Meyerbeer a l’italienne
So far Meyerbeer’s French operas have left me underwhelmed. It was an accident that I tuned in to my new obsession – Swissradio Opera – only to hear the most bewitching of cabalette (we all know I can’t resist them). It turned out it was one right at the beginning of Margherita d’Anjou, Meyerbeer’s fourth Italian opera. I sat through the whole thing like I’d known it forever! Then I made time for Semiramide riconosciuta‘s first act before I really had to go to sleep. Annoyingly the 1994 Tancredi was up next but you’ve got to sleep some time…
Initially Meyerbeer went to Italy specifically to learn to write opera like Rossini and works like Margherita… and Semiramide riconosciuta really show that influence – but I’m not complaining! I’m on Il crociato in Egitto as soon as I get home 😉 Then he went to France (beckoned by the man himself) and made a fortune writing convoluted 5 act bollocks (mid 19th century audiences must’ve been deprived of quality entertainment – which might explain a lot of other opera written during that time). I understand it was all for his own good but man, these Italian ones really rock, even though they might not make full use of his talents etc.