Here is Plácido Domingo’s latest conquest: the leading baritone role of Francesco Foscari in Verdi’s darkly atmospheric, melodically generous early opera, based on Lord Byron’s play. Set in 15th-century Venice, I Due Foscari is the forerunner of Simon Boccanegra, and Domingo’s triumph as the Doge set the seal on this critically lauded new production from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the ultimate Verdi shrine.
Declaring the legendary singer “the definitive Francesco of recent times”, the Financial Times’s reviewer also had high praise for the rest of La Scala’s superb cast, from “Andrea Concetti’s solid Loredano, to the immaculate Francesco Meli in a perfect match for Jacopo. Anna Pirozzi makes a triumphant house debut as Lucrezia. She wins hearts and minds through fearsome dramatization and thrilling vocal power. But the revelation of the night is [conductor] Michele Mariotti. Here is an interpretation of unbridled elasticity [...] There is the whiff of Venice’s sea breeze and a surge in its lagoon. The well-drilled chorus of patricians sends a chill down the spine. Mariota is the wunderkind of the Italian repertoire.”