Verdi 200: Ernani
Penny Gore presents a classic recording of the opera which put the thirty year old Verdi on the international operatic map when it was first staged at Venice's La Fenice in 1844.
Based on a Victor Hugo's play Hernani, it's a typically Romantic struggle between Love and Honour played out in sixteenth century Spain.
Ernani has been defeated in war and deprived of his land and his wealth. But when Don Carlo, the king, promises to take Ernani's love, Elvira, as well things become unbearable: Ernani whipers to Elvira that she must prepare to flee.
Ernani, the bandit ..... Carlo Bergonzi (tenor),
Elvira, his niece and fiancée .... Leontyne Price (soprano),
Don Carlo, later Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor ..... Mario Sereni (baritone),
Don Ruy Gomez de Silva, a grandee of Spain ..... Ezio Flagello (bass),
Don Riccardo, Don Carlo's equerry ..... Fernando Iacopucci (tenor)
Jago, Don Ruy's equerry ..... Hartje Mueller (bass)
Giovanna, her nurse ..... Julia Hamarai (soprano),
RCA Italiana Operas Chorus and Orchestra
Thomas Schippers (conductor).