Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ernani Theatre Review: Masterful Execution of a Verdi Unknown

The Lyric Opera presents

At the Civic Opera House
By Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Based on Victor Hugo’s tragedy Hernani
Conducted by Renato Palumbo
Stage directed by Jose Maria Condemi
Thru November 23rd

Three men fight over the love of Elvira. (Luckily sung in Italian, it sounds more like Elvera so “My heart is on fire for Elvira…” momentarily leaves my head). The Lyric Opera presents Ernani, an opera written by Giuseppe Verdi and first performed in 1844. The Italian opera with projected English subtitles tells the tale of Elvira’s suitors: Ernani, Don Carlo-King of Spain and Don Ruy Gomez de Silva. The outlaw, Ernani storms Silva’s castle to abduct Elvira. He runs into the King and an Elvira abduction already in progress. Silva enters furious that his fiancé is being double abducted in his own home. In love with Ernani, Elvira escapes her marriage to Silva by becoming a hostage of the King’s. Because Silva keeps him from being arrested, Ernani pledges his life to him. In Ernani terms, this promise means Silva gets to decide when Ernani will die. So, after the King pardons everyone and orders Elvira to marry Ernani, who shows up as the wedding crasher? Silva appears and asks Ernani, “poison or dagger?” Ernani chooses a dagger, stabs himself and dies in Elvira’s arms.

Check out the rest of the review at The Chicago Theater Blog

Making her debut at the Lyric Opera, Jen describes her experience as, “an aesthetic wonder and a musical treat in a space where the people are as fun to look at as the venue.”

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