We went down to Napoli last weekend to see Verdi’s I Lombardi alla prima crocita. It is one of his early operas and I’m not familar with it so wasn’t expecting the interesting choral and orchestral effects that Verdi composed for this story of the Lombards at the First Crusade. As with most early Verdi there are some rum-tum-ticky-ticky-tum bits but the choruses certainly had that stirring Verdian sound. And of course there’s that Italian patriotic subtext guaranteed to drive the Austrian censors of the period mad.
The Teatro San Carlo chorus did a impressive job of all the choral work and even gave us an encore of one of the big numbers: O Signore, dal tetto natio Here it is sung by the chorus of the La Scala Opera House, Milan conducted by the great, but underrated, Gianandrea Gavazzeni. For some reason there appears to be some booing at the end – I’m not sure why.
28 maggio – San Emilio