US deliveries: Unfortunately we are receiving reports that some US orders are taking longer than usual to arrive. Find out more >>
Latest update: Changes to international postage charges. Find out more
There is a good sense here of the fitness of things, and of their grandeur too. As the camera roves and observes the great arena before the show begins, one becomes probably more aware of its... —
Leo Nucci (Nabucco), Maria Guleghina (Abigaille), Fabio Sartori (Ismaele), Carlo Colombara (Zaccaria), Nino Surguladze (Fenena), Carlo Striuli (High Priest of Baal), Carlo Bosi (Abdallo), Patrizia Cigna (Anna) Orchestra & Chorus of the Arena di Verona Daniel Oren
Recorded - Arena di Verona, Italy 2007
There is a good sense here of the fitness of things, and of their grandeur too. As the camera roves and observes the great arena before the show begins, one becomes probably more aware of its size than if one were there in person with the milling crowds trying to find a seat. For a roof there is the spacious firmament on high, and onstage a structure that might have been designed to fill the Tate Modern. Then, as the opera unfolds, Verdi's music fills the auditorium and merely human voices rise to their almost superhuman task.
Vocally, and perhaps dramatically, the opera is dominated by Abigaille, an outsize soprano whose music makes harder demands upon voice and technique than almost any comparable role in opera. Guleghina is the Abigaille of our time: powerful, intense, wide of range, agile in passagework, and when need arises capable of softness.
If she were completely steady and if her timbre had an Italianate vibrancy and variety of coloration she would be ideal. As Nabucco, the veteran Nucci comes through with impressive authority and stamina, the middle of his voice still rich and ample. The High Priest, Zaccaria, the third major character, has one of the great bass roles in the Verdi repertoire: finely sung here by Carlo Colombara, firm, sonorous and noble in bearing.
Of the others, Fabio Sartori deserves mention, physically somewhat cumbersome, vocally fullbodied and incisive. Chorus and orchestra do the arena and its 2007 season credit, and the conductor, Daniel Oren, is well in control of his far-flung forces. The production team also wins its way through to grateful acknowledgment, despite the initial ill-will created by the blocks of scaffolding which suggest nothing more biblical than the local Ikea store in its early stages of construction. It has its uses, which include doing duty for the banks of the Euphrates, from which the Israelites sing (most beautifully) their immortal 'Va, pensiero'.
There is a good sense here of the fitness of things, and of their grandeur too. Guleghina is the Abigaille of out time: powerful, intense, wide of range, agile in passagework, and when need arises capable of softness. As Nabucco, the veteran Nucci comes through with impressive authority and stamina... Chorus and orchestra do the arena and its 2007 season credit.
[Nucci is] commanding as an unforgettable Nabucco. Maria Guleghina does not quite match him, but she is vocally strong as Abigaille...the special effects work well enough, and the whole performance is well held together by Daniel Oren and the magnificent singing of the Verona Chorus.