Verdi's 'Oberto' -
'Vocally they are in full command ...'
This opera might have been called 'Rochester', perhaps after the English 'milord' who had Dryden
beaten up and repented to Bishop Burnet his many sins on an early deathbed. But any country could well
be proud to claim this splendid outpouring of early Verdi. Bilbao has rightly treated the work very
seriously. Ignacio Garcia as stage director has done nothing to distract us from the music, a fact so
remarkable in the contemporary operatic world that it deserves both comment and commendation. I'm not
sure what it would have felt like to inhabit the thirteenth century; the Bilbao chorus manages to look
mediaeval and reacts with the sort of shock to seduction and murder we have long shrugged off.
The Chorus of Ópera de Bilbao in Verdi's 'Oberto'. Screenshot © 2007 Opus Arte/ABAO
Copyright © 28 November 2007
Robert Anderson, London UK