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

          
   
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  1. #31
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sospiro View Post
    Thanks guys. I knew I could rely on you to give good advice.

    I should have qualified my requirements though. I'm not bothered who sings the soprano & tenor roles, I only need them to be competent. Only really interested in the bass & baritone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    Then you should put Pavarotti/Sutherland above Callas/di Stefano. Better lower voices crew there in my opinion.
    I've had AoGG's recommendation for a few weeks now & Cappuccilli & Ghiaurov are absolutely superb. Fantastic duet Il rival salvar tu dči. This is a Ramey/Milnes version.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHPnnaPGSjI
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  2. #32
    Schigolch
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    This is a recent recording, including our latest knowledge of the score. The vocal cast is decent, but far from superb. When you consider that the singers at the premiere were Giovanni Rubini, Henriette Méric-Lalande and Antonio Tamburini, this is indeed a hard pill to swallow, but overall it's a nice CD, and a must for Bellini lovers out there.

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  4. #33
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Both the 1970 Caballe ($19.99) and the Opera Rara (29.99) recordings are available on iTunes - Is Opera Rara worth the $10 difference?

    Also, what do you guys think about the opera itself?

  5. #34
    Schigolch
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    It's another concept.

    For sure, Montserrat Caballe was the owner of a voice like few others, and Ms. Giannattasio doesn't play in the same league, but the opera is not only about the soprano, anyway.

    I will invest the $10 extra in the Opera Rara cd, and will listen gratis to Maria Callas:



    About the opera itself, it's quite difficult to sing, especially the soprano and tenor roles, but with moments of unspeakeable beauty:

    Chorus "Ciel! qual procella orribile"
    Gualtiero's cavatina: "Nel furor delle tempeste"
    Imogene's "Lo sognai ferito"
    Duet Gualtiero-Imogene: "Bagnato dalle lagrime"
    Ernesto's "Sě, vincemmo"

    and of course, this wonderful "Col sorriso d'innocenza", one of the best pages ever written by Bellini for soprano:



    It was just his third opera, and not as dramatically accomplished as Norma, or with a music so constantly inspired as in I Puritani, not even as marvelously flawed as Beatrice di Tenda, but in any case a little jewel, a small treasure.

  6. #35
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    I've just bought this from market seller for the bargain (I hope!) price of Ł11.00. Check out the price for new.

    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  7. #36
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Angel View Post
    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







    Callas and Corelli La Scala series Il Pirata......

  8. #37
    Schigolch
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    Beatrice di Tenda by Vincenzo Bellini and Felice Romani

    Dimitra Theodossiou (Beatrice), Milhály Kálmándi (Filippo), Alejandro Roy (Orombello), Josč Maria Lo Monaco (Agnese)
    Conductor: Antonio Pirolli
    Orchestra & Chorus: Catania - Teatro Massimo Bellini


    This is the second "Beatrice" being released in visual format.

    I was able to watch this performance live at Catania, back in 2010. It was the debut of Dimitra Theodossiou in the role.

    Beatrice is such a beautiful and underrated opera, that is always a pleasure to listen to any new performance. We have discussed a little bit the opera here at OL: http://operalively.com/forums/showth...trice-di-Tenda

    Ms. Theodossiou will never be the equal of Joan Sutherland, Edita Gruberova, Mariella Devia,... But, at her best, she is a good soprano to sing Bellini, and she was able to offer to the audience at least an adequate Beatrice. The Romanian baritone Kálmándi is the owner of a powerful voice, though he is not the most refined of singers. Josč Maria Lo Monaco is a beautiful woman, but regrettably she is not Agnese. Alejandro Roy was at his best singing the top notes, but Orombello doesn't require many, and the rest of the role was too much for him.

    The production and the orchestra, just average.

    This was my first operatic Blu-ray, and I was not impressed. I guess I'm too used now to HDTV for that. But technically the product is ok.

    Overall: B-, a good opportunity to watch Beatrice for the fans that like Blu-ray technology.


  9. #38
    Senior Member Involved Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post


    The only thing that redeems this ridiculous production is the gorgeous singing (particularly JDF). Otherwise the director takes a silly plot and makes it totally incomprehensible. What, no one these days has heard of sleepwalking? And Amina is simultaneously a simple country girl who can't stand up for herself and a mobile-phone-toting sunglasses-wearing diva? And everyone is going to get worked up because she fell asleep in the rehearsal room where there was A Man (gasp)? And then they all shred loads of newspaper (what's that about anyway?).

    I'm really glad I watched it on Met Player and didn't buy it!
    Most of what you're saying is probably true. The stage direction is nonsensical to a degree, yes. But, I could relax and just let it unfold a lot better than I could many of the edgier new opera productions I've seen. And, though I've never seen this opera in a traditional performance, I would imagine the costumes and sets would probably bore me.

    But, the main point is, that though I have gotten a lot of opera DVDs out of my library in the last year or so, 90% of them I either don't finish or fast-forward through. This is one DVD that entranced me from beginning to end, and I did the unthinkable (for me) - I watched it in one sitting.

    A lot of it was just the singing, but I also find Dessay a rarity in the world of opera. Whether or not the director gave her a part that reads true and consistent from beginning to end, the woman can both act and sing.

    So many opera stars just emote (as far as I can see), so I'm specially drawn to any who can actually act.

    I will buy this DVD if I can find it at a reasonable price and add it to my very limited personal collection.

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  11. #39
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesteralen View Post
    Most of what you're saying is probably true. The stage direction is nonsensical to a degree, yes. But, I could relax and just let it unfold a lot better than I could many of the edgier new opera productions I've seen. And, though I've never seen this opera in a traditional performance, I would imagine the costumes and sets would probably bore me.

    But, the main point is, that though I have gotten a lot of opera DVDs out of my library in the last year or so, 90% of them I either don't finish or fast-forward through. This is one DVD that entranced me from beginning to end, and I did the unthinkable (for me) - I watched it in one sitting.

    A lot of it was just the singing, but I also find Dessay a rarity in the world of opera. Whether or not the director gave her a part that reads true and consistent from beginning to end, the woman can both act and sing.

    So many opera stars just emote (as far as I can see), so I'm specially drawn to any who can actually act.

    I will buy this DVD if I can find it at a reasonable price and add it to my very limited personal collection.
    Glad to see you back on Opera Lively. I was thinking of you one of these days, since I'll be attending, with three other OL members, Il Viaggio ŕ Reims, an opera you like, live at Wolf Trap Opera on June 23rd.

    Yes, Natalie Dessay is a very gifted actress. She actually started her career as a stage actress, then took what she calls a long, 33-year detour in opera, and after September 2013 she is retiring her singer career and going back to straight theater.

    Another good actress is Anna Caterina Antonacci.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #40
    Senior Member Involved Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Glad to see you back on Opera Lively. I was thinking of you one of these days, since I'll be attending, with three other OL members, Il Viaggio ŕ Reims, an opera you like, live at Wolf Trap Opera on June 23rd.

    Yes, Natalie Dessay is a very gifted actress. She actually started her career as a stage actress, then took what she calls a long, 33-year detour in opera, and after September 2013 she is retiring her singer career and going back to straight theater.

    Another good actress is Anna Caterina Antonacci.
    Sad to hear that, though, realistically, it's probably a smart move to opt out of singing when the voice is past its prime. I will miss her.

    Any chance that she might still go into the studio now and then for an occasional album like "Vocalise"?

    As to Antonacci - I bought Un giorno di regno, but I haven't gotten around to watching it yet. Now I feel motivated to pull it out and give it a try.

    Thanks

  13. #41
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesteralen View Post
    Sad to hear that, though, realistically, it's probably a smart move to opt out of singing when the voice is past its prime. I will miss her.

    Any chance that she might still go into the studio now and then for an occasional album like "Vocalise"?

    As to Antonacci - I bought Un giorno di regno, but I haven't gotten around to watching it yet. Now I feel motivated to pull it out and give it a try.

    Thanks
    Well, although Antonacci is nice there, it isn't her best acting job. Try the DVD of Cherubini's Medea.

    http://www.amazon.com/Cherubini-Mede...dp/B002011WYK/

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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  15. #42
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Well, although Antonacci is nice there, it isn't her best acting job. Try the DVD of Cherubini's Medea.
    Oh yes! She dominates the stage any time she is on.
    Natalie

  16. #43
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    More Callas reveries, reliving the immortal Normas from 1955 La Scala season. Please check this recording of the great Norma trio "perfido" where the love triangle is uncovered and Norma vents her anger at Pollione, massive sustained climax at 2:34 is thrilling beyond compare....

    For the best possible recording of this Norma seek out the Divina label release which uses the original BJR master tape as source.


  17. #44
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    I Capuleti E I Montecchi; I love this recording in its entirety.

    Attachment 2573

    I love the opera and the singing by the superb cast is divine. However if I may, I would like to leave the more in depth discussion of the actual musical content to those more technically knowledgeable and eloquent than myself. I want to relate my enjoyment of the recording up to the point where I pressed play; the packaging.
    I am excited by the box, I think the cover artwork is great. It is well designed with great composition, colour and texture. It immediately attracted my attention when I saw it in the store (I was seeing a different opera at ROH) and I took notice. I know that I should not just judge by the cover but those things that are precious to me I want to encase, bind my arms around, protect and place them in an environment most respectful to those items.
    I think about each and every plant in my garden the same as well. Every day when I am pottering around in the garden I am not only thinking about their well being and admiring their individual beauty but also I consider their physical presentation. Maybe given certain developments, this year the Ophiopogon would be better served (I serve the plant, not the other way round) planted in the steel pot and maybe placed under the Syringa Microphylla?
    So of course when the recording is presented in such a beautiful box, I think that all those that made this recording did so with such passion and respect that they tended to each and every detail with due diligence. This allows the the product to command my attention. I notice the great artwork.
    The background is a slightly hazy, pastoral setting in a muted sepia organic colour suggesting a setting in the Old World and is straight away a warm feeling. Before that stands two principal characters in sharp definition. A soft, sexy and feminine character, arms around herself perhaps vulnerable in feeling and dressed in lilac coloured silk, a colour of ancient nobility. Standing close and in a protective embrace a strong masculine (sorry Elina, I'm talking about Romeo not you) character dressed in clothes of pure white and a strong dark colour covered with gold and stone jewels of a noble warrior. This character stares straight at you, confident and confrontational.
    Though perhaps the story is not just about these two central characters, the colours of the portraits sit gently on the background and do not contrast too noticeably. Also they are slightly off horizontal centre to the right of the picture. No this is also the Opera "I Capuleti E I Montecchi", the title of which is written equally just off centre but off the vertical, left aligned and on two lines and as though mutually respectful and sharing importance with the characters in the composition. The title is not only in the largest font on the cover but in a salmon pink colour and italic styled font. Whilst the font sits well with the story so far there is something about the colour; salmon pink or orange I am not to sure (I may have different interpretations of colours to others)... I think I have it... This colour feels modern, almost artificial as though it does not fit with the period. Almost fantasy. Is there an element of fantasy in this production? It tells me I can expect a journey to a far away land... Finally I also like the small yellow brand badge in the top left corner. It is not obtrusive but balanced; balanced in the artwork and balanced in the commercial aspect in that I like just a small assurance from the brand that it is their brand quality.
    So I loved the cover design.
    Then there was the point of sale material that suggested to me that these were superstars singing to great critical acclaim. I had never heard of Anna Netrebko or Elina Garanca. (This is the first CD I have purchased for almost 17 years and I have been away from the world of music completely for equally the same time).
    I am now excited beyond negotiation and the sales contract is completed.
    I am at home and I carefully cut away at the plastic wrapping, slightly confused about the box shape within. How does it open? Oh! I see... I now understand that this sort of box design is common but as I said I have not purchased a CD for etcetera etcetera
    I open the box with a smile on my face amused by simple but effective mathematical architecture of this casing when... coloured discs? The story from the cover box is carried through to the colour of the discs; one lilac and one pink. (Now I know coloured discs are common now but etcetera etcetera). I briefly note the book that is enclosed in the case with schedule of songs, essay on Bellini and the opera, synopsis, line by line libretto with translations and some nice pictures of the performers.
    Although at this stage I can not afford too much time looking at the book, the emotions are almost fever pitch and I have to pour myself a medical quantity of Lagavulin in to the occasional Baccarat Harcourt tumbler. After a few reassuring sensations reaching down my throat in to the belly, my spirit is calmed, deep breaths are taken and a steady hand places the beautiful magical lilac disc in to the player and I press the play button.
    The rest is music.

    I will be more than surprised if any reader has reached this far into this perhaps didactic chunter but if you have, maybe it is time you poor your own "medical" and go and enjoy your own "I Capuleti E I Montecchi"!

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  19. #45
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Name:  Bellini - I Capuleti E I Montecchi.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  27.0 KB

    Erm. I was trying to attach this file to the above review.

    In case I still haven't managed to do it correctly could someone please attach a nice picture of the DG recording?

    Thank you.

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