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Donizetti: Anna Bolena [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]

36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, German
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Nov. 2011
  • Run Time: 194 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005MYEQ9U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,896 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

With her sensational role debut at the Vienna State Opera, superstar diva Anna Netrebko diplays a performance of rare vocal and dramatic power. The Russian soprano sings the role of the unjustly accused second wife of British King Henry VIII, ‘veering between indignant fury and tender righteousness’ and demonstrating a new level of confidence in her technique with excellent ‘passagework, particularly in trills, and seamless runs even to the lowest notes’ (Opera News).

The performance also stars DG mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, in ‘a fantastic display of bel canto’ (Opera News) as Anna's rival Giovanna Seymour. Ildebrando D’Arcangelo brings his beautifully dark tone to the role of Enrico and young Italian tenor Francesco Meli sings the demanding role of Lord Percy with a ‘youthful virility’ (Agence France Press), promising great things for the future. On the podium Evelino Pidò 'drew playing of unusual precision and refinement...making every note matter' (Financial Times).

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a remarkably fine performance of Donizetti's first major success - his 31st opera. By that stage he had really learnt his craft and knew precisely how to sustain musical interest and tension. In this opera he has also got the advantage of an inherently dramatic moment in history as envisioned by a good librettist.

So how have the performers risen to this challenge? In my opinion the whole enterprise is very fine indeed.

Anna Netrebko in the title role gives a performance of real dramatic bite ranging from the reflective and forgiving to the passionate and fiery. She is totally on top of the considerable musical demands of the part. Her voice has also acquired an interesting greater richness and depth of tone and this is one of her finest performances to date.

Elina Garanca is well able to match Netrebko musically and delivers bel canto singing of great accuracy. This is well up to the exalted levels we have come to expect of this artist. The scena and duetto in Act 2 featuring these two fine singers is a high point of intensity creating real sparks of temperament. However the part of Seymour as one would expect does not carry the same dramatic or musical weight as the title role so the limelight rightly remains on Netrebko.

Ildebrando as Henry VIII is in good fine voice too with plenty of regal sonority to his voice and convincing acting. His confidence in the kingly role reminds one of his authoritive Escamillo role in the Royal Opera's production of Carmen.

The roles of Seaton, Percy and Rochefort are all capably sung and acted whilst not being a serious challenge to the three main stars of the opera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Derek Vernon-morris on 5 July 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Donizetti composed Opera full of light humour and beautiful love songs such as L' Elisir d'Amour, and other works such as Lucia di Lammermoor full of desperation and ending in tragedy. I recently attended the Metropolitan Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Anna Netrebko was unfortunately touring in concert but the production was the same, and I have the DVD. The Anna Bolena Opera was Donizetti's 31st completed in 1830, and amazingly, the first to be really successful during his lifetime.
Anna Netrebko plays beautiful Anna Bolena with a passion that is truly regal. This is a great contrast to the flirtatious country girl in L' Elisir d' Amour, but she is joined again by Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as King Henry V111. Here his humorous capabilities as the Doctor are also put aside, for a very serious and strong portrayal of a menacing monarch who allegedly stopped at nothing in his desire for a male heir. Anna Netrebko and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo show their brilliant versatility also in Le Nozze Di Figaro by Mozart, in a video directed also by Brian Large.
Elina Garanca is wonderful, giving an equally dramatic and beautifully spell binding performance as Giovanna Seymour. A Lady in waiting, Giovanna is the object of Enrico V111's affections and soon to replace Anna as Queen.
The Libretto by Felice Romani takes artistic licence with History, but the stress of her imminent execution induces a sense of unreality as Anna tries to comfort her young daughter Elizabeth, just as Lucia di Lammermoor is driven to madness. There is much confrontation and reverie throughout, but Anna begins the finale with the beautiful arias Piangete voi? and Al dolce guidami castrei natio, with the Chorus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. A. Weedon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 May 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, fell out of favour with Henry because she was failing to provide him with a male heir. Having given birth to a girl, she was then plagued with a series of miscarriages. Having taken a fancy to Jane Seymour, Anne's lady in waiting, Henry contrived to rid himself of Anne so that he could wed Jane, who eventually gave birth to a son who grew into the sickly Prince Edward who became king at the age of nine in 1547 only to die six years later at the age of 15. His sister Mary, daughter of Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, then became Queen (1553-1558). On her death, her younger sister Elisabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, became queen for the next 45 years. From his opera it would seem that Donizetti was very sympathetic towards Anne Boleyn, portraying her as strong and brave in the role of the wronged woman. It was her child and not the child of either Jane Seymour or Catherine of Aragon who would be numbered among the greatest of the great, a fact that is clearly emphasised at the end of the opera when the child Elizabeth walks on stage.

It almost seems as if Donizetti was trying to emphasise that Elizabeth's greatness was due more to having inherited the courage and determination of her mother than from anything she may have inherited from her father. Be that as it may, the opera is composed in such a fashion so as to emphasise the courage and steadfastness of Anne: the glory is all hers whilst those around her behave shamefully in one way or another. Whilst Anne is strong, brave and determined, Jane Seymour is portrayed as a confused young woman in the clutches of a dictator. (After marrying Henry she sadly died within weeks of giving birth to the future Edward VI.
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