The Genius of Verdi with Rolando Villazón
Sun May 10, 7.30-8.30pm, BBC4
Theatrical milestones such as ‘La Traviata’ acted as thinly disguised critiques of the establishment against which Verdi used to chafe, and he became a figurehead for the Italian unification (and eventually an MP in the new Italian state). The balance of music to character in ‘The Genius…’ is tipped in favour of the former, and there’s a sense of preaching to the converted here. But the excitable tenor Villazón works his socks off to engage the attention – you’ll seldom have heard ‘r’s rolled with such a flourrrrish.
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