RODERIC DUNNETT was at Dorset Opera's
recent production of 'Salvator Rosa'
Three cheers for companies prepared to take risks. Dorset Opera had been
eyeing up the Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes (1836-1896) for some time;
admired by Verdi, Gomes studied in Milan and brought the roof down at La
Scala with the premiere of his opera Il Guarany in l870. Well-placed
to capitalise on unified national sentiment, he hit the jackpot yet again
with Salvator Rosa, first seen in Genoa in 1874, which details the
l647 Neapolitan uprising against the Spanish and to spice up the drama manufactures
some apocryphal links with the Italian painter and patriot, Salvator Rosa.
This opera has all the ingredients : Gomes combines arias of considerable
demands across the full range of voices, electrically charged recitative
and structured, protracted ensembles of very considerable impact. His librettist,
Antonio Ghislanzoni, contrives - at the very least - to interpaste effectively
the love-theme-versus-political-tensions elements. All this results in a
very big, Verdian offering indeed.
Copyright © 31 August 2000
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK
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