By Paul DrewContinuing in a similar vein from last week, we take a look today at Gaetano Donizetti's masterpiece Lucrezia Borgia, based on the play by Victor Hugo.
The real-life Lucrezia Borgia has not been served well by history, and Donizetti's opera plays into many of the myths about the real Lucrezia. However, this is Opera Wednesday, not History Wednesday, and so we'll go with the Lucrezia-poisoner version.
And what a version. This clip from the stunning finale features the great La Stupenda Joan Sutherland as Lucrezia, and Alfredo Kraus as her son, Gennaro. Now, if you like your opera full of mistaken identity and accidental death, then I guarantee you'll love this. If, on the other hand, you prefer hard-boiled realism - well, why are you in the opera house in the first place? Just sit back and enjoy two great singers in this 1980 performance from Covent Garden in London. Richard Bonynge, Sutherland's husband, is the conductor.