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MW (UK)

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Rossini: La Donna del Lago (DVD) [2015]
Rossini: La Donna del Lago (DVD) [2015]
Dvd ~ FLOREZ JUAN DIEGO (tenore)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £22.37

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing . . ., 31 Dec. 2015
I saw the live broadcast of this. I had expected better from the Met. I generally like DiDonato but neither her singing nor her acting were good enough here. I can't think now how best to describe what I found problematic with her singing but I didn't like the quality of her voice when she sang the coloratura; it was almost like she was choking or swallowing or something - the sound was not very open, at any rate. The direction was poor too. Too much hand-wringing from DiDonato and almost no communication between the characters: they hardly even glanced at each other when they were supposed to be singing to each other (e.g. early scene between daughter and father). Florez 'switched off' every time he had a 'showy' bit to do: suddenly no meaning/emotion, like shutters had come down on his soul, so to speak - and his voice became pinched and bleaty. Osborn shouted his way through as usual; I keep hoping he will see that he doesn't have to sing like that. La donna del lago is not one of Rossini's best operas and needs a much better treatment in my opinion.


Solid Men's Shirt - Kedron Slim Fit Classic Long Sleeve Casual Shirt, Green (Forest Nig 3799), Collar size: 16 (Manufacturer size: Medium)
Solid Men's Shirt - Kedron Slim Fit Classic Long Sleeve Casual Shirt, Green (Forest Nig 3799), Collar size: 16 (Manufacturer size: Medium)

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great fit and really good looking.


Benson FL12-PT02 Men's T-Shirt
Benson FL12-PT02 Men's T-Shirt
Price: £14.70 - £45.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Sleeves too tight/narrow, 30 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The sleeves are too tight/narrow, which is a shame because it would be a really nice top otherwise.


Men Rolled Up Thumb Hole Textured Button Decor Winter Warmers Beige
Men Rolled Up Thumb Hole Textured Button Decor Winter Warmers Beige

1.0 out of 5 stars Too tight to be comfortable on men's hands., 9 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These should not be described on a UK website as being suitable for men because they are too small, too narrow, to be comfortable. They squeeze the base knuckles and also pull on the thumb a little. I have quite slight/slender hands for a man. They would fit a woman with quite small hands, but might be a little uncomfortable on a woman with average size hands. They are very nice looking. I'm so disappointed they don't fit me!


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF#100 Dry-Touch Lotion 90 ml
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF#100 Dry-Touch Lotion 90 ml
Offered by Buy Zone Direct
Price: £10.39

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Might give you a rash!, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used this occasionally over a period of a few weeks and so I did not realise at first that it was giving me a rash. I assumed it was something else that was doing that. I would put it on my face in the morning and by the evening I would feel like had burned (even though I hadn't - I was in Wales and indoors most of the time). The discomfort would last for about a day. I'm glad I wasn't reapplying throughout the day! I have dark hair and fair skin and tend to stay out of the sun and use high factor sunblocks. I have never had an adverse reaction to a sunblock before.


Handel: Acis and Galatea
Handel: Acis and Galatea
Price: £21.33

5 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OLD MAN ACIS, 22 Oct. 2008
Whilst the other soloists are very fine, the fact is that tenor Nicholas Mulroy sounds old enough to be Galatea's father or grandfather. Very strange.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2015 5:26 PM BST


Handel - Semele / Joshua, Summers, Croft, Pearson, Wallace, Sherratt, EOC, Curnyn
Handel - Semele / Joshua, Summers, Croft, Pearson, Wallace, Sherratt, EOC, Curnyn
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £25.76

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING PERFORMANCE OF A MASTERPIECE, 20 Jan. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me say first that Rosemary Joshua is SUPERB as Semele. However, the supporting cast, with the exceptions of Gail Pearson (as Iris) and possibly Stephen Wallace (as Athamas), are not worthy of her. Brindley Sherrat is quite acceptable as Cadmus, but his delivery is too hard-edged and forceful for the role of Somnus, the god of sleep.

Richard Croft clearly has difficulty with the role of Jupiter - his coloratura is problematic in places and where it is good the quality of his voice suffers. I even noticed pitching problems in at least one place on Where'er you walk; he doesn't sing that aria, or any of the others, with the ease or pleasantness of Anthony Rolfe-Johnson or Paul Agnew. He is not much better on the live recording I own of Minkowski's (which has Annick Massis in the title role). I am not saying he is terrible, but Jupiter really needs to be as good as Semele - and, simply put, here he is not.

I have several recordings of this opera - by conductors Lewis, Somary, Gardiner, Walker, Stern, Nelson (1985 & 1990) and Minkowski. Having a complete recording as opposed to one with cuts is really only a big plus if a sense of the dramatic whole is attained and maintained. I think Minkowski attained it in his complete performance, but Curnyn does not. The may be in due in part to Curnyn's conducting, but I think much of the responsibility lies also with the soloists. Perhaps they might have achieved something better under different circumstances, whatever they were - I don't know. Whatever the reasons, this recording does not work as a dramatic whole the way that it should.

So, to return to the casting, Stephen Wallace's voice is rather on the monotonous side, although at least it is on the pleasant side. But I think that Athamas has one too many arias in any case. A more serious problem on this recording is the casting and performance of Hilary Summers. She is unacceptable as Juno, and barely adequate as Ino (although, in all seriousness, she might make an interesting Athamas). She does not achieve the incisiveness or vigour required for the role Juno. Maybe if someone else had sung Juno, she would have come off better as Ino - but that is quite a big "maybe".

Gardiner's recording, had it been more complete and perhaps in places better-recorded might not nowadays leave us wanting more - and I still return to it because it had such an excellent cast. And, like Stern's and Minkowski's (neither of which are without their problems) uses one singer per role, which is preferable by far to the doubling of roles. The doubling of Cadmus and Somnus is not ideal, but (except perhaps on Walker's recording, where it seems to work) the doubling of Ino and Juno strikes me as a grave mistake.

If you can get it, buy it, listen to it and, if you like it, post a review. There is no denying that the opera-oratorio Semele is a fabulous composition, a great drama - but this performance is incohesive. And if I revise my opinion somewhat, I will regardless be looking out and praying for a new recording: perhaps one by William Christie or, dare I say it, Nikolaus Harnoncourt!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2015 6:12 PM BST


Purcell: King Arthur [DVD] [2005]
Purcell: King Arthur [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Purcell
Price: £34.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Singing in English, dialogue in German, 24 Feb. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'd just to like to point out a glaring error in the previous review. The songs are sung in the original English - only the spoken dialogue is in German. A shame, but no reason to condemn the recording outright. And the staging is fun, another point worth mentioning.


Arias for Mezzo Soprano (Casiraghi)
Arias for Mezzo Soprano (Casiraghi)
Price: £13.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I prefer Florence!, 13 Nov. 2006
Hilarious! But not even half as fun as Florence Foster Jenkins! Believe me, though, her singing is as bad . . .


Train Still Runs
Train Still Runs
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Train Still Runs!, 12 Aug. 2001
This review is from: Train Still Runs (Audio CD)
What a treat! After ten years this new joint album by Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert (the Weaver) had been long awaited! "This Train Still Runs" is a marvellous collection of nineteen songs, all recorded live. The stirring title track, composed by Janis Ian and Jess Leary, fittingly opens this diverse celebration of Ronnie's seventieth year, and one knows straight off that one's in for a fine hour of vocal and lyrical brilliance.
Some of the songs here are just so beautifully sung and so beautifully harmonized . . . the touching "Music In My Mother's House" and the poignant "Home Is Where The Heart Is" - which won't fail to move the listener. The latter was earlier recorded by Holly with Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary and was chosen by Warner Brothers as the single to promote the trio's "Lifelines" album. This song ("Home Is Where the Heart Is"), "Marie", Mimi Farina's "In The Quiet Morning" and Janis Ian's "Through The Years" are perhaps the most moving in the eclectic collection.
Also, as one can expect from this much-loved duo, there are here a number of humorous and, not to mention, catchy songs such as Near's "It's About Time" (it's about love) and Gilbert's "Agitator". And then, of course, Harburg and Laine's "When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love", with its amusing and clever lyric and Holly's and Ronnie's inimitable vocal delivery, will doubtless succeed in bringing a warm glow and comic smile to the listener's face.
The closing medley of "When The Stars Begin To Fall", Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" and Phil Ochs' uplifting "Power And Glory" is quite something: a suitable and subtle questioning of patriotism and what it means, both the good and the bad.
If you're a fan of Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert already you won't need to read any reviews; but if you're new to them, well, you've found something that really will surprise and delight.


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