Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 84

Thread: Operas by Bellini on DVD/Blu-ray/CD

          
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #16
    Banned Top Contributor Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,458
    Post Thanks / Like


    I loved this. Stefania Bonfadelli is exquisite Elvira and delivered very moving scenes of madness, ending of act I and THE mad scene in act II. Her good acting made poorly conceived (in libretto) character of Elvira at least acceptable. I loved her the most of all cast and so did the audience, as most cries and standing ovations occured when she came for the applause at the end. Marc Laho is lyric Arturo, there's no high F but he's not the only one to skip it, IS HE? His non-extreme high notes are strong and flawless. Vittorio Vitelli and Wojciech Śmiłek make a fine low-voices couple of the opera, particularly the latter, with rather deep bass, suitable for this role of noble geezer. The orchestra, unlike on the other Puritani DVD (you know what I mean) gets no criticism from me. And the staging? Well directed performance (though it was tough to make Laho sing his rather difficult part and attack Riccardo with sword at the same time), fine sceneries and good period customes with - ATTENTION - awesome, long, waving capes.

    I recommend it a lot.

  2. Likes Amfortas, Festat liked this post
  3. #17
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair (London)
    Posts
    1,125
    Post Thanks / Like
    Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 155
Size:  83.0 KB

    Hasmik Papian, Hugh Smith, Irini Tsirakidis, Giorgio Giuseppini, Anna Steiger & Carlo Bosi, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra & Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera, Julian Reynolds (2005), stage director Guy Joosten. (Mine was 2 DCD)

    I bought this brand new at a real cheap price, about US$13 including freight.

    Probably because they had excess stock. Why? Perhaps due to the annoying staging that was tasteless and condescending of the plot and music, as explained by the stage director, Guy Joosten in the bonus material interview. Joosten explained that modern audiences wanted productions that were "...psychologically challenging" and he added by implication that a very traditional staging would not suffice to meet modern demands. I would however, think this was a case of a stage director's sheer fantasy living in his own Euro-trash bubble. So we have a Norma dressed in a red dress going after and lamenting with Pollione who was wearing a modern dark blue suit, and sometimes with a Roman chest shield, and all of whom occasionally sitting in front of a dressing table (maybe taken from behind the scenes' dressing rooms) with modern lighting around the mirrors, with black and white photos of themselves stuck on the mirror. Add to that we have a large tree trunk across the shiny mirror like floors (I hated these shiny mirror-like floors when the characters were supposed to be in a forrest). Unless of course, Joosten wanted us to "idenitfy" ourselves with the characters. We are modern, so we must therefore be sophisticated ...

    Spoiled by that, but I am more impressed by the musicology that went to produce this edition of the score. The conductor Julian Reynolds prepared the score and explained in a nice set of notes (that was as rigorous as any historically informed performance practice) some interesting background and decisions taken. In the bonus material interview, he also commented interestingly about legendary Callas' singing becoming too verisimo, which was more late Verdi and beyond, than that associated with Bellini's bel canto and Romanticism of 1831. So this recording featured vocies of a more natural bel canto style, which I generally preferred.

    So, I did not like the staging but I preferred the conducting and singing. If it is very cheap (like US$10, which was what I paid), then you might consider it. But I would not pay full nor even half the full price.

  4. #18
    Banned Top Contributor Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,458
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    In the bonus material interview, he also commented interestingly about legendary Callas' singing becoming too verisimo, which was more late Verdi and beyond, than that associated with Bellini's bel canto and Romanticism of 1831
    I didn't hear that as I found this DVD too loathsome to watch in it's entire lenght, but opinion you bring here seems foolish to me. Does expressive singing equal verismo? Wasn't Pasta, the first Norma, noted for her expressive singing too?

    Hear what Callas herself says in this interview, about being most fond of bel canto and criticising veristic ways:


  5. #19
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post


    I loved this. Stefania Bonfadelli is exquisite Elvira and delivered very moving scenes of madness, ending of act I and THE mad scene in act II. Her good acting made poorly conceived (in libretto) character of Elvira at least acceptable. I loved her the most of all cast and so did the audience, as most cries and standing ovations occured when she came for the applause at the end. Marc Laho is lyric Arturo, there's no high F but he's not the only one to skip it, IS HE? His non-extreme high notes are strong and flawless. Vittorio Vitelli and Wojciech Śmiłek make a fine low-voices couple of the opera, particularly the latter, with rather deep bass, suitable for this role of noble geezer. The orchestra, unlike on the other Puritani DVD (you know what I mean) gets no criticism from me. And the staging? Well directed performance (though it was tough to make Laho sing his rather difficult part and attack Riccardo with sword at the same time), fine sceneries and good period customes with - ATTENTION - awesome, long, waving capes.

    I recommend it a lot.
    Yes I would love to purchase that Puritani DVD especially if it is 16:9 widescreen, but none of my usual sources (Amazon USA, Presto UK) have it.

    I have a couple Bonfadelli DVDs now (Traviata, Lucia Lammermoor)


  6. #20
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    In the bonus material interview, he also commented interestingly about legendary Callas' singing becoming too verisimo, which was more late Verdi and beyond, than that associated with Bellini's bel canto and Romanticism of 1831. So this recording featured vocies of a more natural bel canto style, which I generally preferred.
    No no, do not understand........

    That sounds like an attempt to lower the bar for modern Norma performance, also like AOGG I am puzzled by directors comments since Callas was never remembered as a "verisimo" singer and was the strongest advocate for bel canto singing style being the main force for its revival in 1950s.

    The great bel canto opera Norma is perfect case in point, in the early 1950s it was rarely performed until Callas bravura style and strong support for Bellini operas in general made it a popular soprano litmus test today


  7. #21
    Schigolch
    Guest
    I agree with Dark and Anne.

    A "verismo" Norma, you can hear if you listen to Cigna or Milanov.

    What Callas is singing refers the listener to Giuditta Pasta, not to Eugenia Burzio.

    The orchestra in many Normas sung by Callas is another thing. Usually conducted by Tullio Serafin they are indeed "traditional", but not rooted on verismo. From Richard Bonynge recordings with his wife, Joan Sutherland, we have a more historically informed approach. Recently, we have also a very good rendition engineered by the Biondi brothers.

    On the other hand, Ms. Paspian's Norma is rather hopelessly out of style.

  8. #22
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    3,325
    Post Thanks / Like
    Name:  La Sonnambula.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  18.2 KB

    I bought this after reading an online review and have listened to it several times and don't like it. Natalie Dessay's performance seems shrill and disengaged - I was very disappointed. I'm going to dig out my old Callas recording.

  9. #23
    Banned Top Contributor Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,458
    Post Thanks / Like
    I liked that Dessay CD. At least when it comes to her performance of Amina. She seems quite comfortable with "mad scenes" and her Ah, non credea was very much in her style, almost haunting. And I'm not even a real Dessay fan. I really don't think it's bad recording, though surely there are better.

  10. #24
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    3,325
    Post Thanks / Like
    Going back to Shigolch's initial posting of the Beatrice di Tenda DVD - I don't know this opera at all, but love Bellini. I imagine there is a reason why Beatrice isn't well known or performed - any thoughts? There are a number of recordings out there - a couple with Sutherland - are any of the recordings worth recommending?

    Thanks!

  11. #25
    Banned Top Contributor Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,458
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Going back to Shigolch's initial posting of the Beatrice di Tenda DVD - I don't know this opera at all, but love Bellini. I imagine there is a reason why Beatrice isn't well known or performed - any thoughts? There are a number of recordings out there - a couple with Sutherland - are any of the recordings worth recommending?

    Thanks!
    Here are three Beatrices I can recommend:



    I'd say the Pavarotti/Sutherland one is first choice with it's classic lineup and studio quality. The other two are still great alternatives, this Opera d'Oro CD is live recording but the quality is very decent. It is also one of those recordings where you hear young Carreras at his best, showing how superb he could sound when he sung diffrent repertoire than he later persued.

  12. #26
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Going back to Shigolch's initial posting of the Beatrice di Tenda DVD - I don't know this opera at all, but love Bellini. I imagine there is a reason why Beatrice isn't well known or performed - any thoughts? There are a number of recordings out there - a couple with Sutherland - are any of the recordings worth recommending?

    Thanks!
    Please take a look here:

    http://operalively.com/forums/showth...light=beatrice

    We discussed Beatrice a little bit.

    About recommendations, I think the Sutherland recording above is nothing short of extraordinary. For the record, there are other two Sutherland's Beatrice worth of a hearing:




  13. #27
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Name:  La Sonnambula.jpg
Views: 139
Size:  18.2 KB

    I bought this after reading an online review and have listened to it several times and don't like it. Natalie Dessay's performance seems shrill and disengaged - I was very disappointed. I'm going to dig out my old Callas recording.
    Many great Callas Sonnambulas but the 1955 live Bernstein is exceptional, such fluid and dramatic decorative flights never cease to impress me, the crowd is whipped into a frenzy almost drowning out final high note, brava Maria




    I also have the Dessay version which at least has the advantage of modern sound, just hard to compare to Callas vocally

  14. #28
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    San Jose, California
    Posts
    541
    Post Thanks / Like
    I have never heard an Amina to equal Callas, certainly. She seems totally inside the role(as so often), and her vocalism is haunting and intensely musical. I must admit that I have not heard the Dessay, and cannot imagine that she does the role anything like justice. However, if others here have enjoyed it, I will give it a listen.

  15. #29
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    3,325
    Post Thanks / Like
    The cd/dvds covered in this thread are Bellini's best known works. Beatrice di Tenda is covered elsewhere, which was really helpful. Any thoughts on the remaining works, especially Il Pirata?

  16. #30
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,286
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    The cd/dvds covered in this thread are Bellini's best known works. Beatrice di Tenda is covered elsewhere, which was really helpful. Any thoughts on the remaining works, especially Il Pirata?
    Try to find a used copy of the 1970 Caballe, this is 1st choice of very limited field of studio recordings in good stereo sound.......

    There is a thrilling live 1959 Callas but sound quality is only OK, Maria had sung this during 1958 la scala season with Corelli but I have not seen any recordings, that would have been the one to have



    You can also get a 1967 live version with Caballe that has very good sound (much better than Callas live) for a cheaper price with even fresher voiced Caballe


Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


free html visitor counters
hit counter




Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences

www.operalively.com

VISIT WWW.OPERALIVELY.COM FOR ALL YOUR OPERA NEEDS