In this intense, beautifully sung but minimally staged melodrama, Verdi ventures into the theme of parent-child relations, a motif that runs through his subsequent work and provides much of its emotional depth. He still has some growing to do, some bel canto clichés that must be rooted out before he can consistently reach the emotional level of Rigoletto, La traviata, or Il trovatore. But in Luisa Miller, connoisseurs have a chance to observe his art growing.
June Anderson handles the coloratura demands of the title role with distinction, Eduard Tumagian strikes the proper notes of affection and distress as her father, and the deep-voiced villains' roles are convincingly filled. Taro Ichihara carries off his big moments well in "Quando le sere al placido" and elsewhere. The chorus, however, is not theatrically used or visually convincing. --Joe McLellanFrom the Back Cover:
The American coloratura June Anderson, acclaimed for her dramatic abilities as well as her vocal skill, gives a moving performance as the ill-fated Luisa in Verdi's dark tale of jealousy and deception. Jacques Lassalle's production also features Taro Ichihara (tenor) as Rodolfo, Paul Plishka (bass) as Count Walter, and Edouard Tumagian (baritone) as Miller. Maurizio Arena conducts.
The backstage intrigues and personal hostility surrounding the premiere in Naples of Verdi's adaptation of Schiller's play Kabale und Liebe are reflected on stage in this dark tale of jealousy and deception. Luisa Miller is an important transitional work, marking both the end of Verdi's first period and the beginning of his second, in which the first two acts recall the operas of Bellini and Donizetti, and the third anticipates the musical style and dramatic atmosphere of La Traviata. 150 minutes, color, 1988, English subtitles. Cast:
June Anderson: Luisa Miller
Susanna Anselmi: Federica
Taro Ichihara: Rodolfo
Paul Plishka: Conte di Walter
Romuald Tesarowicz: Wurn
Edward Toumajian: Miller
Brigitte Desnoues: Laura
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