on 28 October 2014 at 9:15am Reply

    I saw I due Foscari last night and it was a wonderful evening. I first saw Mr Dimongo 40 years ago in Un ballo in Maschera. OK the voice is obviously not what it was but I still loved his performance last night and was deeply moved. A young music student friend who had never seen him before was equally impressed. The rest of the cast were great and as ever Sir Tony conducted brilliantly. So not sure what the critics were on about on the first night. Did everyone up the game for the cinema? If so, thanks very much.

  10. Wendy fletcher responded on 29 October 2014 at 12:34pm Reply

    An amazing evening. It goes without saying that the music and singing dominated but the costumes, sets, and lighting enhanced it all and caught the atmosphere of Venice even today. The slow walking of the council of ten conveyed the ruthless inevitability of justice without mercy and I agree with the reference to Caravaggio and great paintings of the past.

  11. bill worley responded on 1 November 2014 at 2:25pm Reply

    Domingo = embarrassing. He should give up and eave everyone with happy memories.

  12. N Bargharva responded on 2 November 2014 at 10:10pm Reply

    Powerful, emotional, beautiful and dramatic performances. I loved the set, it captured the imagination and set the atmosphere correctly and was not over the top, contrary to what critics wrote.. I suppose they are payed to write something

  13. Dominique responded on 3 November 2014 at 9:08pm Reply

    Fortunately the soprano and tenor were a joy to listen to. Mr Domingo is a brave man to undertake such a performance at his age; his presence makes up for his sometimes weakening voice.
    However, the direction was abominable. I wish all those people marching slowly across the stage all the time would stop or even better, hurry away. And why were there so often actors lying around the stage doing nothing? Clutter!
    I wish I hadn't spent so much money on this ticket.

  14. Tom responded on 5 November 2014 at 4:35pm Reply

    Superb cast and I'm fairly happy with the production. Reservations are that some effects did not mean much to me, perhaps they were too arty or perhaps my knowledge is too shallow? Only complaint was that sitting in the stalls circle sides meant that often the orchestra sounded disjointed, as if some of it was off-stage.

  15. Jon Blanchard responded on 15 November 2014 at 12:26pm Reply

    Having tried to get to know it from CDs beforehand, I was blown away and realised how much I love Verdi. The singing was beautiful, except alas for Domingo. The phrasing and all were wonderful, but it was woefully obvious he no longer has beauty of tone.

    The production was generally OK. However there were lots of silly touches: the solitary confinement in a busy torture chamber and the enforced communion of Jacopo in Act I, after he spits out the sacrament. Catholics would only receive communion after confession. A totally unnecessary details.

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