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As Nedda, the young and pretty wife who incites Canio's jealousy, Elizabeth Futral looked beautiful and sang with soprano radiance, particularly in her 'Ballatella'. Bruno Caproni was a commanding and seriously threatening Tonio with a stentorian voice. Scott Hendricks was a commendable Sylvio who played a movie-styled love scene with Nedda. The most pleasant surprise of the evening was the handsome singing of Simeon Esper in the small role of Beppe. More will certainly be heard of him.

José Cura as Canio and Elizabeth Futral as Nedda, in 'I Pagliacci'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
José Cura as Canio and Elizabeth Futral as Nedda, in 'I Pagliacci'. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard

Both these operas require skilled choral singing and this company's excellent ensemble added to both the vocal acumen and the gripping theatrical values of this excellent performance.

José Cura as Canio and Elizabeth Futral as Nedda in 'I Pagliacci' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard
José Cura as Canio and Elizabeth Futral as Nedda in 'I Pagliacci' at San Diego Opera. Photo © 2008 Ken Howard

Italian conductor, Edoardo Müller, was in his element here and he brought out all the melodramatic passion of these two verismo operas. For lovers of the genre, and their number is legion, this was a trip to heaven.

Copyright © 30 March 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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SAN DIEGO OPERA

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