After the concert version of Corsaro in Barcelona in February 3rd & 6th, 2005 with Jose Cura as Corrado & Susan Neves as Gulnara I wanted to see it as a fully staged stage and that led me to Genova, Italy. The production in Teatro Carlo Felice of Genova was of the traditional sort but this of course this is 2005.
During the prelude we see Medora searching for Corrado as it seems. All scene shifts happens before our eyes as it is more usual nowadays. Scene 1 of act 1 as it is staged here happens on th ship. With ropes to climb even as he sings Corrado and later also the chorus. (Act 1 Scene 4). The change to Medora's room is done with dividing the stage in half with a stage curtain, behind is the the ship and in the front is Medora. When Corrado comes he lifts the carpet away slightly.
Act 2. In Seid's harem. Beautiful setting, Gulnara is being dressed as a bath. Chorus singing, and then Gulnara sings too. What a disappointment!! After Susan Neves wonderful singing in Barcelona, the Italian soprano Paola Romano is painful to listen too, her vibrati, her voice sounds old. But Genoa's Seid Marco Di Felice is better than Carlo Guelfi, Salve Allah is wonderfully sung and acted, very realistic. The Dervish, no other than Corrado himself (Rubens Pelizzari), what a duet!! Later he corsairs comes into the stage, and there is many sword duels on stage. Clever us of red colored curtains made the illusion of fire real. Gulnara and her odalisks cries for rescue and Corrado orders his corsairs to save them. Seid, the egocentric man is not happy that his "wife" Gulnara and his odalisks is saved from death, nope, he is just jealous instead. Stupid and violent man thanks the gallant Corsair with terrible death from torture.
Act 3. Seid is just thinking about jealousy and revenge. Feeling like all tyrant pity for himself. Gulnara is trying to be clever asking Seid to think of ransom money instead of death/torture for Corrado. Unfortunately Seid is just about rage. Lucky for us in the audience the vibrato of Paola Romano is not so strong here, the duet is beautifully sung. And the stage changes for the dungeon where Corrado is resting after much torture, trying to sleep as sleep is the only solace for him. This is one of the most beautiful tenor arias, Eccomi prigioniero, naturally act 1 aria is also one of the great Verdi tenor arias (Tutto parea sorridere). And lucky for us Paola Romano's voice is not too disturbing, but still not "good". Usually the Gulnara/Corrado duet is a very beautiful duet. Gulnara saved the not so willing to be saved Corrado.
Meanwhile at home Medora thinks Corrado is already dead so she takes a deadly potion of poison. And guess what ships comes in not long after. "It's him, CORRADO!". Medora dies naturally, and Corrado decides he is to die too. he climbs up and jumps!! The music is unbelievable beautiful in this scene, but unfortunately, the height voice of Gulnara full is vibrato is scorching mine ears when her voice soars over the ensemble.
Seid Marco Di Felice wonderful
Medora Angela Marambio wonderful
Corrado Rubens Pelizzari wonderful (Jose Cura is better)
Gulnara Paola Romanò not quite bottom, but not wonderful