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on 23 December 2011
I bought this without knowing the story or the music because I have a strong liking for June Anderson, not to say a strong liking for Rossini.
I could not have made a better choice, June Andersons voice is really put to the test as The Queen, and is not found wanting. As an added bonus Samuel Ramey is singing here at the height of his power. Marylin Hornes Mezzo is powerful as the young pretender, and Stanford Olsen is a bright and listenable tenor. I should also like to hear more of Youngok Shin, but at present I cannot find her on DVD.
The chorus and orchestra are excellent as one would expect from The Met.
Sets are interesting and appropriate, with smooth changes. The costumes vary from beautiful for the ladies to impressive for the men.
The music is, apart from a couple of pieces, unfamiliar to me, but is typical Rossini, very listenable, well interpreted, but not perhaps one where one starts hummimg an aria afterwards. More dramatic say!
The extensive booklet tells one all one needs to know about the plot, the arias and the timings. There are articles on Rossini, The Production, and the leading performers.
I thoroughly recommend this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2011
This is the best of my very large collection of DVD operas. It is rare to find so many stars in one production, a fantastically lavish and effective period set and a great work to round it off. Buy this if you like opera - and buy it if you don't, as a test (if you don't like this, you probably won't like opera at all.)
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Fantastic singing by all the major singers: Anderson, Horne, Ramsey, Olsen. Anderson is the equal of Sutherland in this role in this performance. Horne made the part of Arsarce famous and this performance tells you why. The blend of Anderson and Horne's voices is fantastic, as good as that with Sutherland. Ramsey is fantastic: a lyrical and dramatic bass and Olsen is an extremely agile tenor. The costumes are some of the most beautiful opera costumes I have ever seen and I worked in the costume department at the Met with Zefferelli and Peter Hall back when. The sets are very elegant and restrained and really set the mood of Assyria. A truly lavish production without a dull moment in more than 3 hours. A Rossini masterpiece along with Il Barbiere, Armide, Tancredi, William Tell, and many others. A jewel to be enjoyed for a lifetime. For the reference CD recording see Sutherlan/Horne Decca:Rossini: Semiramide
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2008
Semiramide is a long opera,but full of virtuoso singing from beginning to end,cadenzas,fioriture,coloratura,its full of them,put this disc on and be amazed at what the human voice can do.The sets are fantastic,the orchestra and conductor a dream,BUY IT.
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on 28 November 2013
This Semiramide has three voices to die for. June Anderson was at the top of her game when this was recorded; she had a gorgeous voice with a belcanto technique to match. Samuel Ramey was that rare breed, a true lyric bass with the necessary technique to handle the huge vocal demands of Rossini. The tenor, Stanford Olsen, had a phenomenal range and sails into the high c's and d's with consummate ease. I heartily recommend this version of Semiramide to anyone who cares about Rossini's operatic music being sung by singers who can truly rise to the outrageous vocal demands. This is the version for you!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2002
This opera is is probably the peak of coloratura singing which means almost no singers can perform it. The marathon arias are completely crazy in their long phrases and very short breathing gaps. But the cast is incredible. Marilyn Horne, June Anderson and last but not least Stanford Olsen are world champions in this type of singing. I adore them.
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on 1 January 2013
This is a well produced opera, a bit dated and lacking consistency in its music. Only buy, at quite an expensive price, if you really need it.
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on 25 July 2015
I would recommend this disc to opera lovers for its quality of singing, staging and acting.
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on 29 July 2014
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Rossini:Semiramide [Various] [DYNAMIC: DVD] [2015]
Rossini:Semiramide [Various] [DYNAMIC: DVD] [2015] by PAPATANASIU MYRTO (soprano) (DVD - 2015)

Rossini: Armida [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
Rossini: Armida [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] by Renée Fleming (DVD - 2011)


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