04 Verdi I Due FoscariGuiseppe Verdi – I Due Foscari
Soloists; Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno; Cappella Aquileia; Marcus Bosch
Coviello Classics COV92514 Blu-ray (covielloclassics.de/en)

I Due Foscari is Verdi’s sixth opera, preceded immediately by Ernani, both in the same year, 1844 with the same librettist, Francesco Maria Piave. It is well documented that Verdi was very actively involved with the development of the libretto, wishing to inject it with more theatricality. Based on the true story of Francesco Foscari, the 65th and longest reigning Doge of the Republic of Venice. The opera owes its inspiration to the poetic drama play by England’s Lord Byron, The Two Foscari.   

On the surface, the plot of I Due Foscari is the tragic story of a father and son and the father’s responsibilities to the Republic versus his responsibilities as a father. The Doge of 15-century Venice, Francesco and his seemingly popular son Jacopo highlight the fight for power and corruption of the ruling families of the realm. When Jacopo is wrongly accused and convicted of a crime for which he will be exiled, his father doesn’t defend him. Prior to being exonerated in the third act, Jacopo dies in jail from a broken heart. Francesco is forced from power, finds out his son has died and he too perishes of heartbreak.

The baritone Luca Grassi as the Doge, Héctor Sandoval as Jacopo and Sophie Gordeladze as Lucrezia his wife, all deliver stunning performances. Marcus Bosch conducts the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno and the Orchestra of Heidenheim Opera Festival brilliantly, supporting the inspired stage direction of Philipp Westerbarkei. 

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