Yes, absolutely GO. The only thing I knew from this opera was "Il lacerato spirito", and that only because of Ezio Pinza's recording. So it was virtually a brand new Verdi opera for me, and I found the music dramatic and satisfying, with a few snatches of exciting choral music tossed in at just the right places. Not a single aria for the title character, yet Domingo soared over the entire opera like some divine presence leading everyone else to their fates. It was wonderful. And for once I don't have a single nit to pick with the production; it was beautiful. The stage looked like a series of Renaissance paintings. I think my favorite scene was the one in which Boccanegra forced Paolo to pronounce a curse on Amelia's kidnapper (who was Paolo himself). How much did Boccanegra know? Did the other Council members also suspect? Oh, that was good theater!

But Boito's libretto has its usual improbabilities. One I found hard to wink at came in the scene in which Boccanegra told Paolo he could not marry Amelia. When Paolo wanted to know why not, Boccanegra answered with an imperious "I wish it!" Now, if he'd just said "She's not a Grimaldi. She's an orphan they took in," then the story would have ended happily. Paolo only wanted the Grimaldi money and might even feel grateful to Boccanegra for keeping him from making a bad mistake.

Does anyone know if there's an opera with a longer death scene than Boccanegra's? His even spans a change of setting.

Was Renée Fleming's backstage interview with Domingo part of the radio broadcast? He answered a few questions that have been raised here, such as NO, he is not going to sing Iago. And he hasn't really switched away from tenor to baritone; he's still singing tenor roles. He expressed an interest in Heldentenor roles (he's already singing Parsifal). But there is another baritone role he wants to do, and that's Athanaël in Thaïs. The man doesn't seem aware he's 69 years old.

[This message has been edited by Barbara (edited 02-08-2010).]