di Legnano' -
'... Verdi patriotic is not necessarily Verdi at his most subtle.'
There is no doubting Verdi's patriotism, and one can only admire his hastening from Paris to Milan when he heard the Lombards had risen up against Austrian occupation in the turbulent year of 1848. He set this commemorative opera in 1176, when it was the Lombard League in conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. It seems initially a reasonable decision on the part of Ruggero Cappuccio as stage director to transfer the action from so remote a past to Risorgimento times, particularly as legend has that Red-bearded sovereign still seated in some German mountain cave awaiting a summons for further action.
The scenery, however, consists mainly of stage clutter, the most tiresome object being a life-sized crucified Christ contained within an openwork steel structure...
Copyright © 8 May 2013