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Thread: Verdi on CD, DVD and Blu-ray

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Default Verdi on CD, DVD and Blu-ray



    I was just playing this DVD. Great performance by Scotto, Domingo and Milnes, but I was quite disappointed with the sound quality. It's a 1979 recording, but I have DVD's of opera performances older than this that sound far better. I'm almost wondering whether there's something wrong with my copy, especially since all those rave reviews on Amazon make no mention of poor sound quality. Does anyone else have this DVD - and if so, how is the sound quality on yours?

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    This was my first ever opera DVD



    and I was disappointed mainly because I didn't like Karita Mattila's Amelia. Makes me sound shallow but I didn't like her clothes, makeup or hair! And Lucio Gallo's Paolo wasn't evil at all he was just a pantomime villain.

    Then I got this one



    and I was disappointed again. In this production, before Boccanegra discovers that Amelia is his daughter he lusts after her which I found unpleasant. I know in the story there's the scene where Paolo is goading Adorno to kill Boccanegra & he hints that the Doge wants Amelia for himself & refers to Boccanegra's infamous pleasures. (presumably referring to his unmarried love affair with Maria 25 years earlier which would brand him a lech in 1339 but there's nothing elsewhere to suggest he's a lecherous old man now).

    Anyway, undaunted I got this one



    and it's wonderful! I love it all but especially the scene where Boccanegra discovers Amelia is his daughter and the Council Chamber scene ending with Paolo being forced to curse himself. Te Kanawa, Agache & Scandiuzzi for me are perfect.
    Ann

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    What's the best Aida on DVD? Traditional production please.
    Last edited by jhar26; Dec-25-2010 at 20:08.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    What's the best Aida on DVD? Traditional production please.
    Last edited by jhar26; Dec-25-2010 at 20:11.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I love this version from the tiny teatro Bussetto with a cast of very fine young singers who really inhabit their roles.



    The focus is on the protagonists rather than the spectacle (I think the triumphal march ballet has been omitted because there simply would not be space). It gets you really thinking about the relationships beteen the characters and their motivations. Amneris (Kate Aldrich), for example, is portrayed as spoiled youg girl used to getting exactly what she wants and only realising the implications of her actions towards the end of the opera.

    It's the only Aida I'll ever need, especially as I can get the "spectable effects" from the versions on Met Player, although don't get me wrong, it's still visually beautiful.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by jhar26; Dec-25-2010 at 20:09.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    I always find Rigoletto pretty harrowing but after this one I'm going to have a long hot shower. Rather like rolling around in a nest of cockroaches.
    Natalie

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


    I always find Rigoletto pretty harrowing but after this one I'm going to have a long hot shower. Rather like rolling around in a nest of cockroaches.


    That's the version I'm seeing in November..
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post


    That's the version I'm seeing in November..
    I had a suspicion it might be. Make sure you take along some cute pictures of fluffy kittens and endearing puppies on pink satin backgrounds to cheer you up after.

    Remind me, I know Hvorostovsky is Rigoletto, who are the Gilda and Duke?
    Natalie

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    I had a suspicion it might be. Make sure you take along some cute pictures of fluffy kittens and endearing puppies on pink satin backgrounds to cheer you up after .
    That bad??! Oh well cute pictures of Hvorostovsky by the Stage Door might ward off the nightmares.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post
    Remind me, I know Hvorostovsky is Rigoletto, who are the Gilda and Duke?
    Full list

    Duke of Mantua - Wookyung Kim
    Rigoletto - Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Gilda - Eglise Gutiérrez
    Sparafucile - Raymond Aceto
    Maddalena - Daniela Innamorati
    Marullo - Dawid Kimberg
    Count Ceprano - Lukas Jakobski
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    A well-sung version of this early Verdi opera. Samuel Ramey is outstanding in the title role, and Cheryl Studer does pretty well as Odabella, if a little unconvincing as a warrior maiden. The sets and costumes are luscious but the staging is utterly stultifying, in fact the most exciting thing about it is Ramey's bare chest; otherwise it's all park and bark. But there's not a lot of choice in DVDs of this opera so I'd still recommend it.
    Natalie

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    JDF sounds good as the Duke, less goaty than sometimes; this Verdi role sits well in his voice. Pity about the mullet. Željko Lučić is a moving Rigoletto, more sympathetic than usual. And Diana Damrau is an innocent but headstrong Gilda. The production is updated but not offensively so, the weirdest thing is the animal heads in the opening scene.

    Natalie

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    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post


    JDF sounds good as the Duke, less goaty than sometimes; this Verdi role sits well in his voice. Pity about the mullet. Željko Lučić is a moving Rigoletto, more sympathetic than usual. And Diana Damrau is an innocent but headstrong Gilda. The production is updated but not offensively so, the weirdest thing is the animal heads in the opening scene.

    Animal head? What animal head? Somehow I don't see any animal head.
    Last edited by Almaviva; Sep-20-2010 at 12:22.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    I have to admit I only got this because it was JDF. He's said he prefers not to sing Verdi so I'm just so glad he did this. I think the only other Verdi he's done is Falstaff. I find him compelling to watch & has such an amazing stage presence. There were a few notes which I'm sure Verdi didn't write but added to showcase the fabulous gifts of JDF.

    Anyway aside from my drooling whenever Juan Diego appeared, I really liked this very different production. Unlike mamascarlatti, I didn't think Željko Lučić's Rigoletto was sympathetic. (Sorry Natalie) He was so full of hate I couldn't feel sorry for this Rigoletto at all. Didn't know Lučić until I saw his Macbeth, the Met one with machine guns & armoured cars & am so impressed with the sheer power of his voice. Shivers down the spine. I thought Damrau's Gilda was scheming and manipulative especially when she was trying to extract information about her father's background. Not a criticism of Damrau, she was spectacular.

    Sparafucile was all long black hair & black lipstick & there was a very gruesome dying Monterone.

    The set was ingenious & I loved Gilda's bedroom.

    I did find the costumes, especially the animal heads & the weird courtiers, a distraction but not enough to spoil it for me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCx_HjwI0aI
    Ann

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post

    The set was ingenious & I loved Gilda's bedroom.

    I did find the costumes, especially the animal heads & the weird courtiers, a distraction but not enough to spoil it for me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCx_HjwI0aI
    Gilda's bedroom, a garish shade of turquoise and practically hermetically sealed, was a wonderful metaphor for her imprisonment. You can't blame Rigoletto for trying to shield her from the decadent court, but you can't blame her either for trying to escape the stifling atmosphere of home. I though Damrau conveyed her frustration well, and at the end she just committed suicide because there was just nowhere else for her to go.

    The costumes were a blast and I kept wondering what terrible tacky clothes they were going to put JDF in next. I think the black mesh singlet and Liberace dressing gown were the worst.

    What was with those animal heads anyway? Courtiers showing their true colours? Loved the frilled lizard.
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Sep-20-2010 at 20:55.
    Natalie

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