The Met's new production
Some operas should only be performed if there is the kind of diva available to shape the central title role who from the first moment she takes the stage can convey uniqueness, a rich personality and an atmosphere of feminine allure. One such opera is Umberto Giordano's Fedora, so rich in passions and genre moments, and one such diva is Sonya Joncheva, who now makes it worthwhile for the Met to revisit this piece a quarter of a century after its last outing, this time in an iconic new production by David McVicar.
Crafted by the Parisian master of well-written plays Victorien Sardou, Fedora was, like the original prose version of Tosca, created for the grande dame of 19th-century French theatre Sarah Bernhardt and offered the epochal tragedienne ample material to play with in terms of emotional extremes, decorative gestures, and impressive scenes. When Giordano composed an Italian opera based on this French drama in 1898, the weight and significance of the title role was not diminished in the slightest: Fedora, the Russian princess who wants to hand over her fiancé's murderer to the secret police, is presented with a task that is both temptingly desirable and extremely demanding in terms of the responsibility it places on her. True, the title character also gets a showy tenor character at her side, and one with a hut number to boot: Count Loris Ipanoff and his aria "Amor ti vieta". Taking on this role that Enrico Caruso triumphed in at the world première this time will be the wonderful Piotr Beczała, and this performance conducted by Marco Armiliato will also feature another Polish singer with a mighty voice and winning performance style in the form of baritone Artur Ruciński.
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Presented by: Müpa Budapest
Conductor: Marco Armiliato
Fedora: Sonya Yoncheva
Olga: Rosa Feola
Loris Ipanoff: Piotr Beczała
De Siriex: Artur Ruciński
Featuring: The Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Set design: Charles Edwards
Costumes: Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting: Adam Silverman
Director: Sir David McVicar