‘Ernani’ is not one of the most popular operas of Verdi. Actually it us staged for the first time in Israel. Despite lacking any of the spectacular hit areas that made ‘Aida’ or’ ‘Rigoletto’ famous, it is a solid and interesting musical piece, with a strong dramatic structure, and a credible (well, in operatic terms) story which combines historical and personal elements.

source http://www.israel-opera.co.il/eng/

The story of the three men (king Carlos, Silva the rich and elder count and the outlaw Ernani) who fall in love with the same woman allows for three roles on stage for baritone, bass and tenor – all fully fledged and satisfying from a musical point of view. Staging leaves place for interesting interpretations, and this is the case with the current staging which is the result of the cooperation of the Israeli Opera and the opera houses of Poznan and Bilbao. The sets are really spectacular from a visual point of view, although the inclined plan the singers are obliged to sing most of the time risk to challenge beyond the reasonable.

(video source donthuis)

Romanian-born Israeli singer Mirela Gradinaru was a very convincing Elvira. She becomes one of the constant and stables stars on the Tel Aviv stage. I was not crazy about the American tenor Hugh Smith’s Ernani, but Ramaz Chikviladze’s Silva and Vittorio Vitelli’s Carlos balanced the overall musical balance of the evening to the positive side.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H20l9eoe_zM

(video source lamermoor9999)

No clips from the current performance are available, so you will need to get fragments from performances at Scala in compensation :-)