July 19, 2013
Amilcare Ponchielli: La Gioconda
Bastille Opera, Paris
Paris National Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Daniel Oren, conductor
CAST: Violeta Urmana (Gioconda); Marcelo Alvarez (Enzo); Luciana D'Intino (Laura); Maria José Montiel (La Cieca); Claudio Sgura (Barnaba); Orlin Anastassov (Alvise Badoero)
Ponchielli's masterpiece, a drama of politics, passion and murder, is so over-the-top sensational that you can't help but love it -- one of opera's most delicious "guilty pleasures."