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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Role Made for Freni
There is another DVD of 'Fedora' starring Mirella Freni and Plácido Domingo and I think it was made within a year or two -- in the mid-1990s -- of this one; that one was at the Met and was conducted by Claudio Abbado. This one is a live performance at La Scala Milan and is conducted by the 82-year-old Gianandrea Gavazzeni, an acknowledged master in this repertoire...
Published on 18 Nov. 2006 by J Scott Morrison

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Will not watch again.....
In Freni and Domingo we have two supreme artists who have chosen to appear on dvd in roles which require much younger singers to perform.I found Freni garbed in unflattering costumes, almost embarrassing to watch and Domingo whist still singing magnificently looked haggard.These shortcomings are burdened by an old fashioned production of an opera which is decidedly short...
Published on 4 Nov. 2012 by Mr. Adrian J. Gardner


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Role Made for Freni, 18 Nov. 2006
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
There is another DVD of 'Fedora' starring Mirella Freni and Plácido Domingo and I think it was made within a year or two -- in the mid-1990s -- of this one; that one was at the Met and was conducted by Claudio Abbado. This one is a live performance at La Scala Milan and is conducted by the 82-year-old Gianandrea Gavazzeni, an acknowledged master in this repertoire. I've not seen the Met DVD and cannot make a direct comparison of the two versions. But I can say that I watched this one with great interest and found myself drawn into the highly melodramatic goings-on of Fedora and her lover Loris Ipanov, which requires a fair suspension of disbelief. Freni plays the haunted Fedora with passion and verisimilitude. It is unfortunate that there is no great soprano aria in the opera, or at least nothing to compare with Loris's 'Amor ti vieta' in Act II. Domingo gets a huge ovation at the end of the aria, enough that the stage action simply can't go on for quite a long time. And for good reason -- it's a spectacular performance.

Still, the show is Freni's. She is very much the passionate verismo heroine and she brings out every nuance of the part. Her voice is in fairly good estate; her high notes are intact, and thrilling, but the low voice has become just a bit thready.

One novelty in this opera is the Chopinesque étude Giordano wrote for the 'nephew of Chopin' to play in Act II. It does indeed sound like Chopin and is played well by Arnold Bosman as 'Boleslao Lazinski'. But in the Met DVD Lazinski is played by Jean-Yves Thibaudet! (I wonder if he wore his trademark red socks?)

The stage decor is beautiful and traditional. The designer, Luisa Spinatelli, clearly had great fun designing three completely different scenes. Act I takes place in a Russian salon, Act II in a Paris salon, and Act II at a mountain-side villa in Switzerland. In each case the scene begins with a back-projection of architectural scenes that tell us the setting (e.g., buildings along the banks of the Neva in St. Petersburg in Act I). Stage direction is also traditional; no Konzept issues here!

Alessandro Corbelli is very good as De Siriex, Adelina Scarabelli a bit less so as Olga. The other minor characters are unexceptionable. Orchestral accompaniment is excellent. (I was particularly struck by the fine horn section, especially in the alpine scene.)

'Fedora' is not a great opera musically, even though Giordano is a talented scene painter, but it is dramatically effective one that deserves reviving from time to time, particularly for a dramatically compelling singing actress of the quality of Mirella Freni.

[At the time of the submission of this review, the headnote here at Amazon.uk indicates this production includes Russian tenor Sergei Larin in the baritone role of de Sirieux. This is in error. The main baritone part is sung by Alessandro Corbelli.]

Scott Morrison
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great performance, 2 Feb. 2006
This is one of the finest Opera productions available on DVD. Fedora may not be an Operatic masterpiece, but this is really a star performance of this work. Mirella Freni is a memorable Fedora singing and acting the role with great emotion in spite of her years. The same is true of Placido Domingo, still in excellent voice but somewhat aged on stage. The rest of the cast ranges from very good to excellent. Roberto Abbado is a very brusque and accurate conductor, keeping very good pace throughout the entire score. The producer Beppe de Tomasi has given us a real visual feast both in terms of colour and dramatic movement, with a true respect for the score, faithful to the story down to the last detail. The sets and the costumes are truly excellent. The image quality is very good and the sound is excellent, as one should expect from a production of the nineties. A pity it is not in wide-screen format, something one would expect from a production of that time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Freni, 3 Nov. 2012
By 
I. Zaneres (west midlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is the only recording of Fedora that I own. It is so good that I would not try another version, I think I would be disappointed. Why? it is all due to Freni, she is in magnificent form and gets better until the emotional climax in act 3, which I find spellbinding.
The opening set is a salon in the palace of Count Vladimir, his betrothed Fedora (Freni) learns of wounding by Count Loris, but by the end of the act he dies. Fedora wants vengeance. There are many other characters in this act, all of whom are extremely strong.
In act 2 we are in Fedoras Paris house, the room is quite delightful. Olga, Fedoras friend sung by Scarabelli features strongly and has a voice equal to Freni. Corbelli as De Siriex is as good in character as he is in voice, one always expects a good performsnce from him. Domingo as Loris is introduced in this act and of course comes up to standard. Once again the supporting voices are very good.
In the intermezzo Freni in anguish is acted with great emotions.
Act 3 finds Fedora in her Bernese Oberland villa, and on the terrace. The views over the lake are brilliant, there are excellent backdrops throughout.
All is bliss between Loris and Fedora, with Olga terminally bored. Things start to go dramatically wrong however, but I wont spoil the ending.
The sound quality is excellent with two output options. The picture quality quite good. I would also like to mention the leading ladies dresses, they are beautiful, and this is a feature that I would not normally notice.
There is a useful booklet, it of course has a cast list. There are Aria titles and timings, also an article which gives background to the opera and an act by act synopsis.
By the way if you are not familiar with Giordano, he is rather romantic and melodic in style, think a bit Massanet with a touch of Puccini.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viva Freni!, 7 Dec. 2004
By 
Carlos Mellinger "Carlos" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a spectacular event. I was present at the Met and it is a good opportunity to enjoy Freni and Domingo still singing well. Not a five stars because of the age of the singers, but no doubt this is an opera with beautiful music, great performers, including Duayne Croft. Sorry for possible mistakes with my English.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Freni fan, 22 Dec. 2013
By 
J. Hansen "roma95" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Of the two performances that were videoed with Freni and Domingo, I prefer this one to the Metropolitan production. Freni is better vocally in the La Scala performance and overall, Domingo looks and sounds better also. Just a small criticism of the recording however, I didn't care for the camera shot of Gavazenni during the remaining bars before the final curtain.
If you like Puccini you'll love this opera.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and fin de siecle drama, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
The intensity of emotion is well displayed by the combined charm and skills of Mirella and Placido, with the cast supporting so well! The scenery and ambiance (except the "swiss scene" which is deliberately? amateurish in musical display - is it not an ocarina that plays while a squeze box is shown absentmindedly fingered?) are very credibly set in Russia and France, and display the colour of vengeance and police manipulation - with the contrast of political intrigue to human emotion struggling for a result. A warning to consider carefully situations and avoid precipitate actions by those in positions of power which undermine so dramatically the humanity of the characters performing the tragedy. Very intense and well performed!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Will not watch again....., 4 Nov. 2012
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In Freni and Domingo we have two supreme artists who have chosen to appear on dvd in roles which require much younger singers to perform.I found Freni garbed in unflattering costumes, almost embarrassing to watch and Domingo whist still singing magnificently looked haggard.These shortcomings are burdened by an old fashioned production of an opera which is decidedly short on musical inspiration.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars !!!extremely fantastic!!!, 14 Oct. 2005
By A Customer
the performance of fedora by giordano was fabulous
the music, the singers(at there best i must say) the lights
it is a truely magical opera
a must for puccini lovers!!
fantastic
(domingo and freni sound wonderful together no mattter what there age.)
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Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006]
Giordano: Fedora [DVD] [2006] by Mirella Freni (DVD - 2006)
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