Notes and Editorial Reviews
First performed in 1865, Amleto (‘Hamlet’) represented a radical new development in Italian opera, the nuovo melodrama. Composer Franco Faccio and his librettist Arrigo Boito sought a greater degree of musical unity in staged productions and a more equal relationship between text and music. In Hamlet, a play that many then considered un-operatic, they found the perfect medium through which to explore the work’s philosophical and dramatic power- not least the great set-piece scenes: Amleto’s soliloquy ‘Essere o non essere!” (To be or not to be), Ofelia’s Mad Scene and the fight scenes- in a way that strikingly prefigures the verismo operas yet to come. This production premiered at the Bregenz Festival in June 2016; a film of the production followed on C Major, which won numerous accolades. This audio recording was made during the same performances. The production features an excellent cast with the title role taken by Pavel Cernoch.