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/ Verdi: Jerusalem (Alain Fondary/ Carlo Colombara/ Federica Baragaglia/ Ivan Momirov/ Michel Plasson/ Teatro Carlo Felice/ Verónica Villarroel) (Arthaus Dvd: 107329)
Verdi: Jerusalem (Alain Fondary/ Carlo Colombara/ Federica Baragaglia/ Ivan Momirov/ Michel Plasson/ Teatro Carlo Felice/ Verónica Villarroel) (Arthaus Dvd: 107329)
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After a series of performances at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels in 1892, Jerusalem does not appear to have been shown for another 70 years on any other stage. It was not until 1963 that the conductor Gianandrea Gavazzeni committed himself to rediscovering the opera and produced it in Italian at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. In 1975 the RAI Turin presented the still rarely performed work in concert-form with a distinguished cast (Katia Ricciarelli and Jose Carreras) - this time in its original French. All later theatre and record productions are based on the material used for the RAI performance, although this in no way combined the Paris Escudier score score-critically with the Italian arrangements. For the present performance at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa in 2000, the Italian musicologist Arrigo Quatrochi produced an arrangement based on Verdi's Paris autograph, which has to be regarded as the most authentic. A further unusual feature of the Genoa production that should be mentioned is the production team; after all, Ermanno Olmi has been one of the undisputed greats of the Italian film for decades and has received international honours from the Golden Palm to the Golden Lion. His former assistant Piergiorgio Gay applied Olmi's production concept to Jerusalem. The prestigious character of the grand opera obviously suited the two cineasts; the contrasting effects of the various tableaux, from the severity of a Christian chapel, the loneliness of the bare cave of an hermit and the splendour of an oriental harem to the final apotheosis of Jerusalem, have been brought out with superb visual stimuli. Wide screen in the opera!
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