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Pergolesi: La Salustia [Blu-ray] [2013]

Vittorio Prato , Serena Malfi , Juliette Deschamps , Tiziano Mancini    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £22.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Pergolesi: La Salustia [Blu-ray] [2013] + Rossini: Adelaide Di Borgogna (2011) (Daniella Barcellona, Jessica Pratt, Bogdan Mihai) (Arthaus: 108060) [Blu-ray] [2013] + Gluck: Iphigénie en Aulide/Iphigénie en Tauride [Blu-ray] [2013]
Price For All Three: £82.91

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Product details

  • Actors: Vittorio Prato, Serena Malfi, Laura Polverelli, Florin Cezar Ouatu, Corrado Rovaris
  • Directors: Juliette Deschamps, Tiziano Mancini
  • Writers: Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
  • Producers: Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen, Colour, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Italian, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jan 2013
  • Run Time: 185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AA9QHFI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,240 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

LIVE RECORDING FROM THE TEATRO G.B. PERGOLESI, JESI 2011
Marziano VITTORIO PRATO
Salustia SERENA MALFI
Giulia LAURA POLVERELLI
Alessandro FLORIN CEZAR OUATU
Albina GIACINTA NICOTRA
ACCADEMIA BAROCCA DE I MUSICI ITALIANI
Conducted by CORRADO ROVARIS
Stage Directed by JULIETTE DESCHAMPS

World Premiere Recording!
Pergolesis first opera La Salustia is filled with emotions and dramatic elements. It portrays the battle of two women, their struggle for power and justice. Further, it is the story of failing deceitful plots and mistrust. Salustia is the strong empress, wife of the Roman emperor Alessandro, whose mother-in-law Giulia would rather see dead than accept as ruler. Strangely however, it is Salustia who saves Giulia from her own death more than once. She fights not only for her own justice ruling together with her love Alessandro but also for justice amongst all the other battling parties. At the end she is rewarded for her moral strength. The drama around the unbreakable Salustia takes its course in the setting of ancient Rome. Young French director Juliette Deschamps, known for various opera productions in Jesi, made the old story come alive on a stage that suggests an ancient palace with large windows, later on the coliseum. The cast features well-loved Pergolesi interpreters such as Serena Malfi, Laura Polverelli or Vittorio Prato. The Accademia Barocca de I Musici Italiani, well-known for productions in historic performance practice, are led by Corrado Rovaris. This is a world premiere recording of one of the very few Salustia-productions that exist worldwide.

Sound Format: Audio 5.1 (Blu-ray)
Picture Format: 16:9, 1080i FULL HD
Format: DVD 5 + DVD 9, NTSC, 50 GB (Double Layer)
Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES, JP, Korean
Running Time: 185 mins
FSK: 0

Product Description

ARTH 108065; ARTHAUS MUSIK - Germania; Classica Lirica


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Pergolesi Masterpiece 11 Mar 2013
By H. A. Weedon VINE VOICE
Verified Purchase
This is an opera based on an anonymous adaptation of Apostolo Zeno's Alessandro Severo about a recently wed young woman, Salustia, wife of the Emperor Alessandro, who faces serious problems engineered by her mother-in-law, Giulia, who appears to be reluctant to relinquish her powers to the younger woman. Although Pergolesi was just 21 when he composed this, his first known opera, it, nevertheless, reveals a remarkable maturity of concept.

The age-old conflict-triangle of mother, son, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law is here brilliantly adapted into a spell-binding, ageless drama, in which it doesn't matter one teeny bit that the costumes are nothing like those that would have been worn in the days of the Roman Empire. The fact that Pergolesi's operas can be adapted to fit in with any day and age is just another mark of his genius.

Not only does this work realistically express the workings of the triangle, it also demonstrates how it can be dissolved by female intelligence. The two lead characters here are Giulia, the Mother-in-Law and Salustia, her daughter-in-law, beautifully sung and realistically acted by Laura Polverelli and Serena Malfi respectively. One can only surmise that Pergolesi must have had something in the nature of a gifted understanding of the female psyche. The only sadness is that he felt obliged to include castrato roles in his operas. I must also add that Vittorio Prato gave a first-rate performance as Salustia's father Marziano and Giacinta Nicotra was equally good as Albina, Claudio's love interest.

The happy side to this is that, nowadays, some male roles can be sung by women, which happens here in the case of the Roman officer Claudio, so realistically sung and acted by Maria Hinojosa Montenegro.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
There are one or two aspects of Pergolesi's La Salustia that immediately mark it out as quite different from the other rare opera works by the composer (Adriano in Siria, Il Prigionier Superbo and Il Flaminio) recently revived and subjected to new critical editions by the Fondazione Pergolesi-Spontini in Jesi. Most obviously, as the composer's first opera, written to a libretto that had been reworked from an earlier work (Alessando Severo), La Salustia (1732) fits more conventionally into the standard opera seria style than any of Pergolesi's later work in the dramma per musica category. It's interesting nonetheless to see how Pergolesi operates even within this more restrictive format, particularly when the singing performances presented here at this production in Jesi surpass the already exceptionally high standards already achieved on the earlier DVD/BD releases of his other works.

It might not be the typical Metastian plot of rulers displaying wisdom and clemency and reuniting lovers who have been separated by cruel twists of fate or the whims of kings, but that doesn't mean that the plot of La Salustia is any less improbable in its dramatic developments. Even though it is set in ancient Rome, neither the opera nor the production really take advantage of the specific period setting (other than an interesting development in Act III where one of the main characters is thrown to the lions in the arena - and wins!), but rather uses it to present a fairly generic power struggle plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pergolesi's first opera is highly enjoyable 16 Nov 2013
By Jorge
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The drama takes its course in ancient Rome under the reign of Emperor Alessandro Severo. Empress Salustia is abused by her jealous mother-in-law, Giulia, who would rather see her dead than as a ruler. Salustia's father, Marziano, plots to murder Giulia but his daughter intervenes to save Giulia's life. Alessandro reconciles with Salustia and forgives Marziano.

The set design is fairly static, an ancient palace with large windows. Elegant 18th-century costumes and lighting provide the necessary variety. This is going to please those looking for a traditional approach to the Baroque opera. Singing and playing are consistently at a high level. Outstanding moments are countertenor Florin Cezar Ouatu's soft singing in "Andrò ramingo e solo", contrasted with the melodic expressiveness and dramatic compassion of Serena Malfi in "Tu m'insulti? Io non pavento" and Laura Polverelli in "Odio di figlia altera". They, along with the other members of the cast, offer lived-in interpretations of their respective parts.

The pictures are excellent with a real sense of presence. ArtHaus is to be congratulated for publishing this work on Blu-ray, since the high definition format allows this rare opera to be appreciated by a wider public.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful singing the main attraction in Pergolesi's first opera 3 Feb 2013
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
There are one or two aspects of Pergolesi's La Salustia that immediately mark it out as quite different from the previous rare opera works by the composer ([ASIN:B005UOK9HA Adriano in Siria]], Il Prigionier Superbo and Il Flaminio) recently revived and subjected to new critical editions by the Fondazione Pergolesi-Spontini in Jesi. Most obviously, as the composer's first opera, written to a libretto that had been reworked from an earlier work (Alessando Severo), La Salustia (1732) fits more conventionally into the standard opera seria style than any of Pergolesi's later work in the dramma per musica category. It's interesting nonetheless to see how Pergolesi operates even within this more restrictive format, particularly when the singing performances presented here at this production in Jesi surpass the already exceptionally high standards already achieved on the earlier DVD/BD releases of his other works.

It might not be the typical Metastian plot of rulers displaying wisdom and clemency and reuniting lovers who have been separated by cruel twists of fate or the whims of kings, but that doesn't mean that the plot of La Salustia is any less improbable in its dramatic developments. Even though it is set in ancient Rome, neither the opera nor the production really take advantage of the specific period setting (other than an interesting development in Act III where one of the main characters is thrown to the lions in the arena - and wins!), but rather uses it to present a fairly generic power struggle plot. There are plenty of occasion then for the requisite interchangeable and largely indistinguishable opera seria number arias reflecting generic emotions of anguish and torment, and more recitative than we've seen so far in Pergolesi later operas, but the composer's approach here has nonetheless some interesting musical touches of its own. There are some discordant sounds and effects introduced in particular in Giulia's Act I aria, 'Se tumida l'onda' ("When the tall wave threatens the shore") and in the Act II 'Odio di figlia altera', that reflect the nature of the character and associate them with weather conditions, but the primary expression in those arias and the strength of this particular work as a whole is in the writing for voices.

As if recognising the importance of the voices used here and in the contrast between them, Jesi employ a countertenor for the first time (previously using female sopranos for the castrato roles in the other works) for Alessandro (although they retain a soprano for Claudio), and it really does give the work the necessary dynamic. The accompanying booklet notes that the role of Marziano was revised from a castrato to a tenor for the first performance, and although the first version has been performed at Jesi in an alternative critical edition, it's the first performance edition that is presented in this 2011 production - albeit that the tenor and soprano roles (Marziano and Salustia) are sung by a baritone (Vittorio Prato) and a mezzo-soprano (Serena Malfi). The contrast in voices works well however, the casting of the majority of these roles given to up-and coming young singers, and they are all most impressive. More than meeting the demands of the challenging arias written for each role, there's a purity of tone and clarity of diction from each of them and a refreshing lack of mannerism that allows for a wonderful sincerity of expression.

If the improbable mechanics of the plot and the conventionality of much of the music don't always make as much of an impression as later Pergolesi work, the quality of the vocal writing and the expressiveness of the singing performances gives the characters considerably more credibility than might otherwise be the case. The static stage design and straightforward direction by Juliette Deschamps - the mechanics of the Teatro G.B. Pergolesi seemingly not really allowing for any elaborate scene changes - doesn't seem to have much to contribute to the success of the production, but despite a few odd and jarring touches (it's more 18th century than ancient Rome) it does actually work quite well through some effective lighting and a few bold gestures.

The staging and the lighting are well represented in High Definition on the Blu-ray release, the sound recording less so. The clarity and detail is all there in the singing and the orchestration, but there's considerable reverb and a harshness that lacks the warmth and roundness of tone on previous Pergolesi releases. Other than perhaps one instance in Act III where countertenor Florin Cezar Ouata's radio mic seems to pick up some interference, there are however no other real problems. The 3-hour opera requires a BD50 disc, and subtitles are provided in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish and Korean. Apart from trailers for the other Arthaus Pergolesi titles (Il Prigionier Superbo and Il Flaminio), there are no extra features on the disc itself and no synopsis provided, although the background to the work and a very brief outline of the plot are covered in an essay in the enclosed booklet.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great dvd 1 May 2013
By James H. Mehaffey - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have a previus dvd of this opera but it has no subtitles and I could not find a synopsis of the plot anywhere. My only complaint is the warrior being plaid by a women. There is one countertenor in it. Why not have two?
4.0 out of 5 stars Opera Seria at it's more stagnant 23 April 2013
By Dr. John W. Rippon - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
La Salustia is Pergolesi's first venture into the world of Italian Opera Seria. In this form the libretto is the chief object of admiration, the Art, and the music is incidental. The structure of the dramaturgy is drawn according to formulas laid out in the "Poetics" of Aristotle. Action should take place within 24 hours, involve no more than eight people, the major player (Salustia) should show nobility of character leading to the resolution of intrigues, misunderstandings and hostilities and there should be a happy ending. Because the Opera Seria form was supposed to emulate the structure of ancient Greek drama there were often long recitatives describing action of the plot, the arias which summmarized the actions that have occurred were restricted to 30 and the Greek chorus so important in those dramas were also written for the opera seria. So the real creative piece was the libretto. Metastasio and Zeno were among the most famous of librettists at this time. The only work the composer was suppose to do was set it to music. Few composers set the complete libretto in it's entirety . It would be a whole day or more long. So in different times and different tastes recitatives could be shortened as indicated by the author by putting a quotation mark (virgole) around a passage that may be ommited. Also the composer might shorten or even cut out entirely the choruses (this also shortened the payroll). The text here in Salustia is a rehash by Pergolesi's friend G.A. Frederico who was to write the texts for most of Pergolesi works. Or maybe it was S. Morelli as the published work doesn't give an author and scholars differ in their opinion. The text is taken from a long arduous libretto by A. Zeno called Alessando Severo. He was Emperor of Rome in the 2nd century A.D. The composer also had to utilize a cast the impresario had hired and adjust his music to their voices. And each singer could demand adjustments in the music to fit their whims (depending on how important they were). One senses that the composer was the least important person for putting on an opera seria.
For a first effort, the 21 year old Pergolesi did pretty well with Salustia. It has some old type music and arias typical of Vivaldi with loud, rushing dramatic lines. It also has some more simple, more elegant and measured arias (e.g. Salustia "Per queste amare lagrime" in Act 3). Several arias have a theme of the aspects of water. The aria of Giluia "Se tumida l'onda" is a fine piece and sometimes used as a concert aria. Marziano was to be the star of the show and his big aria "Parmi, che il cielo" (Act 2)is a grand showcase for the singer to display excessive pathos so popular in older operas. Yet in the much finer work I'Olimpiade composed a few years later a similar aria is set with restrained sentimentality. Alessandro's aria "In mar turbator" Act3 (again about water) is also well constructed.
In all, Salustia has some nice pieces in it but as a whole it simply does not click, it does not gel. We especially appreciate this when just a few years hense his style and genius will mature and produce the great L'Olimpiade a truly beautiful Opera Seria.
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