Ideas for an Opera

Followers of the fine rolls on Twitter  will have noticed some debate at the Thirteenth Century England Conference in Aberystwyth about how to cast a feature film on Henry III and Simon de Montfort. Another question would be how to cast an opera. If  Verdi had written ‘Simon de Montfort’, it could surely have rivalled Don Carlos. My own feeling is that Henry III and Queen Eleanor should be sung by respectively a tenor and a mezzo, while Montfort should be a bass baritone and Eleanor M a soprano.  Of course, it depends what era one is taking the singers from.  I have a  fine recording of Rigoletto from around 1960, and if one transposed the cast from that, then we would have:  Montfort,  Ettore Bastianini  (the right confidence, but perhaps not the neurotic edge); Henry III, Alfredo Kraus (my favourite tenor); Queen Eleanor, Fiorenza Cossotto; and Eleanor M, Renata Scotto (my favourite soprano). But I am sure others will have better and more up to date ideas!

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