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Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) -- Zurich [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Castilian
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Tdk Mediactive
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb 2002
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y0N3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

The 2001 Zurich production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia has many strengths, but the point of it is ultimately Vesselina Kasarova's vocal gymnastics as Rosina; when you cast a singer with so very steely a voice in the part you expect something special, and we are not disappointed. Her acting is perhaps a little arch--this is a very knowing Rosina, though no more so than such rivals in the part as Baltsa and Bartoli--but she gives a ferocious point and precision to every note and every word.

This is a production with touches of luxury casting: Nicolai Ghiaurov is on hand to give Basilio's slander aria an apocalyptic aspect it rarely has; less known singers like Reinaldo Macias as Almaviva and Manuel Lanza as Figaro are entirely in the same league as far as vocal quality goes. Veteran conductor Nello Santi gives the performance real vigour; not a note of this comic standard sounds routine. The production, set in early 20th century Spain, makes imaginative use of a revolving stage and sets whose stylised fan motif give it a toy theatre feel.

On the DVD Il Barbiere di Siviglia on disc offers a choice of Dolby Digital, PCM stereo and DTS surround sound and is presented with a widescreen visual aspect of 16:9; the picture quality is unremarkable and the sound wonderfully clear in all formats. --Roz Kaveney

Product Description

Special feature: Picture gallery
Sound format: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo
Picture format: 16:9
Subtitles: GB, D, F, SP, IT
Region code: 0


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny! So elegant! 3 Feb 2009
Format:DVD
Finally I got myself together and bought this dvd, that I saw some years ago. It is every bit as funny as I remember it, with so many details of interpretation. Must be seen. As a bonus, the costumes and scenery is very beautiful and elegant, a pleasure to the eye.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By I. Giles TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I currently own two recordings of this opera. The safe choice would be the Teatro Real version with Florez and Bayo which provides excellent singing, acting and all the advantages of a Blu-ray production. But the safe choice is not always the best choice.

Despite all of all the obvious attractions of the Florez / Bayo version however, I would still choose this Zurich version as my ultimate favourite. The highly experienced conductor, Santi, is on top form and directs a crisp and lively production. In this he is supported by the outstanding singing and comedy acting of Kasarova, a natural comedienne if ever, and Lanza as a Figaro who excels.

The rest of the cast are just as good too with a believable Almaviva from Macias being a performer of the right age who can also sing and act and an impressive Basilio in Ghiaurov who has the right sort of resonating voice. The maid Berta, Magnuson, sings her aria well too. Bartolo, taken by Chausson, is excellent in his role with powerful singing, good acting and the ability to get round words with clarity at considerable speed. The setting features strikingly unusual costumes for Kasarova and is 'of' the period without being 'in' the period. The whole thing sparkles and it is likely that you may even laugh out loud, the comedy is so well done.

The reviewer who complains about the lack of English subtitles has not had the same experience as me as I have found the English subtitles are easy to access and work well. I think it would be safe to buy and expect the subtitles to be OK.

The sound is good DTS 5.1 and DD5.1 surround as well as stereo and the camera work is sympathetic to both the music and the cast.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Barber of seville 22 Jan 2011
By Percy T
Format:DVD
I bought this version because the Amazon blurb implied that it would be in English or at least have English subtitles available but it wasn't/didn't. The production itself had many merits.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 'must have' issue - with a very funny Kasarova and well sung and acted by all 29 July 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I currently own two recordings of this opera. The safe choice would be the Teatro Real version with Florez and Bayo which provides excellent singing, acting and all the advantages of a Blu-ray production. But the safe choice is not always the best choice.

Despite all of all the obvious attractions of the Florez / Bayo version however, I would still choose this Zurich version as my ultimate favourite. The highly experienced conductor, Santi, is on top form and directs a crisp and lively production. In this he is supported by the outstanding singing and comedy acting of Kasarova, a natural comedienne if ever, and Lanza as a Figaro who excels.

The rest of the cast are just as good too with a believable Almaviva from Macias being a performer of the right age who can also sing and act and an impressive Basilio in Ghiaurov who has the right sort of resonating voice. The maid Berta, Magnuson, sings her aria well too. Bartolo, taken by Chausson, is excellent in his role with powerful singing, good acting and the ability to get round words with clarity at considerable speed. The setting features strikingly unusual costumes for Kasarova and is 'of' the period without being 'in' the period. The whole thing sparkles and it is likely that you may even laugh out loud, the comedy is so well done.

The reviewer who complains about the lack of English subtitles has not had the same experience as me as I have found the English subtitles are easy to access and work well. I think it would be safe to buy and expect the subtitles to be OK.

The sound is good DTS 5.1 and DD5.1 surround as well as stereo and the camera work is sympathetic to both the music and the cast. The stage construction seems to emphasise the sound of foot movement which is picked up by the microphones as rumble in the larger crowd scenes especially and which will mostly be audible to those with a deep bass extension to their replay equipment. I personally would accept this as a small price to pay for such excellence in every other respect.

There is one other version I have owned - that with Bartoli. However, that version is no longer competitive to my mind as the recording quality no longer competes despite a wonderful Bartolo with Lloyd.

My recommendation would therefore be to buy both this and the Florez versions but if only one is possible, I would have this one!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vesselina Kasarova is a treat!!! 11 Feb 2012
By E. Bannister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I loved this Barber of Seville. While I prefer traditional settings and don't care at all for "industrial" or stark minimalist interpretations, this Zurich production is contemporary, but colorful and imaginative. Vesselina Kasarova is superb in the role. After watching this I wanted to see and hear more of her.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 19 April 2013
By H. Massa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Manuel Lanza is awesome! I like the display, Vesselina Kasarova is at her best and the other characters are nice. The only thing I didn't like is that is not in Blue Ray. Besides that, the opera is my favorite so far! I would recommend this 1 to anybody who like "La Traviata" or "Rigoletto" by Rossini.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun opera 5 Mar 2013
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this version. It seemed like the singers had a lot fun performing it. No opera production is perfect; I do not mind watching this version more than once.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly horrible 19 Jun 2011
By Archie (Ottawa Canada) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I have just received and watched the Covent Garden performance with Di Donato and Flores. To compare, I went back to my previous favourite -- the performance with Bartoli, Kuebler and Quilico. Both in their own way are quite wonderful.

Then, I had another look and this performance. Words fail me as much as this humourless production fails the opera. The sets are over-extravagant and bear little relation to what is happening -- other than to give lots of items for unnecessary business and to show off the revolving stage. Kasarova has a wonderful and controlled voice, but she really likes showing off her chest and she continually overacts. Lanza (any relation to Mario?) has just stepped out of a spaghetti western and mostly sings as though he was in a Broadway musical. Macias plays Figaro as though he is a mafia hood. Chauson and Ghiaurov sing well, but are badly directed.

My very strong advice would be steer clear of this and get both of the ones mentioned at the top.
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