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OperaJournal, August 2019

PUCCINI, G.: Villi (Le) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (NTSC)) DYN-37840
PUCCINI, G.: Villi (Le) [Opera] (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57840

The orchestral writing is beautiful (and brought out well by the Fiorentino orchestra under Marco Angius here in a recognisable Puccini idiom), bringing out all the familiar phrases and sentiments in the music. The libretto and arias are a little superficial and repetitive—‘Forget me now’, ‘Don’t doubt my love’—which hardly explore the sentiments in any depth, but it’s charming and beautifully melodic.

The 2018 Maggio Musicale Fiorentino production stages this well, director Francesco Saponaro not just leaving the dancing for the intermezzo, but using it to enhance the scant dramatic element of the short opera, matching the rhythmic flow of Puccini’s score throughout, from the wedding dances at the opening to representations of the flow of time and the flow of sentiments. © 2019 OperaJournal

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