The king, the prince, his wife, and her lover: this is the quadrangle—not quite Game of Thrones, but still plenty messy—around which Italo Montemezzi spun his one temporarily enduring hit. Blending the heart-on-sleeve blood and thunder of Italian verismo, Wagner’s penchant for endless orchestral melody, and Debussy’s alchemical flair for instrumental timbre, the opera opened at La Scala and held the stage for some 40 years. Audiences ate it up, as did conductors and powerful singing actors of a type conservatories of our time seem hard-pressed to turn out. The most promising name on the cast list for La Scala’s first revival since 1953 is that of Ferruccio Furlanetto—worthy avatar of Boris Godunov and the King Philip of Don Carlos—as the blind king Archibaldo, once a signature part for the legendary likes of Adamo Didur, Tancredi Pasero, and Ezio Pinza. —M.G.
Teatro alla Scala Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Get Directions »