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Verdi: Giovanna D'Arco (Parma 2008) (Bowers/ Bruson/ Vassileva/ Bruno Bartoletti/ Gabriele Lavia) (C Major: 721304) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free]

Bowers , Bruson    Exempt   Blu-ray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Verdi: Giovanna D'Arco (Parma 2008) (Bowers/ Bruson/ Vassileva/ Bruno Bartoletti/ Gabriele Lavia) (C Major: 721304) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free] + Verdi: Attila (2010) (Parodi/ Catana/ Branchini/ Andrea Battistoni/ Pier Francesco Maestrini) (C Major: 721704) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region A & B] + Verdi: Messa Da Requiem (Norma Fantini/ Anna Smirnova/ Francesco Meli/ Lorin Maazel) (Euroarts: 2072434) [Blu-ray] [2012]
Price For All Three: 88.20

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Product details

  • Actors: Bowers, Bruson, Vassileva, Petroni, Lo Piccolo
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean, Italian
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Dec 2012
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0094AH37K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,790 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Giovanna d´Arco



Staged by Gabriele Lavia at the Parma Festival, October 2008

Giovanna d'Arco is based on Friedrich Schiller's tragedy The Maid of Orleans and deals with the life of Joan of Arc. But Verdi and his librettist Temistocle Solera departed from both Schiller and historical fact by turning Joan's father into the opera's powerful antagonist. Ever since its first performance in Milan in 1845, Giovanna d'Arco has been admired and loved for its emotionally affecting arias and thrilling choral writing.

Product Description

CMJ 721304; CMAJOR ENTERTAINMENT; Classica Lirica


Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
By the time Verdi came to compose Giovanna D'Arco in 1845, the composer was eager to take on more substantial works of literary merit with the kind of romantic scope and emotional range that suited and appealed to his musical sensibility. He had engaged the young poet Francisco Maria Piave to work on his Victor Hugo adaptation, Ernani, and he would soon come to tackle his first Shakespeare work with Macbeth the following year. For Giovanna D'Arco, Verdi found inspiration in Friedrich von Schiller's story of Joan of Arc, finding material for a true dramma lirico that was a match for his developing talent, but also clearly responding personally to the revolutionary sentiments that echoed with the contemporary reality of Risorgimento Italy.

The grand epic nature of the story and Verdi's responsiveness towards it is immediately evident in the composer's scoring for the overture and in his personal reworking of the material. Giovanna D'Arco deals with a classic high Romantic subject in the conflict between love and duty, caught up in a tense dramatic situation that involves war, revolution, family and religion - subjects that Verdi would often deal with, and there's a similarity between this work and something like La Forza del Destino. While later Verdi would be more refined in characterisation and dramatic development - neither Giovanna D'Arco nor Macbeth are matches for the later Schiller and Shakespeare adaptations of Don Carlos or Otello, nor indeed is the earlier Hugo Ernani comparable to his work on the later Rigoletto - but Verdi's earlier work has its attractions, principally here in the composer's beautiful melodic line and the consistency of his treatment of the opera's themes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Michael
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
My first Tutto Verdi Bluray disc, and possibly my last if they are all like this. Lip sync wanders, usually at the start of a phrase, but seems to get corrected by the DVD/Bluray authoring and encoding when the character singing is full face on to the camera. I fear that I shall have to return it to Amazon as once you notice this technical defect it spoils one's attention to the overall performance.
Svetla Vassileva is appropriately androgenous in the part as Giovanna, but her sometimes excessive vibrato is surely unnecessary. Evan Bowers as King Carlo has a fine voice but is occasionally strained in his top register. Renato Bruson (as father of Giovanna) is now 77 years old. This performance was recorded in 2008 when he would have been 72. Perspiring profusely, with extreme vibrato, or just plain wobble, his intonation is terrible toe-curling butt-clenching stuff, embarrassing and painful to watch and hear.
The opera does however contain wonderful music and deserves to be performed more frequently. I shall just have to wait for a better performance issued to higher standards of disc authoring.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somthing new and very italian. 15 Jun 2013
By JACQUE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
You can only watch so many presentations of the famous five or so operas! This OPERA presentation was new to me and in the first instance was directed to an Italian audience.
The storyline moves rather slowly, but the acting and singing were good.The production is on a smaller scale than say, the MET, but well done for all that. The two lead singers, JOAN AND THE KING, act and sing well. As an addition to your Opera library, this would be a SOMETIMES viewed ADDITION.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Audience Loved It!! 19 Dec 2012
By John G. Gleeson Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
And I liked it a lot! But it is a somewhat uneven performance, when viewed objectively.

Giovanna d'Arco is Verdi's seventh opera; it is a melodic, fast paced, musically intense work that enjoys some sustained popularity in Italy, but less so elsewhere. And with Parma being in the heart of "Verdi Country", the reaction of the audience gives a new definition to the word enthusiastic. Personally, I was first introduced to the work in a recording with Caballe, Milnes and Domingo, and "bonded" with it at first hearing.

At the outset, I feel it necesssary to note that this is a regional Italian opera company; it is not the Met. The stage is small, and I suspect that the Parma budget for staging opera is a bit less than the Met's. Staging, costumes, sets, etc. reflect this.

That said, there is some wonderful singing in this performance, and some that is a bit less so. Svetla Vassileva is an intense Giovanna. Berger ("Verdi With a Vengeance") notes that the role is the first of the Verdi soprano roles "...to encapsulate an archetype" Vocally, Vassileva is secure throughout the range, exciting to hear and dramatically the best of the three leads. "Incandescent" is the word that came to my mind when seeing her.

Evan Bowers is new to me; vocally I actually prefer him to the CD Domingo. There is a sweetness in the voice that resonates with me, and he is secure from top to bottom. Dramatically however, he needs a LOT of help. It is almost like he is thinking his blocking instructions: two steps left, sing, three steps forward, sing. It is near painfully obvious in the first act; later on, it is less so. There are explanations other than lack of acting skills, such as a small stage, but I think that lack of acting skills is it. Vocally, though, Bowers is the real deal!

When I reviewed the Tutto Verdi sampler disc, I noted my reservations of having Renato Bruson sing Giacomo, Giovanna's father, and having now experienced the performance, I have mixed feelings. The man is nearly 80 ( born 1934) and it shows; the top wobbles a lot and there is some spread to the vowel focus, and yet ... I just have huge admiration for an old guy who is a bit older than I that can really pull this role off! And he does, wobbly top and all. Any time Verdi gets a baritone dad and a soprano daughter together in the same scene, music and dramatic peaks are scaled. That happens here in deeply moving style.

Bruno Bartoletti has, I think, been conducting for as long as Bruson has been singing. Yet despite a noticible hand tremor, he does a splendid job in fully realizing the score. Orchestra and chorus do very well with some choruses that have been subject to some critical jibes over the years. Chorus costumes for the demonic folk are just plain odd.

The audience was hugely enthusiastic about this performance. Bruson probably got the most applause; I suspect that he is a bit of an icon in Parma. I saw some reviews to the effect that he sang opening night only and Bowers not much more. I, too am very enthusiastic about having this disc and expect to view it often. Picture quality is excellent and sound in the DTS mode gave my viewing room a real sense of presence. There are subtitles in all western and most oriental languages.

I think that a reviewer needs to be objective in doing a review here, noting both good and not so good features of a performance. That said, gentle reader, I hope that the negatives do not send you away from this hugely enjoyable performance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive production of an underrated early Verdi 3 Feb 2013
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
By the time Verdi came to compose Giovanna D'Arco in 1845, the composer was eager to take on more substantial works of literary merit with the kind of romantic scope and emotional range that suited and appealed to his musical sensibility. He had engaged the young poet Francisco Maria Piave to work on his Victor Hugo adaptation, Ernani, and he would soon come to tackle his first Shakespeare work with Macbeth the following year. For Giovanna D'Arco, Verdi found inspiration in Friedrich von Schiller's story of Joan of Arc, finding material for a true dramma lirico that was a match for his developing talent, but also clearly responding personally to the revolutionary sentiments that echoed with the contemporary reality of Risorgimento Italy.

The grand epic nature of the story and Verdi's responsiveness towards it is immediately evident in the composer's scoring for the overture and in his personal reworking of the material. Giovanna D'Arco deals with a classic high Romantic subject in the conflict between love and duty, caught up in a tense dramatic situation that involves war, revolution, family and religion - subjects that Verdi would often deal with, and there's a similarity between this work and something like La Forza del Destino. While later Verdi would be more refined in characterisation and dramatic development - neither Giovanna D'Arco nor Macbeth are matches for the later Schiller and Shakespeare adaptations of Don Carlos or Otello, nor indeed is the earlier Hugo Ernani comparable to his work on the later Rigoletto - but Verdi's earlier work has its attractions, principally here in the composer's beautiful melodic line and the consistency of his treatment of the opera's themes. Broken down into Grand Opéra-like scenes - the King's vision, the chorus of angels and demons in Act I alone - the construction may be conventional and not exactly inspired but it is exceptionally well crafted, pointing clearly towards the direction and the strengths of the later Verdi.

The quality of this rarely performed and underrated work is made evident here in this 2008 performance at the Teatro Regio di Parma's Verdi Festival through a handsome production that is sympathetic to the style and nature of the work, and it also benefits from some excellent singing performances. Other than a painted backdrop depicting a Risorgimento cavalry charge - nothing more than a hint of what might have been on Verdi's mind while composing - the production design and costumes are traditional and naturalistic to the Joan of Arc story itself. It's beautifully lit and staged, transforming smoothly from one scene to the next, finding an appropriate look and tone that brings out the full impact of each highly charged situation. The placing of the performers - the stage often filled with the huge choruses composed by Verdi - also works to the best dramatic purpose, with little in the way of stagy theatrics or operatic mannerisms.

The singing of all three lead roles is excellent. Svetla Vassileva's performance - as it ought to be for a figure like Joan of Arc - is powerful, impassioned, lively and precise in delivery, working fully in the spirit of the work itself. If there are any reservations about Evan Bowers' performance as Carlos, they are only in respect of the writing for the role itself. It is however a similarly committed performance, well sung and acted, that works marvellously in the context of the work. Renato Bruson sounded a little unsteady in his first scene, but is solid where it counts later in the opera, as vocal challenges rise correspondingly with the emotionally charged dramatic developments. The orchestra, conducted by Bruno Bartoletti, and the chorus are also in fine form here, the cast and production working in common accord to present about as good an account of this rare Verdi work as you could imagine. The Blu-ray quality is of a very high standard, the audio in particular giving a warm, clear rendering of the invigorating music, chorus and singing. The Blu-ray is all-region, with subtitles in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
1.0 out of 5 stars in 2 July 2014
By jrodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Don't bother with this DVD. The only singer worth listening to is the tenor Evan Bowers. The soprano's voice is annoying, and her characterization of the role is laughable. Bruson's vibrato is so slow that it grates on the nerves, which was a great surprise. I had to fast forward past his singing. A far superior version is the one with Bruson, Susan Dun and La Scola. In this DVD Bruson is in fine voice as are the soprano, Susan Dun, and tenor, Vincenzo La Scola. This latter performance is from 1990, while the former is from 2012. This probably explains the change in Bruson's voice. I've observed that a slow vibrato accompanies a voice in decline.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Verdi's best 4 May 2014
By Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As an opera this is a mediocre one. It is difficult to understand why the father of Giovanna turns against her. One never feels involved in the story. This is, of course, not Verdis' fault, rather the librerettist's (Solera), or Friedrich Schiller's, who wrote the play. The star here is Svetla Vassileva, who sings the title role, a fine, light soprano, almost a coloratura. She also plays well. The King - Carlo VII (Evan Bowers) opens with a nasal unconfortable voice, but improves with time. Renato Bruson, who sings Giovanna's father, is always reliable, although his voice sounds a bit aged. Nice production with lavish costumes and attractive sets.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fable against oppression......almost. 30 July 2013
By Dr. John W. Rippon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Giovanna D'Arco is number seven of the early "Galley Slave Years" of Verdi opera compositions. It followed a few months, 15 February 1845, after I Due Foscare in November 1844. For this production at La Scala Milan the services of their in-house librettist Temistocle Solera was made available. He was considered a better poet and man of the theatre than the more pedantic but serviceable Piave that Verdi had used for Ernani and I Due Foscari. The play "Die Jungfrau von Orleans" by Frederick Schiller is a long rambling highly romantic paean to freedom's fight against the mighty oppressors. Since the play was not on Verdi's list of possible subjects for future operas, it's probable that the subject was given to him by the management.
I have particular interest in Giovanna D'Arco because early on in my exploration of opera I became acquainted with Tchaikovski's opera "The Maid of Orleans" based on the same Schiller play. The two operas were written many years apart: Verdi's in 1845 and Tchaikovski's in 1881. It is unlikely that Tchaikovski knew of Verdi's work as Giovanna D'Arco did not travel much around the world outside of Italy and even there was not widely done. Tchaikovski's Joan opera is a big expansive piece with nine major characters; a juicy bit about Agnes Sorel, mistress to the dauphin who will be Charles VII of France. This and the love affair of Joan and the Duke of Burgundy are not in the Verdi at all, which has only three major parts. But the most emphatic difference in the two operas is in the ending. In the play and in the Tchaikovski opera, Joan is declared a witch and sentenced to death by burning by the Roman Catholic church. In the Verdi she is absolved of the witchcraft charges by her father and allowed to go back into battle against the English, rescue the king and die a martyr. This ending would go over much better with the Roman Catholic audiences in Italy than the burning at the stake by the church in the Russian opera and the original play. In Russia after all the Roman Catholic was not highly regarded by the Russian Orthodox church. Just look at how the Roman Catholics are depicted in Prokofiev's Aleksander Nevsky. Later in life Verdi would confront this again in his 1867 opera Don Carlo and the church sanctioned Auto-de-fe of burning of heretics. It caused some problems sometimes but he was above such things by now. In a recent revival at the Met pickets appeared saying the opera was anti-church. When interviewed one picket said he had not read the opera or seen it but the local priest said the opera was anti- Catholic.(Wechsberg: "Verdi")
The music in Giovanna D'Arco is some of Verdi's most brilliant thus far in his career. However it is patchy and there are glaring holes in the continuity within the opera. The part of Joan is a tour-de-force for an endowed soprano and in this recording Svetla Vassileva is so gifted. She sprints here and there and belts out long lines of music as if she were "possessed". Her lines are smooth, pure of tone and under complete control. She is amazing. Brava!
Another new and most talented vocal artist is Evan Bowers as the Dauphin and later King. He has a firm, unforced lyric voice of good range and even power who was very pleasant to listen to. He showed a good heft to his singing and you felt there was much more in reserve if needed. He was a bit awkward on stage, but he is not the king (yet) he is the Dauphin. I thought he carried off the stumbling youth quite well.
Yes he wobbled on top and couldn't quite make it all the time but I loved hearing Renato Bruson again. It brought back memories of the real Verdi baritone of decades ago. He had (has) a magisterial resonance that I heard many times fill he Met auditorium. His was a richer, fuller, of more depth baritone than others of that era (Milns, MacNeal etc) in the 1980s-90s. I can still hear his "Eri tu?" from Masked Ball that sent chills up my spine. It was good to hear him again and I thought did himself proud in this role as Joan's father.
What a pleasure to hear Bruno Bartoletti again. I attended forty years of Lyric Opera of Chicago seasons during his tenure as Music Director. I often sat so close to him that on an upswing of his baton I received a shower of perspiration - especially one night when he conducted Wozzeck. Back then he had black hair. He has died since this recording was made.
Sets, costumes, chorus, stage direction are all first rate; a well done production.
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