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Thread: Handel on DVD and Blu-ray

  1. #31
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I love everything about this production except The Wig. The Wig really needs to be sent into exile to a desert island where strange tropical birds can weave it into their nests, never again to be seen again by human eyes.

    Natalie

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I love everything about this production except The Wig. The Wig really needs to be sent into exile to a desert island where strange tropical birds can weave it into their nests, never again to be seen again by human eyes.

    A wig seems a small price to pay if the production is appropriate otherwise. In fact, I think I'd volunteer to wear this wig for a year if (let's say) the Met promised to ban Eurotrash from their future productions.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gualtier Malde View Post
    A wig seems a small price to pay if the production is appropriate otherwise. In fact, I think I'd volunteer to wear this wig for a year if (let's say) the Met promised to ban Eurotrash from their future productions.
    I'd wear this wig for 10 years for a night of sweet lovemaking with Danielle de Niese.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I'd wear this wig for 10 years for a night of sweet lovemaking with Danielle de Niese.
    You guys are impossible. I try to keep it serious, informative, and to the point, and then this.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I'd wear this wig for 10 years for a night of sweet lovemaking with Danielle de Niese.



    You are so fickle - what would Anna say?
    Ann

  6. #36
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post


    You are so fickle - what would Anna say?
    Who says that Anna needs to know?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  7. #37
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Who says that Anna needs to know?
    Anna won't know because Alma will be sporting The Wig and therefore wearing an impenetrable disguise.
    Natalie

  8. #38
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Inspired by the joys of Handel and recommendations from another forum, I bought this Alcina. Well. I've watched it, but I have mixed feelings. Alice Coote was wonderful, a beautiful rich mezzo voice and full of yearning, but the rest of the cast was not vocally up to her standards, although Catherine Naglestad in the title role bought a depth of characterisation to Alcina which was very moving. I actually couldn't bear to listen to Catriona Smith in the role of Alcina's sister Morgana. All the on-stage fondling was also a little distracting (although I can see that it was part of the story). The set looked like the dining-room of a 1950s Bournemouth boarding-house - completely lacking in magic! Will have to watch it again, when I haven't just watched the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare which pretty much spoils anything after it.
    Natalie

  9. #39
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Rodelinda



    This production, conducted by William Christie, is puzzlingly set in the silent movie era, pancake make-up (the guys all had red lipstick, or had they been dipping into the Glyndebourne strawberries?) and glam dresses, with very stylised movements (presumabkly designed to echo the sorts of movements that would have been seen on an 18th Century stage).

    Antonacci was a very strong and moving Rodelinda although I found her vibrato a bit off-putting. Scholl warmed up nicely after a rather bland start. He has got a gorgeous voice, hasn't he? I kept getting a bit put off by Eduige who is supposed to be a contender in the “who is going to get married to whom” stakes but had been given an outfit and wig that made her look like the Queen Mum.
    Natalie

  10. #40
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Hercules



    This production of Hercules, sung in English, again has William Christie conducting. The story is a lot simpler than most Handel operas – wife gets jealous when husband returns from wars with delectable blonde prisoner in tow, wife goes mad, kills husband, dies, blonde and son get together, everyone sings happy happy (actually I made that last bit up based on previous experience, I haven’t finished watching yet.) So far it’s great, all the singers are vey good (Shimmel a bit gravelly but OK) but Joyce DiDonato as the jealous Dejanira is AWESOME, absolutely heartbreaking. Eat your heart out Othello, this is what going mad with jealousy really looks like. The production is done in modern dress which isn’t too intrusive, except I’m wondering why they put the captive princess Iole in a nightie and combat jacket. And couldn’t the Glyndebourne budget have run to shoes for her?

    EDIT

    Finished watching this. It's definitely the number two Handel DVD for me (after the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare). Much darker of course. Could be renamed "One wedding, an accidental poisoning and a spectacular descent into madness".

    The choral work is especially impressive and beautiful, and the chorus got the biggest cheer of the evening. Didonato keeps the intensity up, (doesn't die actually) and the ending is bitter sweet. Highly recommended
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Dec-25-2010 at 09:20. Reason: typo
    Natalie

  11. #41
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Theodora



    On one hand I found it deeply moving - Upshaw, Croft, Hunt, Daniels really inhabited their courageous, tender, self-sacrificing characters thoroughly and sang their parts convincingly and beautifully. I was in two minds about the production. I don't mind the updating, and in a sense I could see the point of the opposing the venal pleasure seeking pagans, clutching their soft drinks, against the "pure" Christians. But as usual with Sellars there was too much "gritty" business which got distracting (ever seen his heroin-injecting Big-Mac-scoffing Don Giovanni?). I didn't think we really need death by lethal injection in the middle of gorgeous farewell arias!
    Natalie

  12. #42
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Default Tamerlano



    The star attraction is, of course, Domingo. Well, I love him to bits, but I have to say the voice is a bit raspy and not at all Handelian, not enough flexibility really, and too verismo. That said, he was a very convincing Bajazet, full of outraged ire and fatherly concern, and his death scene was a riproarer, especially his tender farewell to his daughter.

    Monica Bacelli as the psychopathic potentate Tamerlano was wonderfully convicing and even funny, parading around like a mercurial peacock in a series of ever more bejewelled and colourful outfits - a bit the sultan of the harem meets the Red Queen. "Off with his head!"

    The rest of the cast sang well and were affecting, particularly the star crossed lovers played by Sarah Mingardo and the stunning Ingela Bohun.

    The production was clean and fairly minimal, with some striking aspects - the arrival of Tamerlano's spurned fiancee on a giant blue elephant, Bazajet's death scene that had him gradually moving back and fading into a large black tunnel. The costumes, a kind of generic oriental 18th century, were utterly gorgeous, particularly the two princes. There was nothing in the production that outraged or puzzled me!!
    Natalie

  13. #43
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    As you perhaps remember, I have embarked on a (probably futile) search for a traditional Handel DVD, and despite strong combined efforts here, we couldn't find anything really convincing. Is there perhaps new hope? I just found this, to be released on Feb 22, 2011:



    The DVD cover gives some hope; admittedly, the ancient Romans we know from Hollywood movies look different, but maybe this could be called traditional.

    Does anyone know something about this performance?

  14. #44
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    If it's anything like my CD version, it's sung in English (English National Opera) and severely abridged. But it might give you a taster.
    Natalie

  15. #45
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post


    This production of Hercules, sung in English, again has William Christie conducting. The story is a lot simpler than most Handel operas – wife gets jealous when husband returns from wars with delectable blonde prisoner in tow, wife goes mad, kills husband, dies, blonde and son get together, everyone sings happy happy (actually I made that last bit up based on previous experience, I haven’t finished watching yet.) So far it’s great, all the singers are vey good (Shimmel a bit gravelly but OK) but Joyce DiDonato as the jealous Dejanira is AWESOME, absolutely heartbreaking. Eat your heart out Othello, this is what going mad with jealousy really looks like. The production is done in modern dress which isn’t too intrusive, except I’m wondering why they put the captive princess Iole in a nightie and combat jacket. And couldn’t the Glyndebourne budget have run to shoes for her?

    EDIT

    Finished watching this. It's definitely the number two Handel DVD for me (after the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare). Much darker of course. Could be renamed "One wedding, an accidental poisoning and a spectacular descent into madness".

    The choral work is especially impressive and beautiful, and the chorus got the biggest cheer of the evening. Didonato keeps the intensity up, (doesn't die actually) and the ending is bitter sweet. Highly recommended
    Who is the blonde? (a very important factor for me, in deciding whether I should buy this)
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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