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Your reaction: I due Foscari in cinemas 2014

What did you think of the live relay of Thaddeus Strassberger's Royal Opera production of Verdi's early tragedy?

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

27 October 2014 at 10.20pm | 42 Comments

What did you think of I due Foscari in cinemas?

The next live relay of the 2014/15 Live Cinema Season will be The Royal Opera's L'elisir d'amore, simulcast on 26 November 2014. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

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

27 October 2014 at 10.20pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Thaddeus Strassberger, cinema, I due Foscari, Production, review, Social Media, twitter

This article has 42 comments

  1. Janet Reid responded on 27 October 2014 at 10:41pm Reply

    Send this opera cinema version of I due Foscari to every school in UK for schoolchildren to see how great opera can be. Brilliant music, fantastic spectacle, exciting drama, history, tragedy, justice , cruelty, love, etc. what a wonderful show. And brilliantly sung and staged.

  2. Mary H responded on 27 October 2014 at 10:46pm Reply

    Amazing singing by all and fantastic acting. What a special evening; a truly moving and memorable experience.

  3. Mimi responded on 27 October 2014 at 11:01pm Reply

    How beautiful, I had goose pins on my body all the time. It was around 50 of us in cinema tonight but I was youngest. Verdi is a king of composers. Even it was tragedy all the way through, the music has all the coolers. Splendid. It went so quickly. I could stay to listen all night. Thank you for this opportunity to see opera in life in the cinema. I don't remember when I had such a wonderful musical experience last time. Thank you once again for all.

  4. Hazel responded on 27 October 2014 at 11:26pm Reply

    Brilliant! First time watching a full opera, thought it was amazing....there were tears in my eyes by the end. Wonderful performances. Sometimes it was like seeing a painting come to life.Thank-you. A visit to the ROH is now on my bucket list!

  5. Mary MacEwen responded on 27 October 2014 at 11:43pm Reply

    Saw Foscari 20 years ago and delighted to see it staged again after too long an interval! Wonderful music, fabulous singing and congratulations to the camera director and his A team.

  6. Lieve responded on 28 October 2014 at 12:08am Reply

    Great opera, thank you ROH and of course thank you all members of the cast, especially thank you Maestro Domingo for a fabulous evening ! Cinema Palafox, Madrid

  7. Matthias Muller responded on 28 October 2014 at 12:17am Reply

    Had the pleasure to see this performance in a Limerick cinema. Exteemly moving and a passionate performance. A wonderful opportunity to enjoy Royal Opera performances. Stephen Fry graciously invited us to share magic moments.

  8. David responded on 28 October 2014 at 12:26am Reply

    I would rather have seen just the opera, without the pointless burbling of Fry and the long drawn out curtain call of people who couldn't hear us even if we had applauded them.

    And it was bizarre basing the whole thing on flood gangways, when the flooding of San Marco was not a regular event in the 15th century, and there certainly wouldn't have been tourist walkways provided.

  9. LIZ ADDINALL responded on 28 October 2014 at 8:17am Reply

    My first live relay. A magnificent experience. I was already acquainted with this work and was overwhelmed by the consummate skill and passion of all performers. The orchestral sound was exquisite & well- transmitted. Just occasionally, the texture was overwhelmed by the brass. The camera work was mostly focused appropriately although I prefer long shots in ensembles. In future, I shall ignore the comments of the critics who seemed to be underwhelmed by the first night. Do you produce DVDs of your live relays? I would cherish this one.
    Yours ecstatically

  10. Jay Lawton responded on 28 October 2014 at 8:34am Reply

    Saw I Due Foscari in cinema last night. I had never heard of this moving opera and did not know what to expect. It was stunning. The cast gave their all and were magnificent, music beautiful. I loved the set, costumes and direction. Thank you to all involved.

  11. Sally Gibbons responded on 28 October 2014 at 8:58am Reply

    Great relay - thanks to all concerned for this service. I felt a bit sorry for Strassberger, who rushed all the way from Shaftesbury Ave to talk to Stephen Fry in the interval, to find himself confined to about 3 questions, and even then had his answers largely cut short. I hope he was given decent access to the second half because he'd never have got back to the cinema!

  12. John White responded on 28 October 2014 at 9:03am Reply

    We enjoyed the performance (broadcast to a largely empty venue in Belgrade, Serbia, yesterday evening) very much, but we would have enjoyed it even more if there had been subtitles to explain what was being sung. ROH: please explain why subtitles were missing!

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 October 2014 at 4:19pm

      Hi John,

      Glad you enjoyed the performance. Sorry to hear about the lack of titles, which seems to be a localized fault. We'll discuss with the cinema to ensure that the issue is resolved for future relays.


      ROH Content Producer

  13. David Foulger responded on 28 October 2014 at 9:07am Reply

    A disappointing evening. Far from one of Verdi's best operas, not helped by the fatuous production, slow motion processions in ludicrous costumes, and the torturers in the prison were risible.

    • Peter Erdos responded on 28 October 2014 at 3:24pm

      On the contrary to your opinion I found the evening totally satisfying. Foscari maybe not one of Verdi's best but it is a great musical experience. The production was great,a lovely alternative to all the idiotic productions of recent. . If you call this fatuous I would like to know what you thought of Vespri siciliani or Tristan to mention a couple.
      I am sorry your choice of cinema was not satisfactory, I am spending a few pounds more and find the modern Odeon cinemas with their superlative sound system and picture quality a perfect alternative

  14. David Foulger responded on 28 October 2014 at 9:07am Reply

    Was the poor volume of the sound due to Hackney Picturehouse or to the low level in the transmission ? It certainly did nothing for the singers who all sounded distinctly below their best.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 October 2014 at 10:25am

      Hi David,

      Sorry to hear about this. We believe this was a localized issue but our technical team are in contact with the venue to ensure that the volume is corrected for the next relay.


      ROH Content Producer

  15. a lothian responded on 28 October 2014 at 9:48am Reply

    Very disappointing- it is easy to see why this opera has fallen out of favour and it does Verdi no service to revive it. It is dull and undramatic.

    The production is very poor. with an unpleasant reliance on inessentials coupled with an simplistic approach to problems of good and evil.

  16. noel patrick responded on 28 October 2014 at 11:03am Reply

    I attended I Due Foscari at the Odeon, Belfast on the 27th October. I didn't know anything about the Opera as it's not even mentioned in the Kobbes Opera Book. So I was informed only by the synopsis sheet provided by the cinema, which was fine. This didn't matter that much as the ROH introduction pieces provided by Stephen Fry and Antonio Papanno were a sufficient guide, and excellent in themselves. Verdi's music was simply glorious, elevated by brilliant performances all round from orchestra and chorus. Placido Domingo can certainly carry a performance, and was worth going to see on his own; however, Maria Agresta was 'stunningly' world-class and deserves all the plaudits that come her way.
    Bravo as always to all at the Royal Opera House.

    • Noel, great to hear from a fan of opera in Belfast. Have you booked to see the NI Opera production of Salome at the Grand Opera House in Feb 15 yet?

  17. Anastasiaa responded on 28 October 2014 at 11:09am Reply

    Having already seen the General Rehearsal at ROH a couple of weeks ago I really enjoyed the live relay yesterday. However, my local cinema had no subtitles which was very disappointing. It is Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road. It is a small cinema that only started live relays this season. Could you please follow this up and rectify for next time?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 October 2014 at 11:49am

      Hi Anastasia,

      Glad you enjoyed the relay but sorry to hear about the lack of titles. Our technical team will be in touch with the cinema to address the issue for next time.


      ROH Content Producer

  18. Kate responded on 28 October 2014 at 11:41am Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed this opera which I didn't know. I first saw Placido Domingo nearly 40 years ago in Cav & Pag and love the fact that he's able to change from tenor to baritone with great success. I wondered whether I'd have nightmares after the torture scenes, but fortunately I didn't.
    I think the costumes were superb and wish I'd known when I left school that I might have been able to have a career in the costume dept instead of spending my working life in an office.
    I look forward to my next cinema opera.

  19. Angela Wandrag responded on 28 October 2014 at 11:50am Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed watching this at our local cinema in Hemel Hempstead, will be doing so again that's for sure. Beautifully sung, especially enjoyed the duets, loved the costumes and close-ups. Camerawork was very good. Verdi is our favourite, great to see an early work, promise of things to come!

  20. Frank Bouchier-Hayes responded on 28 October 2014 at 12:55pm Reply

    Interesting to read the mixture of comments here. I saw the performance in Dublin, the third opera I have watched in a cinema. Simon Boccanegra was wonderful a few years ago. Placido's performance last night was equally moving. Indeed, all of the lead singers gave wonderful emotional performances. I also enjoyed the torture sequences which had a touch of bloody Shakespearean drama about them. The finger cutting sequence was particularly nasty. Sadly, the cinema was poorly attended with only 20 or so people there. I will however spread the message on facebook and elsewhere about how wonderful it is to be able to see such fine opera at a very modest price at a time when lots of people are understandably being very careful with how they spend their money.

  21. Daniela responded on 28 October 2014 at 1:24pm Reply

    It was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful evening!
    Beautiful costumes, an early Verdi, who as great as he was in his later years and three absolute stunning singers! Plácido, after all these years, you are still the best, THE ONE AND ONLY!
    Thank you ROH for this outstanding evening!
    We enjoyed it SO MUCH!!!

  22. Brenda Collins-White responded on 28 October 2014 at 1:38pm Reply

    Thank you once again to all at ROH for yet another glorious live relay to my "local" cinema in Lucca, Italy. Despite living in the land of Verdi & Puccini (& even, dare I say it, Bocelli!), I was sadly unable to encourage anyone to accompany me this time for the hour-long drive ("Ballet perhaps, but opera? Ugh, no!") Braving the mountain roads alone late at night was of course worth every minute - the singing and staging were truly stupendous & unforgettable. Knowing nothing of the opera previously, I left with the richness of the music ringing in my ears. Btw, it was great to have the printable pdf cast list & plot outline at hand.
    As a Friend who is seldom able to return for a live performance, you have made MY exile distinctly more bearable. Vi ringrazio tantissimo!

  23. Laura Sandro responded on 28 October 2014 at 1:51pm Reply

    Bellissima serata! Grazie a Thaddeus per averci fatto conoscere "I Due Foscari"!
    La Fenice porta fortuna....

  24. Cade responded on 28 October 2014 at 2:14pm Reply

    An amazing night in the theatre. Placido Domingo's mastery of theatrem his artistic power is extraordinary, Havent seen anyone since Callas and Christoff with this power and expressiveness on stage. The meaning given to the text, the dramatic power is awesome. Forget wether he is a usual baritone or not, leave the concepts behind. This is one off brilliant opera theatre that is very rare. This is the art. And rapturously received. Magnificent.

  25. Lisa Brackston responded on 28 October 2014 at 2:15pm Reply

    I saw this Opera in Spain at the Almenara Cinema in Murcia. It was simply fabulous and all the singers were outstanding with fantastic acting. I had never heard of this Opera before, but I would see it again and again. Pity it was forgotten for so long.
    Can you please let the cinema know to do more advertising as I only found out by chance. The big placard with the ROH advert is totally hidden at the Cinema. If people would know about it perhaps there will be more than five people watching next time.
    Can't wait for the next performance.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 October 2014 at 4:18pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed the show - we'll discuss the hidden advert issue with our Spanish distributor.


      ROH Content Producer

  26. Peter Erdos responded on 28 October 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

    I have given up my 25 years of Friends membership for the lack of getting any help on from ROH on booking days , however I found a superlative alternative in live relays from both Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera.
    The ROH's Foscari 10 days after the Met's Macbeth were real compensation for what I missed in the theatre.. The production was economical, but expressed what the composer intended. without any of the current tendencies of producing opera (and serious opera lovers will know what I mean)
    Last night's performance in my view was faultless,Agresta and Meli were first class and Domingo gave an incredible performance defying his years.He is still a force to reckon with.
    I am sure Verdi would have approved

  27. Ian Irving responded on 28 October 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

    Thanks for a fantastic screening of "I due Foscari" (Cineworld Glasgow) thoroughly enjoyed the whole aspect of the show. (Pity about the unfortunate loss of picture and sound towards the end of act 3)

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 28 October 2014 at 4:20pm

      Hi Ian,

      Sorry to hear about the loss of picture and sound. Our technical team are in touch with Glasgow Cineworld to see what caused the fault, to ensure that future relays aren't affected.


      ROH Content Producer

  28. Alice Poulsen responded on 30 October 2014 at 2:06pm Reply

    Would love to go to more of these, however the nearest cinema - VUE in Camberley, Surrey - refuses to close the doors to individual cinemas and thus we have the sound track of the 3rd world war in a Galaxy far far away, overpowering the music of the opera. Not a good experience so no wonder people have stopped attending. VUE are not replying to emails, before anyone suggest I contact them. Shame really.

  29. Doris Tozer responded on 30 October 2014 at 7:05pm Reply

    Watched the live relay of I Due Foscari at our local theatre in Crawley lovely clear pictures. We did not experience any of the problems previously mentioned. Maestro Domingo is a wonderful singer and such a good actor. I had seen Opera House performance of the 20th October. In the cinema showing I missed the atmosphere of the Opera House. I feel it is a good medium for reaching out to more people who cannot travel or afford to visit the Opera House and have the love of Opera. I would also like to say Bravo to all the cast not forgetting Sir Antonio Pappano musical director and conductor.

  30. Sue Bullivant responded on 30 October 2014 at 11:34pm Reply

    I saw the opera at Cineworld in Yeovil What an evening. I did not know the opera so being Verdi and with Maestro Placido Domingo it had to be a must. It was a little dark but so was the story..the cast were wonderful and did justice to the opera.
    The bonus for me was Maestro Antonio Pappano his interview of Senr Domingo plus explaing the opera's finer points was just great. He is very fine "teacher" please thank him. It is for me a wonderful way to see the very best, I am now looking at he new season will book for 7 of your showings, many many thanks to the ROH team. Sue Bullivant.

  31. Ednilde Melo responded on 3 November 2014 at 7:58pm Reply

    Bravissimo! Absolutely great!

  32. John blandford responded on 30 November 2014 at 5:56am Reply

    I enjoyed the whole show in spite of the poor reviews.But why do we nor get a decent Sound reproductions? The Met has set the standard and the Garden has to keep up.But thanks.

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 30 November 2014 at 9:37am

      Dear John

      Sorry to hear that the sound quality was not good. Could you let us know a little more detail and I'll pass on to our cinema team so that they can determine what the problem was? Could I check which cinema you were in?

      Best wishes


  33. Telma Levison responded on 21 December 2014 at 9:05am Reply

    I saw I Due Foscari yesterday in São Paulo Brazil. Wonderful opera, great music voices, magnificent music, most touching story. Costumes, stage settings... Just perfect!

  34. marie responded on 22 March 2015 at 6:32pm Reply

    I wonder: is there anything else in the world of opera Placido Domingo can squeeze in? Tenor? Conductor? Baritone? Passe. Maybe it's time to give it a rest.

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