Giuseppe Verdi: Attila
Opera in three acts (concertante version)
The concert performance of Verdi’s stage work Attila was recorded very recently, on October 13, 2019 – also in Munich’s Prinzregententheater. Once again, outstanding performers provide authentic fluidity and vocal splendor. The top-quality cast is led by Ildebrando D’Arcangelo in the title role, with Liudmyla Monastyrska at his side, and the ensemble of soloists in this choral opera is complemented by the powerful voices of the Bavarian Radio Chorus. The Munich Radio Orchestra is conducted by Ivan Repuŝić. This highlight of Munich musical life from the end of last year is now already available from BR-KLASSIK as a double CD.
Like its predecessors Nabucco and I Lombardi, Verdi’s early masterpiece Attila is a choral opera in the best sense, and gained an enthusiastic reception from the Italian unification movement: its themes reflected the aspirations of the Risorgimento in the restless Italy of that time. The line “Avrai tu l’universo, resti l’Italia a me” (“You may have the universe, but let Italy remain mine”) was enthusiastically received right from the start, helping to pave the way for the opera on the stages of Italy and Europe. It was not only the audience at the premiere at the Teatro La Fenice in Habsburg-ruled Venice who understood the full import of those words. Hardly any other opera by Verdi was received in Italy with so much euphoria. Outside the country, of course, it failed to make a lasting impression – probably also due to the extremely difficult role of Odabella.
The concert performance of the opera (in the original Italian) at Munich’s Prinzregententheater got the whole audience cheering, and received a similarly enthusiastic reception from the critics. “A feast of song” was mentioned several times, and vocal quality and the fine performances by Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and Liudmyla Monastyrska came in for special praise. The Bavarian Radio Chorus, said the critics, clearly conveyed its joy at the theatrical effect of the work, and the dramatic and dramaturgical context was delivered with great success by conductor Ivan Repušić and the Munich Radio Orchestra. This “Attila” is genuine theatrical Verdi: vital, powerful, passionate and full of life.
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, bass – Attila
Liudmyla Monastyrska, soprano – Odabella
Stefano La Colla, tenor – Foresto
Stefan Sbonnik, tenor – Uldino
George Petean, baritone – Ezio
Gabriel Rollinson, bass – Leone
Bavarian Radio Chorus
Stellario Fagone, director
Munich Radio Orchestra
Ivan Repušić, conductor
2 CDs, BR-KLASSIK 900330