Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
an interesting collection
on 20 August 2011
The five operas on disc are a strange collection, in that Carmen and Aida are shortened versions. Carmen is still not half bad, with good singing, and reasonable sets.
Aida is a bunch of rather poor singers in good sets, this is doubly disappointing. That has got the bad news out of the way.
Tosca has very good costumes and sets, the singers are excellent, and are adept in their acting roles. This is equal to the other two versions that I own, one of which is the Met.
Don Giovanni has an interesting start, outside the opera house, the staging is simple with the prop changes being done subtly as the performance progresses, the chorus/stage hands all clad in period costume. The three ladies in the lead roles are widely varied in tone, and each is well suited th their parts. Don Giovanni is adequate, as is Leporello and Massetto, but Don Ottavio is a delightful light tenor. The performance is lively with an enthusiastic chorus. I enjoyed it better than some of the other 4 versions in my library.
Nabucco is in an open air theatre, besides the set, which I think is very well done, the scope for special effects is well used. With a very large retinue of extras and chorus it is great spectacle.
I have not got round to the singers yet. Fenena is a rich mezzo, Abigail a great soprano, and Ismaele a great tenor, Nabucco is a powerful baritone, and others are quite adequate.
There is no write up other than brief notes on the box cover. If subtitles are essential to you, this is not for you. Accreditations are meagre on some productions, so if you want to know the lighting engineer you will be disappointed. If you want good productions at a price that any one of the last three operas is worth, this is for you. I give this 4 stars because of the value for money.
I have since passed this collection to a friend, having better or at least equal alternatives in my DVD library. I hope to hook aforesaid into the opera world, this is still a good starting point.