Small picture of Donizetti



Donizetti's Emilia di Liverpool

Staatstheater Nürnberg, March 2010.

Photographs by and copyright of Jutta Missbach, provided courtesy of the Staatstheater Nürnberg


The Team

Emilia di Liverpool - Hrachuhí Bassénz

Claudio di Liverpool - Kurt Schober

Federico - Christopher Lincoln

Don Romualdo - Rainer Zaun

Il Conte - Melih Tepretmez

Luigia - Audrey Larose Zicat

Candida - Therese Fauser


Musikalische Leitung: Guido Johannes Rumstadt

Inszenierung: Andreas Baesler

Bühne: Harald Thor

Kostüme: Gabriele Heimann

Dramaturgie: Judith Debbeler


Hugo Delava has provided the following comment on the opening night of the opera.   Rolf Fath contributed a review in the Donizetti Society Newsletter 110, p.3. Below is a summary of his review in English.

Stage director Andreas Baesler got his inspiration in the “Film noir”. The opera is staged in an English manor house not long after World War 2, which is used as some sort of  institution. Black and white films are projected on the back of the stage, which creates an impressive atmosphere.  Federico and Don Romualdo arrive by car. On the film one can see that they are losing control and that the car starts spinning. At the same moment it breaks through the wall of the manor. Quite spectacular !  (see photograph below)

Unfortunately, there is little else positive to say about the production. Semi-seria is a very difficult type of opera, as it needs a very subtle balance between comic and serious elements. Although Donizetti, at least in my opinion, achieved the required qualities with his music, Baesler turned the whole performance into a farce by adding an unlimited number of (to be honest, often funny) gags. Literally nothing that happened on stage had any seriousness. Italian was retained for the musical numbers but German was used for the spoken dialogues, which were shortened.

Hrachuhí Bassénz was the most outstanding member of the cast with accurate coloratura and some splendid high notes and although Rainer Zaun is not a belcanto singer,  he carried the weight of the performance with his sense of humour.  Kurt Schober has an impressive voice, but even the simplest coloraturas caused him problems. The conductor, Guido Johannes Rumstadt, did not seem to appreciate how Donizetti should sound and even with a reduced orchestra he succeeded in covering the voices most of the time.

As a whole Nürnberg opera have made a great show, but, although it was very entertaining with some fine acting, it was more an operetta by Léhar or a Spieloper by Lortzing than an Italian opera.


 Hrachuhí Bassénz as Emilia


 Emilia with inmates


 Federico and Don Romualdo arrive by car


Claudio and Emilia


 Don Romualdo, Emilia, Candida and Frederico




Page initially published in  2010