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Verdi: Oberto (Alli 2007) (Pentcheva/ Bertagni/ Sartori/ Battaglia/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Antonello Allemandi/ Pier' Alli) (C Major: 720104) [Blu-ray] [2012]

Pentcheva , Bertagni. Sartori    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Verdi: Oberto (Alli 2007) (Pentcheva/ Bertagni/ Sartori/ Battaglia/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Antonello Allemandi/ Pier' Alli) (C Major: 720104) [Blu-ray] [2012] + Verdi: Un Giorno Di Regno (Pizzi 2010) (Loconsolo/ Porta/ Antonacci/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Donato Renzetti/ Luigi Pizzi) (C Major: 720304) [Blu-ray] [2012] + Verdi: Nabucco (Abbado 2009) (Nucci/ Ribeiro/ Surian/ Theodossiou/ Chiuri/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Michele Mariotti/ Daniele Abbado) (C Major: 720504) [Blu-ray] [2012]
Price For All Three: 87.16

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Product details

  • Actors: Pentcheva, Bertagni. Sartori, Battaglia, Parodi, Cerboncini
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Italian
  • Region: All Regions (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: 15 Oct 2012
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008L1VZPY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 96,354 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

To celebrate Giuseppe Verdis bicentenary in 2013, C Major is proud to present the truly unique project, TUTTO VERDI: All 26 operas released on DVD and Blu-ray, together with his immortal Requiem and special documentary.

Oberto was the first of Verdis operas to be staged and was heard for the first time at La Scala, Milan, in November 1839. As a young and unknown composer, Verdi was subject to the rules then governing the opera industry in Italy. Even so, there are already many scenes in this early work that reveal unmistakable signs of the composers individual style.

This is how Verdi should be played.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Tutto Verdi.

Product Description

Oberto Conte Di San Bonifacio


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charged production of Verdi's first opera 15 Dec 2012
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Verdi's first opera, written when he was 26 years old, might lack the musical sophistication and dramatic characterisation of his late masterpieces, but Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio was good enough to open at La Scala in Milan in 1839, where it enjoyed a modest success, and it's a prototypical full-blooded early Verdi work that already has many of the elements that we associate with the composer. Oberto sticks closely to the established format and subject matter of the 19th century Italian number opera, but Verdi's dramatic flair, his ability to underscore those key moments with the most stirring and passionate arrangements is evident nonetheless and those qualities are brought out exceptionally well this production.

There's not a lot of dramatic action as such. Much of the important events have already taken place before the opera even begins, leaving the principal characters involved to fume their displeasure and deep feelings of love, betrayal, anger and desires for revenge through a series of cavatinas and cabalettas. It's pretty standard plotting for the most part, the drama driven by a series of arias/cabalettas, but Verdi brilliantly whips this up into something utterly compelling by adding trios, quartets and choruses to create an explosive atmosphere in manner that makes it impossible not to get swept along.

Recorded in the small, intimate surroundings of the Teatro Verdi di Busseto, this 2007 production settles for a relatively traditional setting that has an appropriately theatrical feel to it. There's nothing too ambitious attempted, the costumes are theatrically period, the sets are confined to backdrops, with minimal use of props and the stage - small as it is - left clear and open for the singers to step forward and let fly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good he didn't compose just THAT! 16 May 2013
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Praised be Unitel Classica and the Teatro Regio di Parma for their colossal entreprise of recording EVERY Verdi opera on HD technology for Blu-Ray purpose and for eternity. As such, this edition does for Verdi what the M22 edition did for Mozart - and this entails a lot of risks. It means recording and publishing 26 operas (plus the Requiem), of which it is probably fair to say that half are not in the "regular" repertoire...and even if more than often some "less played" Verdis are in my view as interesting as the main canon (if not more at times!) - I'll mention "Vespri", "Ernani", "Stiffelio", "Giovanna d'Arco" as some of my own personal favourites - it is also fair to say that there are a couple of turkeys. And unfortunately, "Oberto" is one such turkey.
Let's be real here: "Oberto" would have been buried in opera's no-man's land had it not been fathered by Mr V. himself.
So basically my main reservation here is on the piece itself - and not the way it is performed - although to be fair if the cast had been a bit more involved, this "Oberto" could have held a bit more together than it does here. But..there is no action, no drama, everything takes place offstage and the psychological dilemmas seizing all these characters are, let's face it, not very interesting. Act I will be an immense tunnel of boredom where I struggled not to fall asleep. Act II is a bit better, particularly from the Quartet onwards (there is also Oberto's cabalette which is quite exciting), but by then it is a bit late...

On the plus side, it is wise from the producers of this performance to have avoided too big a stage that would have exposed a lot of young voices.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it, but didn't love it 21 Sep 2013
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One can tell that this is Verdi's first Opera, the singers did well, the conductor did a great job, but Verdi needed to put a bit more into it. We know things get better!
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent cast 9 Nov 2012
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Excelent singers and orchestra plus conductor. Very interesting the sets and costumes. Verdi probably would approve.
it. I really enjoyed the opera.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charged production of Verdi's first opera 15 Dec 2012
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
Verdi's first opera, written when he was 26 years old, might lack the musical sophistication and dramatic characterisation of his late masterpieces, but Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio was good enough to open at La Scala in Milan in 1839, where it enjoyed a modest success, and it's a prototypical full-blooded early Verdi work that already has many of the elements that we associate with the composer. Oberto sticks closely to the established format and subject matter of the 19th century Italian number opera, but Verdi's dramatic flair, his ability to underscore those key moments with the most stirring and passionate arrangements is evident nonetheless and those qualities are brought out exceptionally well this production.

There's not a lot of dramatic action as such. Much of the important events have already taken place before the opera even begins, leaving the principal characters involved to fume their displeasure and deep feelings of love, betrayal, anger and desires for revenge through a series of cavatinas and cabalettas. It's pretty standard plotting for the most part, the drama driven by a series of arias/cabalettas, but Verdi brilliantly whips this up into something utterly compelling by adding trios, quartets and choruses to create an explosive atmosphere in manner that makes it impossible not to get swept along.

Recorded in the small, intimate surroundings of the Teatro Verdi di Busseto, this 2007 production settles for a relatively traditional setting that has an appropriately theatrical feel to it. There's nothing too ambitious attempted, the costumes are theatrically period, the sets are confined to backdrops, with minimal use of props and the stage - small as it is - left clear and open for the singers to step forward and let fly. In the absence of any real dramatic interaction, the director Pier' Alli merely gets the performers to stand looking out, look sincere, strike a few dramatic poses and make some curious sweeps of the arms and hand gestures. The presumption - a big one possibly for what is after all Verdi's first opera - is that the music and singing alone will be enough to carry the full force of the work. Fortunately, this turns out to be a not altogether unreasonable assumption.

The singing is generally good, but in such a stripped down production and with the musical arrangements as they are, there's nowhere to hide any weaknesses. There are no concerns at all however with the male tenor and baritone roles. Fabio Sartori gives a gutsy performance as Riccardo, pitching his performance perfectly for the tone of the work and the scale of the theatre, while Giovanni Battista Parodi's Oberto is similarly well-judged, striking the right note as the outraged father looking to restore his dignity without taking it overboard. Mariana Pentcheva also gives a performance of dramatic intensity as the deceived bride-to-be Cuniza, and it's only Francesca Sassu's Leonora that shows any real weakness in the line-up, the soprano unable to bring any depth or drama to the lower end in her opening cavatina, but also fails to hold her own in her Act I duet with Parodi.

When fully supported however, as the opera gathers pace with Verdi works up the musical drama and lightning effects are thrown in for good measure, the qualities of the work and the production become clear. The trio at the revelation of Riccardo's betrayal - resounding with Oberto, Leonora and Cuniza cries of 'traditor!' - is the highlight of Act I, Verdi following it up impressively with a powerful finale, while Act II's quartet has much the same impact, achieving the full Verdi effect. The chorus have an important part to play in this, and do so marvellously, but the main part of the success of this production rests on the driven performance of the orchestra as conducted by Antonello Allemandi that is nicely attuned to the rhythms and dynamic of the work. The sound quality on the Blu-ray disc is simply outstanding. Every instrument is crystal clear, highlighting just how good an account of the work this is.

Released on Blu-ray by C-Major, the image quality every bit as good as the HD sound mixes, Oberto is the first of a series of performances recorded at the Teatro Regio di Parma that will form part of a complete Verdi collection, 'Tutto Verdi', released to coincide with the composer's bicentenary in 2013. Some trailers for other works in the collection are included on the disc, as well as a visual introduction/synopsis for Oberto. The Blu-ray is all-region, with subtitles in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 5.1 surround sound with below average staging 17 Dec 2013
By R. Kreutzer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have over 150 classical DVD/BRs that I watch on a 106" screen and listen through a 7.1 loudspeaker setup where the front speakers are about 9' 6" apart and the surround speakers are on my sides. The room has sound treatments so I hear what's on the disc, not distorting reflections from the walls. My reviews concentrate on the surround audio, as you can pretty much judge the video and stereo for yourself on youtube and similar sites.

Picture is fine, although the stage is often quite dark. More light would have made it better.

Sound is DTS-HD MA 5.1. Sound stage extents about half to the surrounds. Balance between voices, chorus and orchestra is good with the voices coming from the center only. It is a performance with body microphones, so the voices are clear and the overall background noise level is quite low. It's a small theater with about 300 seats. I don't think more than 10 musicians will fit in a row, so the orchestra and chorus are on the small side, but the sound is quite detailed and the chorus is very precise.
Applause recording is on the poor side and you wonder whether the performance was even sold out.
I give it 4 stars overall for the audio, reserving 5 stars for recordings where the voices move with the singers.

Recording is credited to 4 persons including Paolo Berti and the Delirica Recording Studio (Fano), of which I was very critical in the Mose in Egitto performance. This recording shows that they can do a good job.

As far as the performance is concerned, it's the only blu-ray available. There is a DVD from 2007, but I have not heard it.
This performance is rather static and acting is limited to stretched arms and jazz hands with soprano Sassu and not much else with the rest of the principals either. You can do a lot more with the limited space as the Attila performance shows that was also done here.
With the exception of Bulgarian mezzo Pentcheva, you get all Italian singers and for me the voices are serviceable. You can listen to all of them on youtube and judge whether they are good enough for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performance of Verdi's first opera 13 Jan 2013
By Richard Askenase - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
One great thing in this new era of increased dvd releases, is that we are getting videos of operas by major composers that rarely been previously released on video whatsoever. Rossini Demetrio E Polibio [Blu-ray], Wagner Wagner: Rienzi [Blu-ray], Pergolesi Il Flaminio [Blu-ray], Adriano in Siria [Blu-ray], Vivaldi Vivaldi: Orlando furioso, and Verdi are just some of the composers whose rare works are finding their way to dvd's. (And I'm expecting new Meyerbeer and Paisiello releases later this year as well.) And that is just great! (We really don't need more "Traviatas", "Toscas" or "Nozzes di Figaro" do we?)

Well, this is only the second "Oberto" ever released on video, and it is great to have it. (Interestingly enough, the other release of Verdi - Oberto was also made the same year as this performance 2007.) This dvd is part of the "Tutti Verdi" series of releases of his entire operatic output presented by Teatro Regio of Parma as performed over the last few years. My particular interest is in the rarities like this.

"Oberto" is Giuseppe Verdi's first composed opera. It was written and re-written over a period of 4+ years before finally being debuted in 1839 in La Scala!! This is really amazing. Verdi was a totally unknown young composer, working as head of music in the small village of Busetto and yet he is able to take this unfinished work to Bartolomeo Morelli, head impresario at La Scala (even then one of the operatic jewels in Europe) and present it. Truly unheard of in those days. The opera was reasonably successful (14 performance there that year, 17 the next, and it traveled to a few cities like Genoa over the next few years). Morelli signed him to produce more operas for La Scala, and it wasn't all that much later when he had his first BIG success with "Nabucco" at La Scala again Nabucco [Blu-ray]. Then he was off and running.

But "Oberto" disappeared. Over more than 170 years, it has been rarely performed and not easy to find on CD either. So, again, having it presented on blue-ray dvd as part of the Verdi bi-centennial celebration is very welcome.

The opera itself is a melodramatic story of betrayal, honor, and duel to the death (off-stage). Before the opera opened, Leonora had fallen in love with and been seduced by Riccardo (who falsified his true identity), who then abandoned her for Cunizia, in order to get access to her brother's throne. Oberto, Leonora's father, swears to avenge his daughter's honor. As the opera opens they both come to Cunizia's castle (where she is to be wed to Riccardo) to confront Riccardo and inform Cunizia's of her intended's previous lechery and treachery. In a development only possible in romantic era opera, Cunizia disavows Riccardo and promises to bring Riccardo and Leonora back together- and Leonora accepts Riccardo back as her true love!! (I remind everyone that this is classic romantic era melodrama, only without the mad scene this time.) But her father Oberto is not satisfied and challenges Riccardo to a duel which Oberto loses and dies, Leonora cannot live with the loss of her father and vows to join a convent (another romantic era convention) as the curtain falls.

The music of the opera itself is clearly influenced by Rossini (whose wasn't at that time) and Donizetti, who Verdi always greatly admired. There are several outstanding musical pieces in the work. My personal favorite was Riccardo's aria after he has killed Oberto in Act 2. Like many other later other Verdi arias, it starts as a minor key lament and moves into a major key quasi-religious emotional appeal. Gorgeous. (He did this in "Forza del Destino, for example.) The entire ending of the opera is quite emotional.

Overall, the performance and the staging were quite effective. All sang well, especially Parodi as Oberto, and the orchestra and conductor were right on top of the score. Also, this was performed and filmed in the very small Verdi theater in Busetto (seating capacity of about 300) making for a tight, intense performance. (You can't put on "Aida" on that stage.) As others have mentioned, the video and audio are superb, as are the subtitles (a pet issue of mine).

[One final note for those who are interested in this type of thing. This production appears to be a re-staging of a prior performance in Macerata in 2001. I am a collector of bootleg opera videos (in the case of the Macerata performance, there was an Italian TV broadcast). In that performance which was also staged by Pier'Alli, the same costumes were used, as well as Fabio Sartori appearing as Riccardo. The set was not identical, though similar, and the stage directions were also pretty similar. Just a point of interest.]
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