Giuseppe Verdi: I masnadieri Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Andrea Maffei after Friedrich von Schiller’s play Die Räuber. Name Translations, I masnadieri (Verdi); Разбојници (опера); Zbójcy (opera); according to Grove, “the London libretto describes [it] as a ‘tragic opera'”. I masnadieri (The Bandits) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Andrea Maffei, based on Die Räuber by Friedrich von Schiller.
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Verdi led the first two performances.
There were only two more in the English capital. Verdi spent much of his time in England complaining about the weather; and he was there during the Summer. He was at the height of his multi year bout of advanced hypochondriasis which likely explains his more than usual grouchiness. The opera later appeared in Italy and a few other European houses and then joined Alzira in deserved obscurity.
How to explain the backward step from its immediate predecessor Macbeth? Part of the problem is its libretto. Its author, Andrea Maffei, was a distinguished poet, but an amateur librettist.
Its hero Karl Moor Carlo in the opera is self absorbed, self pitying, and unidimensional.
I masnadieri – Wikipedia
In Italian opera, tenors are not supposed to kill their leading ladies. Setting fire to Prague seems a lark rather than a monstrosity. The best of it occurs before the curtain rises. The prelude is a concertino for cello. This DVD, unlike like those that proceeded it, is not from the Parma company. It was staged last year — see below for details.
The sets and costumes are a combination of punk and Mussolini baroque. There are lots of leather, fedoras, and automatic weapons.
The unitary set has a multi lbretto skull at its back and a raised platform that goes nowhere. Francesco is portrayed as a deformed hunchback with a frozen right lower extremity.
The singing is pedestrian. Aquiles Machado has a lyric tenor that thins at its top. Carlo needs a spinto to delivers the forceful outbursts that characterize the role.
Machado, however, is quite good at the soft lyrical phrases that occur in the love duet. The lightness of his voice may explain the small microphone he wore throughout the performance.
His lover, Amalia, is sung on this recording by Ii soprano Lucrecia Garcia. The role was written for Jenny Lind. Verdi even allowed Lind to insert her own embellishments to her music.
Garcia gave a straightforward reading to the part which the way she sang it requires a rich Verdi spinto. Her voice is not lush and his a bit forced at its highest reach. This role requires a fully loaded Verdi baritone. Nevertheless, his was the strongest portrayal on the disc. This performance was no different. He keeps the action going with energy and excitement and realizes all the lyricism inherent in what he conducts.
He got as much out of I Masnadieri as was possible. U has this performance. But at least for now you can watch the entire production and make your own judgement about it.
Neil Kurtzman Comments and reviews of opera, music, and medicine. Home Bio About Archives. Aquiles Machado and Lucrecia Garcia.
I masnadieri (Verdi, Giuseppe) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music
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