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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful!, 1 Aug 2005
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] (DVD)
This Glyndebourne production of 'Gianni Schicchi' is a success of the highest kind. Sets, costumes, especially the almost choreographed stage action, the marvelous playing of the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski (a conductor I am growing to admire more and more) and particularly the marvelous singing actors portraying all ten major characters in this Falstaff-inspired ensemble opera are all simply wonderful. The big numbers - Rinuccio's 'Firenze è come un albero fiorito' sung by tenor Marcello Giordano and Lauretta's 'O mio babbino caro' sung by soprano Sally Matthews - are woven into the fabric of the action rather than being staged as numbers per se. And they are sung beautifully. But most important is the fabulous ensemble work that includes such Glyndebourne stalwarts as Felicity Palmer and Marie McLaughlin as Zita and La Ciesca, and the other singers are just as good.
This production was given just a year ago - in July 2004 - and was part of an oddly appropriate double bill. The other opera, Rachmaninov's 'The Miserly Knight' (sometimes called 'The Covetous Knight') was not only composed in roughly the same time period (early 20th century) but has greed as a common theme. I will be reviewing the just-released DVD of that release a shortly. But if it's anything like this production it will be a winner.
This is easily the best overall production of 'Gianni Schicchi' I've ever seen and I recommend it enthusiastically.
TT=74 minutes; includes extras: interviews with stage director Annabel Arden, conductor Jurowski, baritone Alessandro Corbelli (the wonderful Schicchi); a narrated and illustrated synopsis; a gallery of pictures of the cast. Sound: Stereo or DTS surround sound (and the sound is quite good). Subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.
Scott Morrison
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must-have, 24 May 2008
This review is from: Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] (DVD)
This is a wonderful production of Puccini's mini masterpiece. Annabel Arden has done a marvelous job of drawing out the dark side of humanity, which keeps the piece from veering into caricature and slapstick; yet humor is still here in abundance. Vladimir Jurowski leads the London Philharmonic in a brilliant reading of Puccini's motif-packed score.

In the title role, Alessandro Corbelli once again shows us why he is one of today's most sought-after singing artists. His expressive face, a marvel of muscular mobility, mirrors every fleeting thought and emotion, and every gesture is telling; yet one never feels that any of this is contrived, but only a natural consequence of Corbelli's total identification with his character. He uses his considerable vocal resources intelligently and respectfully, always in service of the music and dramatic situation, and never for the sake of pure vocalism. Corbelli is a Schicchi for the ages.

The supporting cast are all top drawer. One could not wish for a better Zita than Felicity Palmer; Sally Matthews and Massimo Giordano (not to be confused with Marcello Giordani, another fine tenor) are touching and ardent-voiced as the young lovers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fine on its own but get the Blu-ray version for the whole double bill., 21 Nov 2011
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] (DVD)
This short opera by Puccini was originally intended to be performed as the final part of a trilogy known as Il Tritico. The first of the three, called The Cloak, concerns a murder and is set on a barge and is both powerful and reasonably frequently performed. The middle opera is set in a convent and is the least popular. For these reasons it is not unusual for the trilogy to be split up and for the outer two operas to be differently paired for an evening's production. (See below for the Blu-ray version which contains the whole double bill presentation from Glyndebourne).

Gianni Schicchi is produced in a totally traditional setting of fastidious historical accuracy and complexity. The drama is provided by the interactions between the characters and the situation rather than through changes of scene as there is just one scene throughout. The cast are perfectly matched and are all outstanding in both their singing abilities and their acting abilities. This priceless combination makes this by far the most effective and enjoyable production that I have ever seen of this opera.

One must mention a few particularly outstanding roles however. Alessandro Corbelli in the title role matchlessly demonstrates his wonderful sense of comic timing throughout. In this he is matched by Felicity Palmer as the grasping socialite, Zita. Her nephew, passionately wishing to marry Schicchi's daughter and equally believing in Schicchi's abilities to solve the problem of the disinheritance, is sung with equal passion by Massimo Giordano. He is well matched by the sincere simplicity of Sally Matthews as Schicchi's daughter who gains special applause for her touching rendition of `O mio babbino caro'.

This is a dream team and a dream production. The camera work is beyond reproach as is the sound, presented in PCM 5.1 and stereo. This is clearly essentially a 5 star presentation and was loved by the Glyndebourne audience. However the Blu-ray version is much better value as it contains the whole Glyndebourne double bill and which includes Rachmaninov's rare but impressive 'Miserly Knight' in an equally fine production so this short value disc must go down to 4 stars for that sole reason.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!, 5 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] (DVD)
Gianni Schicchi is the third and final part of Il trittico, Puccini's trilogy of one-act operas. It is a masterpiece of Italian comedy.
The performance on the new DVD is sheer delight from every point of view. It was filmed live at the Glyndebourne Opera House in 2004. The director Annabel Arden adapted the plot from the Middle Ages to somewhere in the 19th centaury. Sets and costumed are beautiful, and Arden is doing an inspired job, full of surprises.
Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra with excellent results. Puccini brilliant orchestration is heard with great transparency due to the excellence of the recorded sound (True Surround Sound).
The singers are all excellent. The extremely funny Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role; Massimo Giordano and Sally Matthews are the young lovers with fresh voices. Felicity Palmer, Marie McLaughlin and Luigi Roni are some of the relatives.
Opus Arte should get a very high mark for the technical quality and presentation. Picture is crystal clear and the sound is warm and brilliant. Highly recommended!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Opera, 15 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] (DVD)
Here is a good evening's viewing by a very professional cast. Lovely music including 'O mio babbino caro'. Interesting story with an unexpected outcome. The music is just very special and quite different from anything else of the era, really lovely.

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Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010]
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD] [2004] [2010] by Alessandro Corbelli (DVD - 2005)
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