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Thread: La Cenerentola - best production on DVD

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Default La Cenerentola - best production on DVD

    I have this performance on CD and really like it a lot:


    But that one does not seem to be available on DVD. In searching on You Tube I found a very good one that is available on DVD. It has a lot of what I am looking for. More realistic looking staging, characters that do not look totally absurd, great singing. Here is the one I am thinking of buying so I can watch with English subtitles (See it on You Tube Here):


    I am open to suggestions of a possibly better performance.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    There is no better than the one which catched your attention already, surely other DVDs with excellent casts are to be found, but if you care about "characters that do not look totally absurd" or even good staging at all, I can't recommend you Flórez/DiDonato or Brownlee/Garanca DVDs, as exquisite as they are musically, over Ponnelle's movie.
    Last edited by Aramis; Jul-01-2014 at 00:35.

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Even though Cenerentola is my favorite opera, I haven't actually seen that famous Ponnelle film. I don't know why -- I guess because it was made before my time and I just never got around to it. The two DVDs I have are the Cecilia Bartoli/Houston Grand Opera production from 1994-1995 and the Ruxandra Dunose/Glyndebourne production from 2005-2006. The first is absolutely beautiful to look at, one of the most gorgeous opera productions I've ever seen. The setting seems to be slightly before Rossini's time (1790's or so), but the production incorporates fantasy elements -- at times it looks just a bit like Disney's Alice in Wonderland -- and Enzo Dara is very much a buffo Don Magnifico, underplaying the character's nastier side. For this reason the opera's more serious themes are not emphasized quite enough, IMO. These are just what do come across in the Glyndebourne prodcution, which is set exactly in Rossini's time -- think Jane Austen -- and has no fantasy elements at all; for example, Alidoro is not a fairy godfather so much as a philosopher or theologian. The "social climbing" aspect of the story really comes across here, as you might expect it to in a British production. So this is the production I would recommend if you want a more serious view of the work which does not, however, neglect the comedy. Oh, and there are no real vocal weaknesses in either of the casts: Dara is past his prime, and Luciano di Pasquale (the Glyndebourne Magnifico) tends to shout, but that's about it.
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Jul-01-2014 at 01:21.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Bellinilover, I will take another look at the Glyndebourne production. Meanwhile, I see in the future that the Bellini opera, La sonnambula, may be my next opera stop. I will be seeking advice on that, so am interested in your opinions.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
    Bellinilover, I will take another look at the Glyndebourne production. Meanwhile, I see in the future that the Bellini opera, La sonnambula, may be my next opera stop. I will be seeking advice on that, so am interested in your opinions.
    I'll admit it -- I don't know the whole of La Sonnambula as well as I know I Puritani or Norma. During my college days I did hear the first Joan Sutherland studio recording from 1963. I realize that Sutherland is not for all tastes, but I've always admired her greatly and think she delivers a most affecting Sleepwalking Scene. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is not really on her level, as I recall, especially Fernando Corena (the Count), who wasn't really a bel canto bass. In addition, the recording is currently out of print, though you can probably find a used copy on Amazon. I hope it'll be reissued soon. In the meantime, you could check out one of the Callas recordings; the budget-priced Naxos recording with Raul Gimenez and a soprano named Lyuba Orgonasova (I think that's how it's spelled) is supposed to be very good, too.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I know that I have heard the name Luba Orgonasova and have her on at least one recording, maybe a beethoven Ninth. I'll look for the one you recommend along with others, but this will be a while yet as I have much to do with La Cenerentola having just gotten the CD last Thursday and am on my 9th listen! I'll have to watch the DVD with English subtitles and read books and articles on it before I am totally immersed. But La Sonnambula looks very interesting and very well could be my next opera after La Cenerentola. Thanks!
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    ^ Sonnambula-wise I really enjoyed the DVD with Florez and Dessay, in spite of the very odd production.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Thanks. I will keep this thread in my back pocket for when I start checking out La Sonnambula. For now I have to totally immerse myself in La Cenerentola. It may not be until late in the year or even next year before I am ready to take on the next opera.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    here's a Cenerentola production with Vivica Genaux in the title role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deggial View Post
    here's a Cenerentola production with Vivica Genaux in the title role.
    sssss
    It's horrible.

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    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    ^ Florestan should have a wide variety of options at his disposal to make up his mind

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    In looking over the La Cenerentola's available on DVD I am strongly attracted to the Abbado DVD, though there are some other very good ones out there. So i finally went ahead and ordered the Abbado DVD. May watch some of the others on You Tube after I become pretty familiar with it. The one with Vivica Genaux does not appeal to me, though it is interesting and a bit strange as a modern interpretation.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellinilover View Post
    ... and the Ruxandra Dunose/Glyndebourne production from 2005-2006. ... the Glyndebourne prodcution, which is set exactly in Rossini's time -- think Jane Austen -- and has no fantasy elements at all; for example, Alidoro is not a fairy godfather so much as a philosopher or theologian. The "social climbing" aspect of the story really comes across here, as you might expect it to in a British production. So this is the production I would recommend if you want a more serious view of the work which does not, however, neglect the comedy. Oh, and there are no real vocal weaknesses in either of the casts: Dara is past his prime, and Luciano di Pasquale (the Glyndebourne Magnifico) tends to shout, but that's about it.
    Thanks much for the recommendation. I was searching for a second La Cenerentola and after checking out nearly a dozen, could find none I liked. But I have been checking out this one and really like it a lot. For some reason it was not coming up on You Tube and then I remembered this thread.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Aug-13-2014 at 00:24.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Well, being the Bel Canto lover, I have four Cenerentolas on DVD. The best overall performance (IMHO) stars JDF (Juan Diego Florez, to the newbies) and Joyce DiDonato. Staging is a bit Disney-esque, but it IS a fairy tale. It is vocally unsurpassed. The Met version with Garanca and Brownlee is a fabulous experience, with some totally magical moments. In fact, my amazon.com review's headline is "Magical!" The Glyndebourne version is splendid and well sung. All have mainly five star reviews on amazon.com (you can't please everyone, obviously), but any one will delight.
    Last edited by JohnGerald; Aug-13-2014 at 15:17. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Dunose is very wonderful and the Don Magnifico of that one is great too, but after review of this preview some of the other characters do not appeal to me as much. Maybe better to stick with the wonderful Frederica von Stade that I already have and check out a new opera. Some clips of La Sonnambula quickly revealed a wonderful singer:
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Aug-13-2014 at 05:49.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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