Fedora at Teatro Grattacielo

March 31, 2021

Baritone Marcelo Guzzo was a De Siriex whose burnished, imposing vocalism matched his debonair diplomacy. Subtly commandeering the questioning of the wounded Vladimiro’s servants whilst also comforting and reassuring the devastated Fedora in Act One, Guzzo’s De Siriex sang and acted forcefully. Though it is seldom included in baritones’ recital and recording repertoires, De Siriex’s aria in Act Two, ‘La donna russa è femmina due volte,’ is one of Fedora’s few easily-excerpted numbers, and Guzzo’s undaunted mastery of its quicksilver rhythms and troublesome tessitura exuding irrepressible vitality. This De Siriex neither gloated nor goaded in his conversations with Fedora, relaying rather than sensationalizing the news of the deaths of Ipanoff’s mother and brother, for which Fedora’s accusation of her lover as her fiancé’s murderer was the catalyst. His vivid sparring with Olga in Act Three revealed impishness, jovially rendering the flirtatious rapport between the decorous diplomat and the coy countess. Guzzo voiced ‘Fatevi cor contessa!’ and ‘Lui! Cadde per l’empia sua crudeltà’ with obvious cognizance of the literal and suggestive meanings of the words. Throughout the performance, the baritone’s intelligible diction heightened the refinement of his depiction of De Siriex, but the character benefited most from Guzzo’s superb singing.``