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This week's Culture Vultures recommend:

Simon Boccanegra at Lyric, Argo, and Human Landscapes at Joffrey

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Simon Boccanegra at Lyric Opera of Chicago - DAN REST/SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • Dan Rest/Sun-Times Media
  • Simon Boccanegra at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Carl F. Hammer, owner of Carl Hammer Gallery, raves over:

Simon Boccanegra at Lyric Opera of Chicago I recently attended Giuseppe Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. It epitomized what an opera performance, for me, should be. Packed with political, romantic, and familial intrigue, the story combined the magic of beautiful Verdi arias with a spectacular selection of voices (cast). The very moving story, while abundantly tragic, was about the realization of the beauty of forgiveness and the resulting unification of a great nation (Italy) personified through the individual character roles played within the narrative. In Boccenegra, the libretto itself rises to the level of the magnificence of the music, a trait not too often found within the genre. Interestingly, the story (first performed in the mid-19th century) seemed to portray uncanny parallels to today's adversarial political/social atmosphere here in America, posing integrity and reconciliation as its antidotes to peoples' divisive nature.

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Official Site:

Director: Ben Affleck

Producer: Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, David Klawans, Nina Wolarsky, Chris Brigham, Chay Carter, Graham King and Tim Headington

Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver, Keith Szarabajka, Bob Gunton, Richard Kind, Richard Dillane, Omid Abtahi and Page Leong

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