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Thread: Rossini on DVD and Blu-ray

  1. #1
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Default Rossini on DVD and Blu-ray



    Marilyn Horne (Isabella)
    Paolo Montarsolo (Mustafa)
    Allan Monk (Taddeo)
    Douglas Ahlstedt (Lindoro)

    James Levine
    Metropolitan Opera

    Fabulous DVD of one of Rossini's most famous comedies. Good production with many genuinely funny moments. Very good acting and singing from everyone involved. But the star of the show without a shadow of a doubt is Marilyn Horne. Her comedic timing is impeccable. Her rich deep and creamy mezzo just glows and she sings the most difficult passages with an ease that is out of this world. A big cheer for James Levine's exciting conducting also, especially in the fast paced ensembles. This DVD is a winner, but above all else it's a great reminder of the unbelievable talent of Marilyn Horne - an incredible Rossini singer if ever there was one.

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    I just came back from a week's vacation in Rome and I promised myself I'd buy an opera DVD there because I know of a huge multimedia center there where they have pretty much everything. I ended up getting this:



    It was a bit of a risk I think cause it cost no less than 42 € (it did come with a whole book and bonus material so I suppose that's part of the reason for the pricing..) and I hadn't heard of the opera itself before, but I find the music in Rossini operas amusing and I already have several recordings with Jean Christophe Spinosi/Ensemble Matheus.

    The whole production is brilliant though. Three cameras surround a little model of an interior or exterior scene, while the singers move around in a landscape of blue shapes, also captured by small cameras, and it all comes together on big screens behind them, where it looks like they're inside the little "doll's house" model. Stage crew dressed entirely in blue to make them invisible to half of the cameras help to make hilarious effects - In one scene a servant fries a pancake, throws it up in the air - when it actually is a stiff pancake on a stick that one of the "blue helpers" spins around and slides elegantly onto the plate of one of the characters - On the big screen it looks like an animated film. Other effects includes people seemingly dancing around in other people's meals and the main character appearing from kitchen garbage bins....

    I must confess I've only had time to watch Act 1 yet, plus for some reason the subtitles disappeared about 1 hour 10 mins into Act 1 so from then on I couldn't keep up with the story. So from then on I just enjoyed the music and in particular Sonia Prina, and a young Italian baritone (there were a lot of Italian performers in this production) I've never heard of before but who had a great voice and played his character very well.
    Last edited by jhar26; Dec-25-2010 at 18:00.
    ****Karen Patricia****
    http://www.karen-patricia.com

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    A fairly flimsy story, jolly but slightly generic Rossini, a competent young cast and some stupendous sleight of hand with cameras, projections, blue screen technology, optical illusions to liven it up. Fun!
    Natalie

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    I noticed that I can catch Natalie Dessay in Lucia di Lammermoor and Diana Damrau in Le Comte Ory within a week of each other next spring (at the Met, natch) so I'd like to familiarize myself with Le Comte Ory as I know nothing whatsoever about it. Can anyone recommend a specific version? There's only one available on Amazon but if there's an out of print or online-only version that's better I'd prefer that one.

    Thanks!

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I can wholeheartedly recommend the one on Amazon with Annick Massis.



    Great fun and beautifully sung. A lot of the music is pretty much identical to Il Viaggio a Reims so if you've got that it will be familiar. I don't know of any other version online.
    Natalie

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I can wholeheartedly recommend the one on Amazon with Annick Massis.



    Great fun and beautifully sung. A lot of the music is pretty much identical to Il Viaggio a Reims so if you've got that it will be familiar. I don't know of any other version online.
    Many thanks as always

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Kathleen Battle as Rosina, think I will have to get this 1989 version that recently surfaced........I love this opera!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt3qn...ext=1&index=20

    Almost got this new dreamcast version till I read further that Joyce DiDonato had injured her leg and had to be seated or in a wheelchair in all scences......


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    Senior Member Grosse Fugue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post


    Kathleen Battle as Rosina, think I will have to get this 1989 version that recently surfaced........I love this opera!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt3qn...ext=1&index=20

    Almost got this new dreamcast version till I read further that Joyce DiDonato had injured her leg and had to be seated or in a wheelchair in all scences......


    Why does that stop you? I have it and it;s great.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post

    Almost got this new dreamcast version till I read further that Joyce DiDonato had injured her leg and had to be seated or in a wheelchair in all scenes......

    I've got this one & it's great. The wheelchair is a bit of a distraction at first but after a while it didn't matter.
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    I've got this one & it's great. The wheelchair is a bit of a distraction at first but after a while it didn't matter.
    Yes, don't let it put you off. My favourite version, actually!
    Natalie

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    Almost got this new dreamcast version till I read further that Joyce DiDonato had injured her leg and had to be seated or in a wheelchair in all scences......

    But I am confused......
    Why did they choose to issue this performance on DVD when there are other recorded versions before Joyce injured her leg and required wheelchair?

    I want this version!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysGFM...eature=related

    I was going to purchase this thinking these youtubes were from DVD above, but then read comments at Amazon about the wheelchair and realized they are from another performance
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Aug-19-2010 at 16:26.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    The ever-effervescent Cecilia Bartoli carried the day in this candy-coloured production from Zurich. A perfect antidote to all the gloom and doom in the Poulenc the day before.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    A trip down memory lane for me with this venerable warhorse DVD.........

    A young Von Stade has never sounded in fresher voice especially the closing aria:
    Non piu mesta......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VQV_FgUmnA


    At the end of her career 1964 Callas gave a recital with some Rossini arias including this amazing Non piu mesta, how do you top that?.......bravo Maria

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlR-9XqAPek
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Sep-21-2010 at 05:19.

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    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post

    A trip down memory lane for me with this venerable warhorse DVD.........
    A young Von Stade has never sounded in fresher voice especially the closing aria:
    Non piu mesta......
    She is simply wonderful, isn't she? I'm not at all fond of the opera itself, and I'm very resistant to the 'panto' production aspects of this movie - but she keeps me watching, just hanging on for her next appearance. (Her recording of Massenet's Cendrillon, with Ruth Welting's astounding Fairy Godmother is a similar must-have. It's not a DVD of course - audio only - though I feel as if I have vivid visual memories of it.)

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgarian View Post
    She is simply wonderful, isn't she? I'm not at all fond of the opera itself, and I'm very resistant to the 'panto' production aspects of this movie - but she keeps me watching, just hanging on for her next appearance.
    Thanks guys, I know what I'm watching tonight.

    Edit: Watching Flicka now. I'm in love

    Edit: I'm also in love with the young and dashing Francisco Araiza.
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Sep-21-2010 at 11:25.
    Natalie

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