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Emilia di Liverpool

St. George’s Hall Concert Room, Liverpool
December 31 – January 5 then touring to January 29

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Director: Ignacio Garcia
Producer: The European Opera Centre
Cast Includes: Francesca Park, Marc Canturri, Philippe Talbot, Vasco Francanzani, Adriana Festeu, Joelle Fleury, Etienne Hersperger
Running Time: 2 hours 40 mins

St. Georges Hall in Liverpool 2006

St. George's Hall
Liverpool

 

It used to be thought that Donezetti was the grandson of a Scotsman and few seeing Emilia di Liverpool, his rarely performed semi-seria opera of 1824, would fail to recognise the very British appeal of its wit. Opera by tradition should be reverential and moralistic. What Doneizetti created however, with respect, resembles more of a nineteenth century Carry On film thanks to its irreverent form and humour. Though filled with wonderful music and fabulous arias, it’s little wonder then that he wrote it in honour of Liverpool and its warm if non-conformist people.

Image: Marc Canturri (Claudio), Vasco Fracanzani (Do Romaldo) Philippe Talbot (Federico), Christia Khosrowi in Emilia di Liverpool.Without doubt the star of this story of revenge, love, desire, hatred and passion, is Francesca Park in the title role, whose coquettish charm filled this glorious if underused auditorium with warmth for the whole time she was on stage. Gracious in her faultless delivery, it would have been worth queuing to see Ms. Park perform as Emilia alone, without the added bonuses of Vasco Francanzani playing the roguish Don Ramualdo, Philippe Talbot as the much maligned Frederico, Marc Canturri as the deeply intense Claudio and Joelle Fleury as the beautiful Luigia.

With conductor Giovanni Pacor controlling a perfect orchestra in front of him and a sublime choir packed into the circular balconies above, the room in which Dickens once read was rewarded for its patience in fine style, as the lighting, the music and the performances of all involved washed over the audience like a kiss from Donizetti himself, so creating a show all involved can be justly proud of.

Chris High

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