John Terauds (“Stunning Opera is a True Feast”)
, October 2006
La Gioconda is classic late-19th-century Italian with a lush score, affecting arias and harmonically powerful choruses. The Love for Three Oranges is a surreal spoof of theatre where the chorus becomes a sardonic echo of the Ancient Greek model. One gets a conventional staging with an ace cast. The other is a romp — a feast for eyes, ears and mind. You could hardly find a better counterpoint.
Deborah Voigt, Ewa Podles and Canadian tenor Richard Margison are three main attractions in this conventional staging of the 1876 opera La Gioconda, the only enduring work by Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886).
The singers and chorus are wonderful. The orchestra, conducted by Daniele Callegari, is lush. And the Act 3 dancers are cleverly integrated as supernumeraries throughout (the males shirtless wherever possible) in this 2005 production at Barcelona's gloriously baroque Gran Teatre de Liceu.