View Full Version : Suggested ground rules + reviewing tips

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 7th, 2011, 02:21 AM
Dear member, thanks for reading or posting a review in this forum.

You'll notice that major composers have their own threads for reviews, and composers with a smaller output are grouped under headings such as "Italian Romantic and Verismo" or even "Miscellaneous."

To make it easier for other members to search for reviews, it's helpful if you put your review in the thread for that composer. If you are not sure where to put it, you can always ask a moderator, or just post it anyway and a moderator can move it for you later.

There is an index that you can consult by clicking [here (http://operalively.com/forums/showthread.php/356-Index-of-review-threads)].

There is a thread for general chit-chat about these recordings that are not true reviews, and it is [here (http://operalively.com/forums/showthread.php/341-CD-Blu-ray-DVD-related-chat-%28exception-here-not-a-thread-for-reviews%29)] but again, feel free to post at will whatever you want to say about these recordings, and if there's a need to move a post, a moderator can do it later.

Reviews can be as long or short as you like, and you could include some or all of the following aspects (or not; if you just want to post a brief paragraph/comment, feel free, as well):

The opera:

History, background, composer
Music: overture, arias, duets, ensembles, choruses, recitative, orchestration
Construction of the work: pace, structure, flow
Plot, libretto

The disc itself (optional):

Sound quality (balance, clarity, stage/public noise, what formats - LPCM, DD, DTS?)
Image quality if DVD/Blu-ray (sharpness, resolution - standard, HD? Format? 1.33:1 or 16:9?)
The insert (what it contains, quality of essays - if CD, is the full libretto included?)
Bonus features if any (e.g. interviews with the artists - enlightening or not?)
Subtitles in what languages?
Runtime, regions (worldwide all regions, or Europe only, America only?)
Year of recording, year of release

This particular production

Credits (orchestra, chorus, conductors, cast)
Musical execution: conducting, orchestral playing, singers, chorus
Staging: directorial approach, acting and blocking, scenery, costumes, ballets, lighting
Your overall impression (or your rating - see grade suggestions below), recommended buy?


Here is a suggestion for a grading system if you care for rating the production you are reviewing:

A++ Highly recommended (practically flawless, seemingly perfect)
A+ Very recommended with strong production and musical values all around but a couple of rare flaws
A Recommended, with strong musical values and some high production points but some areas to improve
A- Recommended, but with many areas to improve
B+ Barely recommended (but please understand that it is still recommended, so, it should be seen)
B Enjoyable for some sectors of the viewing public (such as fans of a particular performer who does well)
B- Not recommended unless one has time to kill and no better performances to see, given the rare pros
C Definitely not recommend. A failed production. Nothing good about it. No need for + or - nuances
D Atrocious, offensive and/or revolting. Well, we don't bother with reviewing those and we regret the time and money spent with them