Puccini: Edgar on DVD

This production takes the cake for the worst singing ever. It's risible and pathetic. And mind you, the leading soprano is Montserrat Caballé's daughter, Montserrat Martí. Apparently Mr. Bernabé Martí's (Caballé's husband) genes were stronger than Caballé's, because their daughter can't sing (even though he was a tenor). Ms. Martí, other than some singing lessons from her mother, could also use a plastic surgeon's help, to redo her nose (now I'm being mean). The other female, Halla Margret, not only can't sing, but also can't act. She is not bad looking, though (it's her, on the cover), but this can't save her. I like my cute sopranos better when they can sing.

Halla Margret

The tenor is amazingly bad. Name is Dario Balzanelli. Even Andrea Bocelli would have done better. Was he paid to appear, or is he some kind of amateur? He should be paying *us* for putting up with him. The minor roles are all badly sung as well.

If an opera novice wants to understand the difference between good and bad singing, this DVD is a must buy, to get the bad singing part. It is also recommended to voice teachers. After all, students must learn how *not* to sing.

The acting is not too hot either.

Sound balance is terrible. When the singers start to bark and shriek you can't hear the orchestra, and you need to keep adjusting the volume. Maybe this is a good thing though, because this Orchestra Filarmonica Mediterranea is not that good either.

The DVD has no features other than English subtitles and chapter selection (It's a Kultur product - they're often like this). Staging is traditional and not good, nor bad. It seems like the background is the Termas di Caracalla.

Regarding the music itself, I'm not very impressed (even though there is a chance that my perception is being hindered by the annoying singing of this production). There are a few good moments, but this is far from Puccini's subsequent heights, and the plot looks to me like a poor man's Carmen. I think that if the name Puccini wasn't attached to this opera, it would have been long forgotten.

According to Annie, the other DVD version of this opera has weak singing as well. I guess we'll have to hope that a decent opera company takes on this work at some point, and then maybe my opinion of it will improve, but for now I give it a C-.