One of the grandest of Italian grand operas.
Luscious tunes portray most serene Venice – La Serenissima – a place preferring peace to conflict; a place of diplomacy, wealth, justice and prosperity.
But under the cruel eye of the Inquisition lives a simple singer: a dutiful daughter to her blind mother. Bursting with love for her mother, her lover Enzo, and fury at his treachery, she tumbles into Venice’s bloody underworld.
The remarkable South African soprano Amanda Echalaz, already acclaimed at ROH and the Met, takes the title role. Joseph Calleja is the treacherous lover and vocal powerhouses Donose, Fiorillo, Stout, complete the cast.
Verdi was king of the opera scene, and, briefly, Ponchielli’s Gioconda, toppled him. There was not a dry eye in La Scala as everyone mourned the noble tragedy of the simple singer, La Gioconda. It ran and ran.