Tuesday, February 27, 2007
The current revival of Giancarlo del Monaco's sumptuous production of Simon Boccanegra is probably the most successful production I've seen all season at the Met. Everything about this staging seems to just work, and after the 3.5 hours are over, you think to yourself that you could easily sit there for three-and-a-half more. Thomas Hampson brings a delicate, marvellous amalgamation of brooding darkness and genuine warmth to the title role, and his duets with the bass Feruccio Furlanetto were thrilling. Angela Gheorghiu triumphs as the doge's long-lost daughter Amelia; I don't think there's another soprano working today who can touch her when it comes to Verdi. This is the first revival of this production since its debut in 1995, with Kiri Te Kanawa and Placido Domingo, and it should become a permanent fixture on the Met season calendar.