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Satish Kamath (India)
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Il barbiere di Siviglia [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Il barbiere di Siviglia [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Dmitry Korchak
Price: Ł28.34

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes, even perfection is slightly unappealing, 20 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this blu ray disc primarily for two reasons. One, this is a Parma production which means that it is quality assured in performance and singing... The other being that on a blu ray, I wanted to see a pretty and competent Rosina who does not make grotesque faces while singing (unlike the other blu ray disc with Maria Bayo and Florez that I bought and reviewed first).

I was totally satisfied on both counts.

Now, this is an opera that has been produced for the video umpteen number of times and I have umpteen videos of. Although it is exceedingly well sung, beautifully conducted by Andrea Battistoni (a young guy who I am sure we will hear more of) and almost perfect in most other respects of live performance, I found that as a whole, the sets, although innovative, lacked the presence to really excite or impress. The stage direction could have been a little racier and lend more life to the Opera. Here it is just perfect singing, performance and entries....with little else to recommend it as a visual treat, especially when one compares it with other older productions, too many to name.

After all, Opera is also a visual experience, and lack of the above attributes has made it overall, rather lacking in the total satisfaction of watching a Rossini Opera in spite of many things going great guns for it.


Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur [Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Angela Gheorghiu
Price: Ł15.72

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the New Listener/Viewer to this Opera, 20 Nov 2012
Being the 14th reviewer to date of this production, I don't wish to repeat the views and reviews of the others, many of whom I respect a lot. Secondly, this is MY first complete hearing of this Opera, which I think makes me incompetent to review the production except for the obvious pluses, ie, the sets, costumes, stagecraft and the sound. Even these have been dealt with very competently by others here.

SO WHAT IS NEW THAT CAN BE BROUGHT FORTH ABOUT THIS?

I have been watching operas on the video since 1982, being very fond and familiar with arias from most of the top 100 operas till then. Somehow, I always avoided this particular Opera by Cilea for the simple reason that the world was not going ga-ga over Adriana the way they were patronizing more than a 100 others ranging from operas of Mozart to Rossini to Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Wagner with a few baroque composers thrown in between.
Somehow, the media hype of those days for the new medium of video always concentrated on these 'frequently performed on stage' operas. In spite of being familiar with an aria from Adriana, I was almost sure that Cilea was at the most a second rate Verdi or a wannabe Puccini.

HOW PLEASANTLY WRONG I WAS...

Even at the first viewing/hearing of this Opera, I was struck by the uniqueness of Cilea's music and approach to the whole work. He is second-rate nobody. He is first rate Cilea and the joy of discovering this work has still not rubbed off. To make matters better, this is one of the cheaper blu rays available, thankfully, one of the reasons I thought I would give it a try.

I think a reader of this who is new to this work should take my cue and watch. Cheers...


Mozart: Don Giovanni (Sydney Opera House) (Teddy Tahu Rhodes/ Conal Coad/ Rachel Durkin/ Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Göran Järvefelt/ Mark Wigglesworth) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56024BD) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free] [2009]
Mozart: Don Giovanni (Sydney Opera House) (Teddy Tahu Rhodes/ Conal Coad/ Rachel Durkin/ Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Göran Järvefelt/ Mark Wigglesworth) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56024BD) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free] [2009]
Dvd ~ Teddy Tahu Rhodes
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: Ł28.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just short of Outstanding...., 12 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This production of Don Giovanni has a lot, a heck of a lot going for it. Some reviewers have called it the BEST Don Giovanni Ever... I cant really agree with that. One cannot make such a sweeping verdict by the glitter and the performance of just main character in this production, Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
There are some things going against this production, but they are masked by the outstanding acting and singing of Rhodes. Here is what I have to say about the production as a whole.

1. Among the blu ray editions of Don Giovanni, this is certainly the most buy-able for me, for, they have not tried to screw around with forwarding the time by 100 or 200 years, sets with abstract shapes, crazy colours, sleazy attires and costumes, or try to make it into a trashy modern minimalistic (sic!) production. Thank You Opera Australia....

2. Now, having stated the above, the sets in this production are same throughout the Opera. Just too static. I am sure Opera Australia have enough backdrops and different schemes of lighting to make changes AT LEAST between the Acts if not the scenes. Just for example, see the 2000 MET production of the same with Terfl/Flemming and Levine conducting. They have not spent oodles of cash on backdrops that change from scene to scene, yet make the same structure look so different in each scene.
Between the Acts, the viewer has to adjust his mind to the fact that the same static set is a street, a graveyard and inside the Don's residence with the same broken window through which the Don sailed out and broke at the end of the first set. Nothing impressive about two pillars coming down around the Don in his last scene. I have no idea why they described it some kind of a spectacle in the bonus part of the disc.
Not very commendable.

3. About the conducting, tempo and the post production is concerned, this is just quite OK. Nothing brilliant, but nothing to complain about either. The sound is not half as good as the Levine 2000 MET production I referred to above.. not enough punch in this one. Only when you hear these side by side would you see the stark difference in the audio. Not a great balance between the voices and the orchestra, and indeed sometimes the voices too... I may also add that some parts of the Overture are actually a bit muddy to hear. They come back quite strongly in that department almost immediately though.... I cannot agree with some of his tempi - example - just listen to Zerlina's star aria, Batti Batti o bel Masestto - I think this is hurried through and hardly sounds like an imploring Zerlina.. small little pauses that heighten some moments are just erased..

These three points have made me reduce a star from an otherwise 5 star production.

4. Singing:
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Don) is unquestionably the star of this production. The BEST Don that I have SEEN. He acts wonderfully well as well as sings with the quality of a voice that I have not ever heard in a recording. The authority and all the dynamics are all there. BUT, even though I know very very little Italian, not even enough to save my life, but with 8 DVDs of this work firmly entrenched in my brain, I could easily make out that his accent, enunciation as well as pronunciation leave a lot to be desired. At times I thought he was singing in some dialect of Italian unknown to me... Please observe closely, and it will strike you hard.
I hope I get to hear him sing Scarpia (Tosca) sometime, and by then I hope he would have repaired these imperfections, otherwise.... he will never make it as big as he really really deserves to. At the moment, I would prefer Keenlyside or Terfl.

Leporello - Conal Coad is superb in his acting and singing, excellently cast, although it should have been a very very dark street for Donna Elivra to have mistook him for the Don.

Henry Choo as Octavio sings his parts absolutely wonderfully and here we have a really good lyric tenor for the part.
Commandatore impressed too, Daniel Sumegi's voice and diction, his stage presence do wonders for this role.
Andrew Jones as Masetto is at the most, 'Adequate'. I found a slightly subdued character for that role in him.

Now about the three ladies,
Rachelle Durkin is a fine Donna Anna and does her coloratura parts brilliantly. Both she and Jacqueline Dark as Donna Elvira can hold their own in any Opera production of this work anywhere in the world. We have a very sunny sounding Zerlina (Taryn Fiebig) as well, but she can do a little better in the clarity of the words, which sometimes get a little lost within her singing.

Some inadequacies I have pointed out make this production really short of outstanding, and I will not count it among the 'Greats'. But like I said, in all the blu ray productions so far produced, this is the best.


Tchaikovsky - the Sleeping Beauty [Ovsyanikov] [DVD] [2007] [2010]
Tchaikovsky - the Sleeping Beauty [Ovsyanikov] [DVD] [2007] [2010]
Dvd ~ Alina Cojocaru
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: Ł18.17

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Best, 8 Nov 2012
I bought this blu ray quite some time ago. It dazzled me then... didnt think of writing a review because I then thought I would be one of the 20 or more reviewers giving the same comments. Another reviewer here, I Giles, had already written a very fine review that echoes my views totally. At that time, I foolishly attributed my admiration for this production just because it was in blu ray and featured 2 wonderful dancers in Cojocaru and Nunez.

I have come back to reviewing this 18 months later only because I bought a recent release of Sleeping Beauty by Bolshoi featuring Zakharova in the lead and Allash as the Lilac fairy. (I have separately reviewed that one).

This production TOWERS over the much vaunted Bolshoi production I have mentioned in almost every single respect. The only plus point in the Bolshoi is perhaps the quality of precision of the corps de ballet...

If I were to choose between the two, I would choose this one.


Delibes: Lakme (Sydney Opera House) (Emma Matthews/ Aldo Di Toro/ Stephen Bennett/ Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Roger Hodgman/ Emmanuel Joel-Hornak) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56021BD) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free] [2013]
Delibes: Lakme (Sydney Opera House) (Emma Matthews/ Aldo Di Toro/ Stephen Bennett/ Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/ Roger Hodgman/ Emmanuel Joel-Hornak) (Opera Australia: OPOZ56021BD) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free] [2013]
Dvd ~ Emma Matthews
Price: Ł29.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect...., 6 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An opera lover would be missing something really wonderful if he missed out on this long long long awaited production, especially in the blu ray format. BUY IT and forget the little flaws I have pointed out in this review.

The other video recording I have of this is the celebrated and venerated old one that has Joan Sutherland. Comparisons between the two would not be fair, as both are separated by decades that have seen changing styles, values and other attributes that have gone on to staging an opera as beautiful as this. That having said, Joan Sutherland would never have been able to pull off acting and stage presence at least in this opera, as Emma Mathews has in this one. Emma is truly the star of this production, and her handling of both singing and acting really touched me to the core.

I can definitely deem Stephen Bennet (Nilakanta) as the 'other' star in this production. Dominica Mathews as Mallika impressed. I cant say I was too impressed with Aldo Di Torro. His acting is just a notch above lousy and his singing, although sweet and flawless;this production could have done with a more powerful tenor. Torro I think is an excellent tenor of the second tier. The rest are quite OK, but nothing to rave about. Hadji looks and acts like a kid younger than Lakme.... a little thought to the makeup could have made him more acceptable.

The video and sound are as good as they can be and made this production absolutely enjoyable. Kudos to the Post production team.

The lavishness of the sets and the stage direction were just superb. This production had everything... ALMOST everything to deserve a well earned 5 stars rating...

Why 'Almost' perfect rather than absolutely perfect? A few flaws I would point out that did disappoint me.

1.WHY NO BALLET?
Delibes was primarily a composer who strode the ballet theater as a titan of his times. The ballet music he wrote for this Opera is one of the finest even by his lofty standards. Can you imagine an opera of Tchaikovsky with ballet music in it, being performed without it? To maintain the 'intensity' of the drama, some directors dropped the ballet altogether from Gounod's Faust, and they have not done too well either. Especially when Opera Australia has one of the finest in-house ballet theaters in the world, to omit that from a production of this scale is unpardonable. Inclusion would only have heightened the intensity and enjoyment and not distracted one bit.

This is the ONLY reason for my deducting one star from the maximum. The point No.2 is just personal, and for a worldwide audience, does not really matter, but all the same, I have to point it out.

2. I am an Indian, and for an Indian, Lakme as an opera is just as important as Turandot is to a Chinese and Madama Butterfly to a Japanese. Oodles of productions of the other two have given a very thorough eye to detail that only people of those countries could appreciate, although it is irrelevant to a worldwide audience. (Why does Rolls Royce have 18 coats of Paint? Well.. that is what makes the Rolls a Rolls)

Just look at the beautifully done curtain for this production. The costumes in those curtains are actually the true representation of the ordinary Indian folk of the 19th century. The costumes used here throughout, be they peasants, merchants or the rich folk are all of the same opulent styles that only the rich used to wear, that too at private functions, and not at the market place and definitely not at Temple festivals. Bollywood influence of the worst type.

Just as an analogy, would you tolerate a production of either a play or an opera, for example 'My fair lady' wherein the whole population downtown, flower sellers, hawkers etc wear clothes as if they were at the Ascot races? Variety and mixture of the costumes would have done wonders for the reputation of the costume designer. Same goes with men too, all looking as though they just came out of the court of Akbar the Great. Look at most other opulent productions of Operas. Peasants look like peasants and Royalty as Royalty. The mix does more than just being apt.

Nilakanta, the police and the British officers are the only ones who have an appropriate costume. A daughter of a beggar who is a singer (Lakme in Act II) would never have donned such a bejeweled sophisticated costume to wear, especially as a street singer.

3.Some basic research on a Hindu altar, even visiting a local temple would have made it amply clear, that no where in India, especially in the house of a Brahman would one light candles (except for light during a power failure)... only oil lamps are lit. Especially in the 19th century, (even today to an extent), it was blasphemous to light candles at a Hindu altar, as candles came with the Christian Church and symbolized the difference of faiths and traditions .. Very basic but true. Act III of the production falters on this one.

These little flaws do not take anything away from the production.... but I think someone had to point it out.


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]
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]
Dvd ~ Nucci
Price: Ł28.56

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Tribute to Verdi, 31 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
IN A NUTSHELL :- Great Performance, Excellent playing and singing and excellent video and audio production. BUY, YES, BUY.... One star less for what I deem as a flaw explained at the end.

One of my favorite Verdi Operas and I own many dvds of the same. It is a real pleasure watching this on Blu ray. The picture clarity and the sound are worthy of the medium. Very laudable, in fact.

It is really no wonder that Nabucco is performed as often as it is in world opera theaters and there are innumerable recordings of this work on dvd. Each Nabucco production tries to project a different aspect of the work,be it staging, drama, sets or costumes. To bring out something spectacular besides what others have done requires a lot of thinking, a lot of work. This particular production is by those standards, quite straightforward, devoid of outlandish sets or skewed direction. It can be classified as a 'routine great performance' of this work with one or two blemishes. I will not compare it with ever so many others that are quite as good as well.

Let me review this production cast-wise and a little otherwise:

Leo Nucci - This is the third production with Nucci as Nabucco that I own, the other two being with the Vienna State Opera and Arena di Verona. Nucci has yet to get over his Rigoletto afflictions (facial contortions) insofar as 'acting' the role, but his singing - SUPERB... the best of the three. He IS the star of the show by a mile.

Dimitra Theodossiou as Abigaille - If Nucci was my star of the show, Theodossiou stole the hearts of the very critical viewers of Parma. Although I personally feel that her lows are her low points and the top highs need a little more rounding off, she comes through in this production a wonderfully watchable as well as very a accomplished singer for the role. She holds her own.

Ricardo Zanelatto as Zaccaria was a pleasant surprise. Excellent and powerful voice and again, I think this is perfect casting.

Bruno Ribeiro as Ismaele - This guy according to me, is an out and out lyrical singer. Here, he comes through more as a Wimp rather than Royalty. His voice, though very 'beautiful', is not compatible for this particular role. I have not seen his other appearances on stage, but my bet is that he will have to work hard to be classified as a dramatic singer or for a powerful role in any other Verdi opera.

Anna Maria Chiuri as Fenena - Excellent for the role, both dramatically as well as otherwise..

Chorus and Orchestra = TOP CLASS , period....

CONS:
E TU PARMA?
Although thankfully we dont see machine guns on stage, the costumes look totally incompatible - with each other. They are a bunch of confused styles, with the top soloists turning out in what can perhaps be passed off as 'period' costumes of those times, highly decorated and bejeweled etc., but the others on stage, the chorus has costumes like a bunch of modern day Jews coming out of a Synagogue after prayer, all suited with what looks like patent leather shoes, and the Babylonians like wise, sporting Armani... A pair of spectacles here and three girls dressed up like vanilla pastry with stilettos there. Just What are these guys trying to portray?
Everything else being perfect, even the settings, though minimal, but effective, the costumes kind of take away the ambiance of the whole production without achieving anything even symbolical.

ONE STAR LESS FOR JUST THE ABOVE IRRITANT.


The Sleeping Beauty - The Bolshoi Ballet [Blu-ray][Region Free] [2012]
The Sleeping Beauty - The Bolshoi Ballet [Blu-ray][Region Free] [2012]
Dvd ~ Tchaikovsky
Price: Ł30.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit 'under'whelmed..., 27 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have tended to agree almost always with Mr.I Giles' reviews here, but this is one that I have my own points to put forward.

Bolshoi along with Mariyinski and Paris have an Aura about them. Anything less than meticulously perfect, and I do feel a bit disappointed.
Not that this production is disappointing, but I feel that in some places, they could have done much better than what Mr.Giles and another reviewer who wrote this before me have had to say.

HUGE PLUS POINTS:
The Corps de Ballet is about the best that I have ever seen. Their precision, their movements and just about everything else is just great. This comes through especially in the second act. Just hear the footfall... Thuds in absolute unison that it almost appears as though it emanates from the orchestra pit, and mind you, those thuds are not soft.

The video does full justice to the blu ray medium. It is far clearer and crisper than the 'other' Sleeping Beauty in this medium, ie, the Royal Ballet version.
The sound is wonderfully recorded, again, crisp with the post production editing deserving a lot of praise. The orchestra is simply WONDERFUL, and unlike Mr.Giles, I dont think the conductor had to do much. No surprises there.

This production thankfully incorporates the Farandole in the Act II as well as the Cinderella Dance in Act III along with one or two other pieces, left out by many companies like the Royal Ballet as well as Paris.

EVEN STEVENS:
I do really think Grigorovich is a great choreographer.. Just sample his 'Spartacus'. In this production, he is brilliant in parts, but very ordinary in some places. In the prologue, he crowds the stage, and the fairies are sort of 'lost' among the others. If you notice carefully, the audience applauded very few times and that too, mildly. See any other Russian production and the applause of the audience and involvement from the beginning and you will understand what I mean. The individual dances of the fairies is altered a bit and do not have the same kind of brilliance in the older versions by the Bolshoi. See these fairies in the 1983 Kirov production with Kolpakova or even earlier ones,or the earlier Bolshoi productions and you will know what I mean. But the especially ACT II and thereon, the choreography is breathtakingly wonderful.

About the Sets: Absolutely glittering. BUT With all the sets and backdrops at their disposal, did they have to repeat the backdrop of the Palace, opulent in the prologue, but shown again in the Act II covered with the woods and slightly worn out? Could just a forest backdrop have been sufficient? The Prince's entourage dance right in front of it... then how does the part of the lilac fairy's magical trip on a boat get justified? I think this is a directorial glitch of sorts. All the same, the sets are brilliant otherwise.

SOLOISTS:
Zakharova has been in the limelight for over a decade now. No doubt, she is a GREAT dancer. Her dancing is brilliant throughout, but I think her success has gone to her head - just a bit. In this production, she is dancing Zakharova and not Princess Aurora.... I honestly wish that (just wishful thinking) that Kaptsova (dances Princess Florine - blu jay here) was in the lead... definitely has to grow up a bit to be Zakharova, but her facial expressions and body language are more apt for the role of a vulnerable innocent princess Aurora, 16 years old.. Zakharova could also have avoided the wooden pasted smile with few variations, throughout the ballet.

Maria Allash, although an excellent dancer, does not have the acting abilities to match Mariella Nunez in the Royal Ballet production. Allash with her cold wooden expression throughout could shine as Myrtha in Giselle or roles such as those, but not the benevolent and crafty Lilac Fairy. The King... give me a Gary Avis or anyone out of the Royal Ballet anytime.. such limp acting...

Thumbs up to the Prince whatshisname David Hallberg is quite good. I wonder why the Ballet Production Fraternity cannot zero in on a name for the Prince... In the Royal Ballet he is Prince Florimund, here and in the older Kirov and Paris productions he is Prince Desire, and Prince Charming elsewhere.. LOL.

The other soloists, especially Kaptsova and others are just fantastic, EXCEPT -

LOW POINTS:
The witch Carabose to me in this production is a failure. She/He looks like the cross between the Gamache of Don Quixote and Widow Simone of Fille mal Gardee. Just look at the witch in the earlier productions of the Bolshoi or Kirov.. or the Royal Ballet where she is just as beautiful to look at as the various fairies... and you will know what I mean. I am sorry, but even her/his movements and dancing are disappointing - may be a directorial inadequacy... The Ghouls who accompany her too, are a disappointment, both costume-wise as well as choreography AND execution. They look a bit human instead of ghoulish creatures in spite of their tails and stuff...

With all these points, I still think this is one of the BEST Sleeping Beauty Ballets ever produced for the visual media. Between blu ray productions, Cojocaru pulls it off wonderfully for the Royal Ballet... between the two, although this is danced far far better, the sheer appeal of the former as a wholesome experience in the emotive aspects is more than well matched by the sheer brilliance in dance and recording of this one...

BUY IT
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2013 10:14 AM GMT


Verdi: Falstaff (Zurich Opera House) (C Major: 711204) (Amrogio Maestri/ Barbara Frittoli/ Orchester der Oper Zürich/ Daniele Gatti/ Sven-Eric Bechtolf) [Blu-ray] [2011] [2012]
Verdi: Falstaff (Zurich Opera House) (C Major: 711204) (Amrogio Maestri/ Barbara Frittoli/ Orchester der Oper Zürich/ Daniele Gatti/ Sven-Eric Bechtolf) [Blu-ray] [2011] [2012]
Dvd ~ Amrogio Maestri
Price: Ł29.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Great, 26 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What makes this production very watchable (and of course, buy-able) is the sheer quality of the video and audio. Had this not come out as a BD but as a DVD without the HD quality, I dont think it would have stood a chance next to the Met Opera production with Levine and Paul Plishka, von Karajan's production with Giuseppe Taddei or the one with Bryn Terfel ROH production. My favourite is still the Levine with the Met.

Having said that, I could not find fault with the singing - each and every character in this production has done a remarkably good job of belting out (sic!) their parts very competently. Especially Eva Liebau, who to me, is a find with a beautiful light voice for her role as Nanetta. The other ladies are just too famous and well known and do their job as they are expected to.

The reason why I prefer those I have noted above has more to do with the staging and the costumes of the characters. Ambrogio Maestri, who sings wonderfully and actually looks the part of Falstaff unfortunately also looks too squeaky clean for a Falstaff - not the character either Shakespeare or Verdi had in mind. The sets do not in the least even try to emulate an English look. It looks as though the whole takes place around a Mediterranean or a Spanish setting. To me, these things play spoil-sport and takes away the ambiance on stage in which to me, is almost as important as the rest of the production. If it is only singing that one is interested in, I think a CD will do.

This is however, the best Falstaff available as yet on BD. I would not even care to watch for free the Glyndebourne production of the same in BD for the above reasons magnified X times, however good the singers are.

My summation? If you know the work well, it is worth buying this one for the sheer tech brilliance with which it has been produced. If this is your first Falstaff, avoid.


Verdi: Rigoletto [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free]
Verdi: Rigoletto [Blu-ray] [2008] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Leo Nucci
Price: Ł29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price I paid, 25 Sep 2012
WARNING AND NOTICE : Before you shell out 28 quid for this, please see the link I am reproducing below
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008O2T3O0/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

The page is different and but the disc, producers and seller are all the same, with 45 trailers incorporated in addition to the Opera... at a much lower price. If this information is not useful enough, read on:

Tell you what... I paid GBP -8.00 odd for this, and for that price, this is a steal. Arthouse has artfully incorporated a huge selection (45 Nos) of trailers in this in addition to the full opera. This was a masterstroke for both Arthouse as well as me, since I have ordered for 3 other discs watching their trailers.

Coming to the performance,

1. It is a 'routine' performance of Rigoletto if I may call it so. Nothing extra brilliant, but at the same time, quite very acceptable in terms of singing, sets as well as the video.

2. I found the sound engineering or post production audio lacking with very imbalanced sound, - the orchestra sometimes not in sync with the singers (I dont know how that could happen), and overpowering the them at times. Nello Santi is a very good conductor, and I somehow think this is something to do with the audio reproduction rather than his conducting.

3. The singing, although top-class, especially those of Gilda (Mosuc) Sparafucile (Polgar) and Rigoletto (Nucci), the whole lacks the passion of many earlier DVD releases of this work. According to me, Baczala, even in spite of his big reputation today and decent singing, does NOT make a great Duke... His voice requires a little more authority for this role. I am sure he is capable, but somehow has not brought it off.

4. What makes the whole attractive, especially this being a blu ray disc is the camera-work and the beautiful settings - economically designed but change well from scene to scene. Very sensible 'minimalism' of sorts.... Changing only the facades and the furniture, they have achieved a lot, even if it means that the Il Duca di Mantova's mansion seems slightly spartan...

Verdict: - I did not buy it when it was priced at GBP 28.00 not worth it for that price, but for GBP 8.00 if it is still available, GRAB IT...
For that price, it is worth it for both the performance and the trailers...


Verdi: Rigoletto (Zurich Opera 2006) (Leo Nucci/ Elena Mouc/ Piotr Beczala/ László Polgár/ Gilbert Deflo/ Nello Santi) (Arthaus: 108057) [Blu-ray] [2012]
Verdi: Rigoletto (Zurich Opera 2006) (Leo Nucci/ Elena Mouc/ Piotr Beczala/ László Polgár/ Gilbert Deflo/ Nello Santi) (Arthaus: 108057) [Blu-ray] [2012]
Dvd ~ Leo Nucci
Price: Ł7.83

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the price paid, 25 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This same disc is available for GBP 28.00 STILL. Most of the reviews are posted there. Some have raved about this and others have ranted.

Tell you what... I paid GBP 8.00 odd for this, and for that price, this is a steal. Arthouse has artfully incorporated a huge selection of trailers in this in addition to the full opera. This was a masterstroke for both Arthouse as well as me, since I have ordered for 3 other discs watching their trailers.

Coming to the performance,

1. It is a 'routine' performance of Rigoletto if I may call it so. Nothing brilliant, but at the same time, quite very acceptable in terms of singing, sets as well as the video.

2. I found the sound engineers lacking with very imbalanced sound, with the orchestra sometimes not in sync with the singers (I dont know how that could happen), and overpowering the singers at times. Nello Santi is a good conductor, and I somehow think this is something to do with the recording rather than his conducting.

3. The singing, although top-class, especially those of Gilda (Mosuc) Sparafucile (Polgar) and Rigoletto (Nucci), the whole lacks the passion of many earlier DVD releases of this work. According to me, Baczala, even in spite of his big reputation today and decent singing, does NOT make a great Duke... His voice requires a little more authority in the role. I am sure he is capable, but somehow has not brought it off.

4. What makes the whole attractive, especially this being a blu ray disc is the camera-work and the beautiful settings - economically designed but change well from scene to scene. Very sensible 'minimalism' of sorts.... Changing only the facades and the furniture, they have achieved a lot, even if it means that the Il Duca di Mantova's mansion seems slightly spartan...

Verdict: - I did not buy it when it was priced at GBP 28.00 not worth it for that price, but for GBP 8.00 if it is still available, GRAB IT... Its worth it for both the performance and the trailers...


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