- In Italian with English subtitles
Donizetti - Lucrezia Borgia / Bonynge, Sutherland, Kraus, Royal Opera
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Dame Joan Sutherland and tenor Alfredo Kraus star in Donizetti's tale of sixteenth century opulence and decadence.
This 1980 Covent Garden production of Donizetti's opera based on the infamous dramatic heroine was undertaken so that one of the few sopranos who would dare tackle the fearsome range of Lucrezia Borgia--Dame Joan Sutherland--could do so in a setting amenable to her talent. And tackle it she does. This might not be the definite Lucrezia (a slight nod would go to Montserrat Caballe's 1965 RCA audio recording), but Sutherland shows she has the sheer chops to overcome Donizetti's piling on of difficulty after vocal difficulty. From the prologue's "Com e Bello," Sutherland never lets up through her gripping final scene of intense anguish and melodrama. Richard Bonynge conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with aplomb, and the supporting cast--Alfredo Kraus, Anne Howells, and Stafford Dean--performs ably in Sutherland's wake. --Kevin Filipski
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