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Without costumes, set or fellow actors, Opolais seemed to become Desdemona, clinging to her last moments of life, struggling between faith in and fear of the husband who is about to murder her.
Her stunning voice and heart-felt characterisation took us from Town Hall into her bedroom as she prepared to die.
Bocelli’s passionate rendition of “O paradis,” the Act IV aria from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s neglected masterpiece “L’africaine,” during which the opera’s primary character, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, praises the beauty of a tropical isle.
He followed with the famous “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto,” and then alternated selections with Ms.
Tackling the ostentatious vocal ornamentation of Rossini's Highlander-lite, happy ending opera was Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce Di Donato: The sun shines out of Joyce Di Donato’s voice, and her ravishingly beautiful Elena caps the show with a sublime account of the lilting “Tanti affetti”.
The technically impeccable Juan Diego Florez is all fire and ardour as Uberto, incandescent in runs and roulades, tireless in his production of rock-steady top Bs and Cs.
But that seemed not to matter to the excited throngs of Andrea Bocelli fans scurrying inside the building to bask in the Mediterranean warmth of their favorite romantic tenor, here for a one-night-only concert appearance in part to promote his latest CD/DVD releases “Love in Portofino” and “Passione”.
The following words apply equally well to the opening scene of Shaw’s play and of Verdi’s opera: “Her parent leaves and the heroine is alone in her bedroom at night.And the next few notes in a minor key warn me that the tale will not be a happy one.For a minute or two at the beginning, I wondered if I was witnessing a case of déjà vu.Hands held up in prayer, we really did feel she was begging for some form of salvation.