Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Giuseppe Verdi was hired to pen the 1843 opera I Lombardi on the heels of Nabucco and on the basis of that earlier work's commercial and critical success. Set during the Crusades, the story of Lombardi opens with the rivalry of two brothers -- Arvino and Pagano -- who vie with one another for the love of Viclinda. Pagano attempts to kidnap Viclinda and commit a fratricide, extinguishing Arvino, but succeeds only in murdering his father in error; circumstances force him into exile in the Holy Land. Thus begins a complex and harrowing series of events that will ultimately lead to the reconciliation of both men, followed by the death of one. The Teatro Alla Scala mounted Verdi's opera in 1984; that production is now available in this home release. The cast includes the legendary tenor José Carreras as Volonte, Silvano Carroli as Pagano, and Ghena Dimitrova as Giselda.