Franchetti : GermaniaNew York, 1985 (Audio)
Director: Victoria Bond
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Alberto Franchetti`s Germania, a turn-of-the-century opera cast in the sturdy diatonic idiom of La Gioconda and Andrea Chenier.
Germania concerns student dissidents under the Napoleonic yoke, and the intertwinings of a troubled love story with the struggle for a free German nation.
The Bel Canto production was, as usual, a plucky sketch of the opera's rudiments. There were no sets and few props. Slides of the Metropolitan Opera's 1910 sets (Caruso, Destinn, Amato and Toscanini performed it there) were projected on a screen at the rear, but this potentially interesting hommage to the age of painted scenery was undermined on opening night by the oppressive noise from the projectors and by a bank of lights behind the screen that made the projections almost invisible much of the time.
The opera was heavily cut - in fact one major role was written out - but a full performance would probably have been beyond the group's resources.
The principal singers were as follows: April Evans-Montefiore, a full-voiced soprano; Joseph Wolverton, a tenor of bright exciting timbre but uncertain intonation and stamina; Henry Lackowski, a dark baritone who commands a certain dignity of utterance; and David Groth, a promising basso new to the local scene.
Victoria Bond conducted a small orchestra, and Maroun Azouri was responsible for the physical production.
(Edited from the New York Times)