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Contact: irina.stanescu@ymail.com
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Boccanegra - Amelia's aria and some reviews

Photo @EFE
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Ignore the image, enjoy the sound.

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I read the reviews when they were published, the day after the performance. But didn't get time to post them. Or.. I didn't want to post them before writing what I thought. But here they are:
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EFE (click on the photo there. it gets bigger)
El Imparcial (beautiful photo. I saw somebody taking photos during the performance from the Royal Box. Somebody authorized, of course)
La Razon
RTVE
A nice photo and some opinions on a forum
More photos on the same forum
(scroll down and click on photos to enlarge them)
3 photos on Teatro Real Website (16 to 18)
One big photo on El Pais (same as on Teatro Real but way bigger)
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Simon Boccanegra in Madrid/22.07, my impressions&photos

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Simon Boccanegra in Madrid
Or “Back is good but front is better” ;)
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It was the first evening with the all star cast. Placido Domingo as Simon Boccanegra, Angela Gheorghiu as Amelia Grimaldi, Ferruccio Furlanetto as Fiesco and Marcelo Giordani as Gabriele Adorno. It was a great event for opera lovers in Madrid as Domingo returned in his home town. And he’s much loved here. He’s treated like a hero. This was also Angela’s debut in Teatro Real.
It was my first time in Teatro Real. And the first time I see Boccanegra live on stage. Teatro Real is beautiful, both inside and outside. The location is excellent, right in front of the Royal Palace and a beautiful park. Inside you feel like being in a museum. The red room, the green room, a restaurant, a large terrace facing the Palace, marble staircases.
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The production was signe by Giancarlo del Monaco. It was not “heavy” as the Met one. Some marble columns, stairs, a statue in the Prologue, a big chair for Il Dodge, a table in the second act and that’s about all. The columns remain on stage throughout the opera. Only the background changes. There is a huge screen and some waves are projected on it. The effect is great when seen from the parterre. The costumes come in great contrast with the whiteness of the sets. Purple robes for the chorus, red robe for Boccanegra, black outfit for Fiesco, a dark blue dress for Amelia in the first act. Only Amelia’s dress changes entirely in the next acts. In the second one she has a white.. sort of night robe. In the third act the wedding dress is also white, with some golden embroidery on the edges.
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Impressive orchestra and chorus. Mr Jesus Lopez Cobos handled everything perfectly. The chorus part at the end of act 1 when they say “sia maledetto, sia maledetto” was so full of wrath that for a moment I felt sorry for Paolo.
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There were a lot of nervousness during the first part of the opera. Maybe it was the pressure of the evening. I couldn’t hear the voices too well. Two possible reasons. Either I was too close to the orchestra and the sound was not very well balanced or it was the place on stage they were singing from. Angela’s voice during her aria in the first act seemed like coming from far, far away. Soft, round, touching, but not powerful enough to overpass the orchestra. The director placed her on top of the stairs, towards the back of the stage. For the duet with Domingo (the father/daughter reunion) they both came in front. So things started to change. The voices already warmed up and they were closer to the audience. It was a very touching moment. The way they looked to each other, the acting and not to mention the voices. They looked exactly like father and daughter. It was one of those moments when you feel your blood pressure raising.
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This is the third time I see Ferruccio Furlanetto live on stage, after the Barber and La Fille at ROH. I can’t get enough of his voice. My ears say this is the perfect bas voice, from the first to the last sound.
And last but not least, Mr Giordani. Maybe this was not one of his best evenings. He sounded more like a brave warrior than a lover. His has a big, strong, Met-like voice that sometimes didn’t match the other voices singing at the same time.
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There were some other moments during the opera worth mentioning. The trio Boccanegra/Amelia/Adorno in the second act, the duet Boccanegra/Fiesco, then Fiesco’s aria before the duet with Simon, the entire scene in the Council Room at the end of act 1 (and here Domingo put everything in those words… E vo gridando: pace! E vo gridando: amore) and the ending of the opera, the death of Simon Boccanegra. This one was twice impressive. I told you before that Domingo is a great actor. He was sooo into this dying scene. First he blesses Adorno and Amelia and falls down for the first time, close to the edge of the pit. The other two help him get up, he tells everybody that Adorno is the next Dodge, he goes up the stairs and here he takes the big fall (and a worried “ahhhhh” was heard from the audience). He dies in the arms of Amelia. The people waited for the orchestra to finish and then there was an explosion of applauses. Bravos for everybody. During the performance they were not too generous with applauses. But now I see why. They waited for the right moment. Which came at the end. The press said there were 16 minutes of applauses. I think there were more. And very well deserved.
All my respect for everybody. Thanks for shearing your feelings and voices with us. You made me so happy.
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And as ending, it was great to meet again some of my friends. You know who you are. See you all again soon! Maybe we should all think of performance date of Adriana in London and set up a meeting. With all the risks involved. As you saw at the backstage door, the more, the merrier :)
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And now enjoy the photos.
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From left to right: Marcelo Giordani, Placido Domingo, Angela Gheorghiu and Ferruccio Furlanetto
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Boccanegra in Madrid, only 1 out of 3

Teatro Real announced: La soprano albanesa Inva Mula sustituirá a la rumana Angela Gheorghiu en el papel de Amelia Grimaldi en la función del próximo miércoles 28 de julio de la ópera Simon Boccanegra.
...meaning Angela cancelled her last appearance in Simon Boccanegra.
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A short video from Boccanegra and more photos from the press conference on 20/07

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The production looks very good. Nothing to distract the attention from the music. There were video cameras in the venue but for in house broadcasting. In the upper part of the hall there are some screens. As there are a lot of seats with limited or no visibility, they thought that all the people should see what's on stage. Good idea. So all the performances are filmed. Only that I don't know if there's any commercial purpose.
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Antonio Moral, Marcelo Giodani, Placido Domingo, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Miguel Muniz


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All the photos belong to Angela's Facebook page
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Boccanegra/25.07 broadcasted outside Teatro Real. But Angela cancelled...

EDIT - Angela cancelled this performance. "Due to illness" was written on the papers put on every door in the lobby of the opera house. "Due to illness" also said the director of Teatro Real in front of the audience. I'm very sorry. VERY SORRY. This was supposed to be a big night. Her Majesty the Queen attended the performance. Yes, I'm upset. But this was the biggest, the most outbursting reaction of happiness I've ever heard in an opera house. It was total madness. I think it was close to half an hour of applauses inside and then 10 minutes outside (the entire cast went to the blacony of the Teatro Real to great the people - a few thousands - that watched the performance on screen). It was trully impressive.
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Yesterday a screen was put on Teatro Real, the side facing the Royal Palace. The performance on July 25th will be broadcasted live. So, if you live in Madrid, wanted to see Simon Boccanegra (Domingo/Gheorghiu/Giordani/Furlanetto) and didn't get a ticket, this is your moment. It starts a 8pm. I would say it's a chance not to be missed.
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Enjoy!
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And I saw Simon Boccanegra...

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More photos soon... :) Patience please, my poor heart still struggles to get back to normal beat.
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La Rondine/Met and Faust/ROH soon out on DVD

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Very, very, very good news this morning. Something I've been waiting for for a year and half. Almost (if not all) all the other productions from 2008/2009 MetHD Broadcast were already realeased on DVD but La Rondine. It seems that its time has come. Same for Faust. EMI Classics offers us a real treat in October.
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21C Media Group announced: EMI Classics releases two operas on DVD. The first is Puccini's La rondine from the Met production by Nicholas Joël filmed in Jan 2009, conducted by Marco Armiliato, and starring Angela Gheorghiu, Lisette Oropesa, Roberto Alagna, Marius Brenciu, and Samuel Ramey. Gounod's Faust from London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, is conducted by Maurizio Benini and features an all-star cast led by Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, and Bryn Terfel.
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Photos from the press conference in Madrid/20.07

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According to Associated Press, yesterday there was a press conference at the Royal Opera in Madrid. Angela and Mr Domingo look great. There are a few photos posted on AP but I assume there'll be many more in the press in the close future.
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EFE reports that at the press conference Mr Domingo said that the more he sings Simon Boccanegra, the deeper he gets into the “richness and tone color” that go best with the character. Read the whole report HERE. And we wish him and the others lots of good luck!
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And an interview Mr Domingo gave to TVE


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Domingo y Gheorghiu clausuran la temporada 09/10 con Simon Boccanegra

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This is how the newsletter I received from Teatro Real Madrid starts. It's a big event for them. The three performances on July 22nd, 25th and 28th were sold out long time ago. Placido Domingo is coming to sing in his home town and this is also Angela's debut in Teatro Real.
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Remember! Simon Boccanegra (Gheorghiu/Domingo/Giordani/Furlanetto cast) will be broadcasted on July 26th on Radio Clasica starting at 8pm (Madrid time, according to the website of Radio Classica. It's 9pm in Romania). You can listen to it online. The player is on the first page.
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The website of Teatro Real says: "Teatro Real is restaging its own production by Giancarlo del Monaco, which was premièred in 2002, to close the thirteenth season after its reinauguration with two casts of promising brilliance, the highlights among whom are the Albanian Inva Mula in the role of Amelia Grimaldi (one of the audience’s best-loved sopranos, whom she has captivated with her delicate performances of Mimì in La Bohème, Violetta in La Traviata or Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann) and the Romanian Angela Gheorghiu (who will finally make her stage début at Teatro Real in a role with which she has recently triumphed at the Metropolitan in New York and Covent Garden in London), the baritone from Georgia Geroge Gagnidze, and Plácido Domingo who, true to his annual appointment with audiences in Madrid, could not resist joining in in the magnificent leading role. The above will be accompanied by other names that are a full guarantee of success, such as the tenors Roberto Aronica and Marcello Giordani in the role of Gabriele Adorno or the basses Giacomo Prestia and Ferruccio Furlanetto in the role of Fiesco"
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There is also video introduction/presentation of Simon Boccanegra on the same website. Watch it here.
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And just to have an idea of how the production looks like, see the video below
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Everybody who has a ticket, have a great time! And don't forget that there are many other people that can't be there but would like to know how it was!
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