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Thread: Donizetti on DVD and Blu-ray

  1. #16
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    This is visually an arresting performance of this beautiful opera, a simple but arresting set representing a prison, and beautiful costumes evocative of the era in which the work is set, without being historically accurate. To my ears especially Antonacci shone as Elisabeth (despite the hideous make-up); I was less entranced by Mariella Devia as Maria Stuarda although I could she she was doing a fine and accomplished job, but to me her tone is too metallic and her face is very static. She's like Pavarotti, she thinks so hard about the singing that there is no room left for acting.
    Natalie

  2. #17
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamascarlatti View Post


    This is visually an arresting performance of this beautiful opera, a simple but arresting set representing a prison, and beautiful costumes evocative of the era in which the work is set, without being historically accurate. To my ears especially Antonacci shone as Elisabeth (despite the hideous make-up); I was less entranced by Mariella Devia as Maria Stuarda although I could she she was doing a fine and accomplished job, but to me her tone is too metallic and her face is very static. She's like Pavarotti, she thinks so hard about the singing that there is no room left for acting.
    I checked that very closely since it has one of my favs darling miss AC Antonacci, and yes the grid cube set with ramps looks cool from youtube samples. Devia is quite a bit older me thinks.....

    I recently purchased CD versions of 3 Donizetti tudor queen operas with Beverly Sills thanks to ultra low prices from Brilliant Classics.....

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I checked that very closely since it has one of my favs darling miss AC Antonacci, and yes the grid cube set with ramps looks cool from youtube samples. Devia is quite a bit older me thinks.....
    To be fair I have to say that reviews have been very favourable to Devia and the la Scala audience went bananas about her at curtain call. She was 60 at the time and really you wouldn't know it. But... she just doesn't grab me. I know Alma has seen this but I can't track down his review.
    Natalie

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    An affecting if straightforward production, carried by the amazingly versatile acting and singing skills of Dimitra Theodossiou and the truly sweet but powerful voice of Massimiliano Pisapia in the title role (better to close your eyes though as he's not physically much of a romantic figure).
    Natalie

  5. #20
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Watching this right now (with my wife, a relatively rare occasion - pause for dinner now)



    Oh! My! God!
    This is so much better than the Alagna/Gheorghiu version (which I also have)! Poor Draculette, no match for Anna. And especially poor Roberto, no match for Rolando!
    This is really impressive. The chemistry, the comic flair, the voices...
    Wow. A definitive Elisir in my opinion.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #21
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Watching this right now (with my wife, a relatively rare occasion - pause for dinner now)



    Oh! My! God!
    This is so much better than the Alagna/Gheorghiu version (which I also have)! Poor Draculette, no match for Anna. And especially poor Roberto, no match for Rolando!
    This is really impressive. The chemistry, the comic flair, the voices...
    Wow. A definitive Elisir in my opinion.
    I will definitely agree Netrebko is a great elixir.........

    But I am puzzled by peoples lower opinion of the Alagna/Gheorghiu version, I would rate them roughly equal and would have a hard choosing between them, for me can't loose with either one

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Nov-27-2010 at 17:41.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I will definitely agree Netrebko is a great elixir.........

    But I am puzzled by peoples lower opinion of the Alagna/Gheorghiu version, I would rate them roughly equal and would have a hard choosing between them, for me can't loose with either one

    Well, one way to show the difference is Villazón's emotional, deep, well phrased Una Furtiva Lagrima, and Alagna's anemic and uninspired version. And then, I'm sorry, Angela is a beautiful woman with a gorgeous voice, but no soprano alive can match Anna's charm and charisma. I mean, in my humble opinion.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  8. #23
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    I'm going to get a copy of L'elisir d'amore on DVD.

    Which is the best? Is the Netrebko version any good?

  9. #24
    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danslenoir View Post
    I'm going to get a copy of L'elisir d'amore on DVD.

    Which is the best? Is the Netrebko version any good?
    Almost everyone agrees that the Netrebko version is the best of them all.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

  10. #25
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danslenoir View Post
    I'm going to get a copy of L'elisir d'amore on DVD.

    Which is the best? Is the Netrebko version any good?
    Any good? It is spectacular!
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  11. #26
    Senior Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Default Donizetti on DVD and Blu-ray



    After having spent the previous weekend with 4 x Don Carlo and 1 x Don Carlos on DVD, and the old Giulini recording while I was writing, the opera sounded inside my head all the time today. To cure this I chose Donizetti's La fille du régiment from The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, 2007, with Natalie Dessay as Marie, Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio, Felicity Palmer, Alessandro Corbelli, Donald Maxwell and Dawn French.

    I seldom laugh aloud while watching opera alone, but this time I just couldn't help it. I won't reveal any details, because I don't want to spoil the show for you. If you liked the MET La Sonnambula, you will love this. Even if you felt that La Sonnambula was treated irreverently, you might love this, because La Fille was intended to be a comic opera. Dessay is in her element. Flórez shows that the high C's can be sung by others besides the late Pavarotti and Chris Merritt. Palmer, Corbelli and French are very funny in their respective roles. And there is the music of Donizetti, who must have enjoyed the project! Don't ignore this!!!

  12. #27
    Junior Member Dulcamara's Avatar
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    I certainly agree that this DVD is a wonderful recording of La Fille du régiment. At first I was a bit reluctant to watch it as everything seemed (from the publicity photographs) to be kind of dark and drab. Turns out, I ended up rather enjoyed the design elements while watching the DVD, and the staging was right hilarious. Dessay is a very skilled comic actress and Flórez (who was the reason I ended up watching it in the first place) certainly did not disappoint. I thought that Alessandro Corbelli brought a real warmth to his role.

  13. #28
    Senior Member Almaviva's Avatar
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    Default Donizetti: Roberto Devereux on DVD

    I'm recovering this from an old review I wrote for another site:

    ------------------

    Bergamo Music Festival 2006.

    Composer: Donizetti, Gaetano
    Libretto/Text Author: Cammarano, Salvatore
    Libretto Source: Ancelot, Jacques-Francois
    Conductor: Rota, Marcello
    Orchestra: Bergamo Musica Festival Orchestra
    Chorus: Bergamo Musica Festival Chorus
    Chorus Master: Casati, Corrado

    Elizabeth: Theodossiou, Dimitra
    Lord Cecil: Albani, Luigi
    Robert Devereux: Pisapia, Massimiliano
    Sara: Bragaglia, Federica
    Sir Walter Raleigh: Valerio, Giorgio
    The Duke of Nottingham: Schroeder, Andrew

    Massimiliano Pisapia was simply excellent, and I had never heard of this guy before! Federica Bragaglia looked the part (attractive, pretty) and sang decently. The Queen was excellent (Dimitra Theodossiou) although a little shrill at times - but it adds to the characterization of her role as evil. Good traditional staging.




    But of course the big star of the show is Donizetti himself, because his vocal music is incredibly beautiful.

    So, what follows is about the opera rather than about the above production:

    Overture - short and to the point, pleasant.

    Outstanding first aria by Sara. Wow. This will be very good.

    Down to the second aria, Queen Elizabeth I's first. OK, the queen can sing!!!
    Spectacular. So far, 13 minutes of pure magic. It starts already on an A++ mode. Oh boy, I'm in for a treat!!! Pause to refill wine glass, bread and dipping oil.

    Second queen aria. She continues to impress. What is it, an endless series of gorgeous bel canto arias? No signs of slowing down, each one is better than the previous one.

    Duet between the Regina and the conte di Essex. Nascondi, frena i palpiti, o misero mio core. Simply sublime. A+++

    The Duke of Nottingham gets his baritone aria. Good. Beautiful. Less spectacular than his female predecessors. A.


    End of Act I. Flawless. Perfect.

    Act II opens with a long series of duets between Roberto and Sara, again, each one more beautiful than the last one.

    This is such a melodious opera!


    At this point, the streaming site I was watching it from, crashed. I was able to finish watching it one day later, but this time did not engage in detailed scoring, and just said this:

    Spectacular, A+, and easily made it into one of my favorites. This is one that I'll be listening to over and over, once I buy a good recording.
    Chilling dramatic finale, Quel sangue versato al cielo s'innalza.
    Excellent from beginning to end, an impressive array of melodious arias.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  14. #29
    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    So I recently spent a night with this DVD, and I was in no way disappointed.
    The opera was set during the 1st world war, a change I did not mind very much (mind you, I don't really have anything against so-called "eurotrash" productions either, so long as they are done well). But I really liked the maps that lay unscrolled on the stage. They did add a certain feeling of war, but it was not too intrusive.

    Natalie Dessay really shone singing Marie, the regimental daughter, a real tomboy. This one had really been brought up by 4000 or so men. From her first appearance, doing the laundry, she shows a wonderful comedic timing and a degree of physical comedy I've never before seen on an opera stage before. On film, in close-up, it might have seemed like she was a caricature, with all her crazy arm movements and facial expressions, but it worked, somehow. I really don't have anything to say about her singing, other than that it was wonderful and that the coloratura was gorgeous.
    Juan Diego Flórez was also wonderful, singing Tonio, Marie's love interest. He did not have the same kind of physicality to his acting that Dessay did, but he was rather charming throughout the opera. His singing was marvellous, and he nailed the 9 or so high Cs in Ah, mes amis. JDF also wins the award for most adorable costume. I don't think there is anything more adorable than JDF in Lederhosen.
    The rest of the cast was also wonderful, but I do feel like mentioning Dawn French, playing the (speaking) part of the Duchess of Krakenthorp. Her portrayal of the duchess was exactly like I imagined a character like hers being like.
    You can even see a clip of it. (She comes on at the beginning of the second act, which starts at about 4:00)
    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwU8N5UFu3g[/YT]

  15. #30
    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Lucrezia Borgia 1980 ROH production

    Famous 1980 ROH production that for me was OK but nothing really great and only valuable as a historic document of Sutherland, unfortunately almost no other good choices for LB. The best feature of this is the elaborate costume design, incredibly ornate and finely detailed but we are not here to watch a fashion show......

    Seems everyone in Venice is occupied with endless festive parties to attend, and since drinks flow endlessly poison is best way to extract revenge to anyone who would slander the proud family name of Borgia house. Kinda sick twisted plot since Gennaro falls in love with mysterious woman who is actually his long lost mother and almost everyone gets poisoned (sometimes more than once) before the curtain drops.

    Sutherland vocals are already in decline by now from what we heard on her famous 1960 Art of the Prima Donna CD collection and her wooden acting skills do not help matters, rest of group do not fare much better so we are left wanting much more from this, 1980 picture quality is not great either. I could see this being great DVD if we have right modern singers and production, but LB is pretty far down the list as far as popularity goes so may have to live with no good options

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