Dynamism and Subtlety
'Simon Boccanegra' from
the Vienna State Opera -
'The work is in the safest possible hands ...'
In this striking performance we begin outside the Vienna Opera House, as noble a building for the purpose as one could wish. My limbs always slightly ache at the sight, though, as my last experience inside was to stand throughout the final opera of The Ring, the main satisfaction being to see off most of my younger fellow-sufferers at the end of Act 1. The Ring is certainly not all sweetness and light; nor by any means is Boccanegra. Peter Stein as stage director has opted for more darkness in the production than is strictly necessary. His motive is understandable enough, as Verdi is little concerned to make character relationships clear in either his 1857 or 1880 version of the work. Symbolically we remain in the dark.
The exterior of the Vienna Opera House. DVD screenshot © 2002 ORF
Copyright © 13 August 2007
Robert Anderson, London UK