Verdi's Luisa Miller

Jean-Claude Fall (stage director), Massimo Zanetti (conductor) – With Patrizia Ciofi (Luisa), Gregory Kunde (Rodolfo)...

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Jean-Claude Fall — Stage director

Gérard Didier — Stage sets

Agostino Cavalca — Costume designer

Martine André — Lighting

Patrizia Ciofi — Luisa

Gregory Kunde — Rodolfo

Nicola Alaimo — Miller

Bálint Szabó — Wurm

Luciano Montanaro — Il Conte di Walter

Alexise Yerna — Laura

Cristina Melis — Federica

Stefano De Rosa — A farmer

Orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Chorus of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège

Marcel Seminara — Chorus director

Massimo Zanetti — Music director

Program notes

Verdi's lively opera Luisa Miller – filled with tricks, betrayals, and love stories – is performed at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège in a staging by Jean-Claude Fall and conducted by Massimo Zanetti.

Savatore Cammarano's libretto, based on Schiller's Kabale und Liebe, incorporates solely the elements from the original German drama that enable the characters to express their passions, leaving out the delicate political aspects of the story that risked censure. Verdi's fourteenth opera, the work was both commissioned and premiered on December 1849 by Naples' Teatro San Carlo. More modern than Verdi's previous operas, it precedes the composer's legendary trilogy Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata.

As Luisa Miller, Patrizia Ciofi displays the qualities for which she originally became famous in her performances of Gilda in Rigoletto. Nicola Alaimo plays the father, Miller, with his powerful, dramatic voice serving the character to great advantage. As Rodolfo, Gregory Kunde takes the stage of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège for the very first time. Those soloists are accompanied by the choir and orchestra of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, conducted respectively by chorus master Marcel Seminara and conductor Massimo Zanetti, himself an expert of 19th century repertoire in general, and of Verdi in particular.

The setting is a small Tyrolean village in the 17th century. Luisa, an old soldier's daughter, and Rodolfo, Count Walter's son, are madly in love. The count, who wants his son to marry Duchess Fererica, sentences the old soldier to death and jails Luisa. Desperate to save her father, Luisa agrees to a plan concocted by the count's servant, Wurm, who is also in love with her: she will marry him and write a letter to Rodolfo pretending she never loved him, but had rather seduced him for personal gain. Torn apart by the terrible news, Rodolfo obtains some poison and goes meet Luisa to learn whether she betrayed him...

Picture: © Jacques Croisier 2014.

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