Music - Giacomo Puccini
Libretto - Giuseppe Adami
Marco Brescia, Archivio Fotografico del Teatro alla Scala
Staging: Luca Ronconi
Sets: Margherita Palli
Costumes: Silvia Aymonino
Michele - Juan Pons
Luigi - Antonello Palombi
Giorgetta - Paoletta Marrocu
Frugola - Anna Maria Chiuri
Conductor - Riccardo Chailly
Teatro alla Scala
March 13 2008 live broadcast
There are very few positive things to say about this Tabarro (as well as the two other parts of this Trittico production). It is indeed a very bad celebration of Puccini's 150th birthday.
The cast is awful as the three main parts are sung with no passion and an inexisting stage presence. Leo Nucci should have been singing Michele but cancelled the entire run; Juan Pons is not the right substitute for the previous reasons and for his ugly high notes.
Antonello Palombi, who was pushed into the spotlight by Roberto Alagna's whim during a performance of Aïda in december 2006, clearly doesn't deserve to stay under this light, and should really go back to his studies - his high notes are positively disastrous.
Paoletta Marrocu is the best of the three but her performance is not praiseworthy either. She has problems with both her breathing and her vibratos.
The conduction of Riccardo Chailly is equally as bad and does not unveal the marvels the score contains. Instead, he presents a monochromatic reading beyond boring that, furthermore, is badly executed by the orchestra.
In this dreadful atmopshere, Luca Ronconi's staging is the least of the problems. It may not be inventive, but at least it's sober, elegant and appropriate for the piece.
Which is more than can be said of the musical execution. Such a poor production in the most famous Opera House in the world is indeed utterly shameful.
YouTube extract - "Scorri fiume eterno"