The story is a profoundly moving eulogy to forgiveness - but in true Verdian operatic tradition we must first travel the road of honour, vengeance, deception and hatred. Stiffelio
, a minister of the church, is confronted with his wife's infidelity and has to find a way to reconcile his desire for revenge with his faith and beliefs. The third act sermon we learn whether he succeeds is terribly poignant, yet somehow there remains an edge of cynicism it is hard to escape. The controversy, the subject matter and Verdi's brilliance make the character of Stiffelio
one of the composer's most powerful and affecting. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Approx. running time 2 hours 45 minutesPerformers Jose Cura (Stiffelio), Sondra Radvanovsky (Lina), Roberto Frontali (Stankar), Andrew Sritheran (Raffaele von Leuthold), Alastair Miles (Jorg), Nikola Matisic (Federico di Frengel), Liora Grodnikaite (Dorotea).
Music Giuseppe Verdi. Lyrics Francesco Maria Piave (after the play Le Pasteur ou L'Evangile et le foyer by Emile Souvestre and Eugene Bourgeois). Producer Royal Opera. Conductor Mark Elder (Apr07 20/23 May07 2/8/10). Conductor Chris Willis (May07 5). Director Elijah Moshinsky. Design Michael Yeargan. Costume Peter J. Hall. Lighting Paul Pyant. Director William Hobbs (fight).