Ernani is one of the sillier Verdi operas, but the music is expectedly gorgeous. The production is typical grand opera - giant sets, a huge chorus and especially opulent costumes. It starred the wonderful Angela Meade as Elvira, Ferrucio Ferlanetto as Silva, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Don Carlo, and Roberto DeBiasio in the title role. It was so fabulous to see Angela as such a younger performer more than hold her own against the veterans of the cast, especially Ferrucio.
In my fourt time to hear Angela sing live, I am still astounded by her huge, beautiful voice! It has such control - the pianissimi is as thrilling as the fortissimo.
My favorite moment came when Angela entered in the final act to find her evil uncle Silva and her new husband Ernani about to do battle and she sang "STOP!" It was so powerful and full of emotion and LOUD. An older man sitting next to me in family circle said out loud, with much delight, "WHOA!"