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  • Tosca - Pavarotti, Verrett, Metropolitan Opera [DVD] [2010]
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Tosca - Pavarotti, Verrett, Metropolitan Opera [DVD] [2010]

6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00406UK8W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,898 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Luciano Pavarotti will always be associated with the role of the painter Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca. His interpretations of the arias "Recondita armonia" and "E lucevan le stelle" became two of his greatest hits, which he sang at all his stadium concerts

This release of Tosca marks the 75th anniversary of his birth on October 12th, 1935. Specially restored and released for the first time on any format, this remarkable performance filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, on December 19th, 1978 presents Luciano Pavarotti the opera star, at the very peak of his stage career.

Pavarotti's co-stars are two internationally acclaimed American singers - soprano Shirley Verrett and baritone Cornell MacNeil - and the production is by legendary baritone Tito Gobbi - best remembered for his Scarpia opposite the Tosca of Maria Callas.

Remarkable DVD bonus features - available for the first time

Unique footage of Luciano Pavarotti in a music rehearsal, with Shirley Verrett and Maestro James Conlon.

A discussion between the greatest of all Baron Scarpias, Italian baritone Tito Gobbi, and the Scarpia of this production, baritone Cornell MacNeil A discussion with conductor James Conlon and Metropolitan Opera Music Director, James Levine.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By trottman on 27 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I find it absolutely extraordinary that this great 1978 production from the Met has not always been available on video or DVD. It is admirably staged, if sometimes rather dark and is blessed with three outstanding leads. The stand out for me is the late Shirley Verrett, who acts and sings the part of Tosca to perfection. Alone on the stage and standing rather than the more frequent kneeling she delivers the finest "Vissi d'arte" that I have ever heard. She is partnered by Luciano Pavaroti who was then in his absolute prime. His (so called) acting is of course restricted but he is certainly more mobile than in later years. The trio of leads is completed by Cornell MacNeil who makes a very evil villain of the piece. The act two duets between Scarpia and Tosca are particularly memorable. The production is well served by ther fine playing of the orchestra under the baton of the then youthful James Conlon

In 1985 Franco Zeffirelli masterminded an amazingly lavish production of the opera again at the Met, which includes a jaw-dropping act one set in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle. This production, under the baton of Giuseppe Sinopoli, also has three great leads although I believe that Shirley Verrett just has the edge over Hildegard Behrens. Cornell MacNeil repeats his performance as Scarpia and might if anything create an even more evil character than in 1978. Cavaradossi is sung by Placido Domingo at his ardent best. This tenor's sound may not be quite as beautiful as that of Pavarotti but there is no comparison in the acting and here Domingo gets all the honours. It is the presence of Placido Domingo and the superior staging that makes the 1985 version my first choice but Shirley Verrett is such a fine Tosca that purchase of the 1978 production is also a necessity.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By George Thanos Assimakis on 17 July 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Of the complete performances of "Tosca" that exist on DVD, this is probably one of the best. I stress "complete performances" since the second act of this opera from Covent Garden, with Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi far surpasses anything else. Unfortunately we have to be contended with the second act only, in poor quality black and white image and the sound is by no means adequate for modern standards. It is still worth watching every minute of it.

Now back to this performance from the Metropolitan Opera. It is a performance, which is very well conducted by James Conlon, who gives us with a tight, dramatic interpretation of Puccini's score. Luciano Pavarotti provides us with an unforgettable interpretation of the role of Cavaradossi. He sings beautifully, effortlessly and with a lot of feeling. It is a pity that his visual interpretation is not entirely of the same high standard as his vocal interpretation. For Pavarotti alone, it is worth getting this DVD.

Shirley Verrett is good on the whole. Produces the right notes and performs the role of Tosca, with warmth and devotion. She is constantly good throughout the opera, but when you inevitably compare her with Callas in act two, her performance falls very short in comparison. She is a much gentler Tosca than Callas and it is hard to imagine her killing Scarpia, instead of giving in to his lust, whereas with Callas, you feel that the Baron is doomed by his actions towards the end of act two.

Cornell MacNeil is a very good Scarpia. Again, in comparison with his mentor, Tito Gobbi, he is not of the same standard, but who was? MacNeil sings well, with force and passion.

The rest of the cast are good, with nobody spoiling the performance.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Markham on 29 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are so many modern recordings of Tosca that there needs to be a very good reason to have one with only moderate picture quality from 1978. There are two significant reasons that make this one well worthwhile. The first is the cast and the second is the most fascinating collection of extras that I have ever seen on an opera DVD.

The cast, of course, speaks for itself but towering above all else is the performance by Pavarotti, which catches him in his absolute prime with his voice at its marvellous best, but also at an age when his body size and ability to move really did allow him to act the part. He was never a great actor but in this role he was genuinely believable, particularly in this performance. In addition, his winning personality really comes through in facial close-ups and it is clear he has a real affinity with his leading lady, Shirley Verrett in the title role. Shirley Verrett is another legendary singer. She is vocally one of the finest Toscas that I have ever heard. She certainly sings marvellously well, particularly in the lower register but is surprisingly good in the upper register too. Above all she is an excellent actress and portrays the subtleties as well as the high drama of the role extremely well. Set against her it is just as well that Pavarotti is really able to act his part because otherwise this pairing would just have been embarrassing. Perhaps it is partly Ms Verrett who is able to bring the best out of Pavarotti's acting because they clearly have an excellent rapport. Cornell MacNeil was well known for his interpretation of Baron Scarpia and he here gives a classic performance. He has performed this role in previous productions directed by Tito Gobbi as is the case once again here.
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