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4.4 out of 5 stars27
4.4 out of 5 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2007
I adore this opera and have many different versions of it all of which are very good.

I specially adore Cecilia Bartoli and she plays Rosina in other productions with a unique genius ... bus sadly she is not in this one!!!

However the conception, sets, acting (especially background) and othjer singers almost compensate for this.

I love the way everything starts in STUNNING black and white from the costumes to the stunningly beautiful sets (which in themselves are stars of the production ...absolute genius!!) and after the storm interlude colour creeps in till at the end everything is just a glorious rainbow.

It is full of wit, charm and above all the singing is excellent despite Cicilia's absence!!!

Treat yourself to it you will never regret it and I bet it will become your all time favourite Barber!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2009

We will celebrate pretty soon the end of this year: life has been quite difficult for everybody . If you want to make a lovely present full of joy and fun allowing to forget his or her troubles -specially if your friend is a music lover- give this Spanish Barbiere as a present. It will be welcomed!

Rossini's famous "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" played by The Madrid Symphonic Orchestra in "El Teatro Real de Madrid" is the same popular old and beloved Italian Opera but with the addition of delightful vitality, color, novelty and fun. This one is a film, with production from Opus Arte during 2005 and showed today, creating quickly a real fashion, also because it is presenting Juan Diego Florèz the wonderful new tenor (opinion shared by the Opera magazine and critics)now a star in an amount of operas.
It also includes important theatrical elements in which artists are not only singing but acting and moving around quite permanently with the same rhythm as scenes and color changes: they sing, but also act in a dynamic and modern way. Scenes are conceived separately and differ from each other by extra artists displacing walls and furniture in an also new conception, while colors of scenery as well as dresses change from gloomy-elegant black and grey in the first act scenes to a brilliant multicolor display at the end. Some magic sense and some foolishness are added here and there, increasing the spell.

In the first part, Figaro (Pietro Spagnoli) is the hero and Rosina (Maria Bayo) is introduced, after the new tenor Conte Almaviva (Florèz) sings his Love serenade. She is a first class soprano on the style of the tradition of the three great Spanish sopranos. In Figaro's plan to introduce the count to Rosina's house thanks to different masks and fancy dresses, the count plays first the drunken soldier. There we meet Don Bartolo (Bruno Practicò) Rosina's tutor and Don Basilio the singing teacher (A renowed Ruggero Raimondi in his splendor of Italian great singers, at home in Il Barbiere and in La Calunnia-the slander) We start to admire the tenor's playing like a child and acting, and become a very funny show during his second mask as a priest and music teacher.

So in part2 the lesson of music scores the comic hit .The tutor dances to what he calls real music and Figaro joins him. A little bit of foolishness , a lovely play, while Rosina and Almaviva start meeting each other almost kissing : an extremely romantic couple. Very intelligent the director, to have enriched an old opera spirit with this, a very new interesting and amusing play- Like the 1700 writter, Beaumarchais, here we follow the ideals of freedom, need to change and introduce a new world, the Triumph of love (Remember Mozart `s Figaro). Maria Bayo sings beautifully a dramatic aria in a moment she thinks he is joking with her: some remembrance of Dorabella. Rossini adored Mozart .

In the last part, colors have changed to radiant ones. Our couple gets married, a big party starts, soldiers arrived from nowhere to offer a flower each to the bride and Juan Diego Florèz starts singing a beautiful long aria with such an effort and such a wonderful and exceptional voice to merit an endless applause from the public. The opera ends in a great tutti, everybody very happily singing together.

Little brilliant stars in the black sky and a big red ball hanging, supposed to be a balloon where the lovers are allowed to run away from the world. But a balloon always go down after a while. . . . .is commented somewhere in the second record.

Remember it can be a perfect happy present! A real pleasure.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2007
First saw this version a couple of years ago,until then was not sure about Florez who was brilliant. Since this have waited for each new opera Diego is in and each one get's better and better.

The man is a GOD!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 October 2008
They don't come much better than this. A delight from start to finish; and I would hardly call myself a fan of this opera - well, not until I saw this version.

Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2010
I wasn't much taken with Il Barbiere until I watched the DVD from Covent Garden with Juan Diego Florez and Joyce di Donato. I loved that production but I have to say this one from Madrid is even more enjoyable. I'm quite addicted to it, playing it at every opportunity. Unlike some other reviewers I have absolutely no problem with Pietro Spagnoli's Figaro, in fact I really liked his performance. Florez is stunning, no doubt about it. Good grief, after 20 years I think I've found a new tenor to adore....
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2009
This is an impressive Spanish production with a strong singing cast and sumptuous orchestral playing. Although the sets are innovative they are highly lit and very white which makes the subtitles a little harder to read - not impossible, just a little more difficult. Yellow would have been a far better colour choice.
This is a fun opera apart from some dead moments in act one. I am unfamiliar with the singers but Maria Bayo is excellent as Rosina, despite being somewhat older than that operatic character (BluRay certainly shows up detail!). Typical Rossini with great choruses, duets etc. Recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2010
Probably not, but it has to come close. It's peopled with a host of unnecessary extras who move chairs, carry strange props across the stage, shake hands with the principals (yes), or just stand about looking spare. The main characters are continually required to mount pedestals or perch on tables in a very unspontaneous way that I could not imagine was conducive to singing. For example, Rosina begins 'Una voce poco fa' kneeling on top of a column, from which she descends slowly and very cautiously, only to writhe briefly on a rug, lie on the floor (hints of Callas in Tosca) then finish leaning forward in a fashion that's distinctly perilous, both from the point of view of balance and considering the neckline of her dress. It's as if the director had saved up all the 'amusing' bits of by-play that he's never been allowed to do previously and put them all into this production.

That said, the principals are all good -- even if Ruggero Raimondi looks at times as if he wonders how he came to this -- and Florez is given a free hand with the flourishes. If you are thinking of buying this, you need to weigh the quality cast against the infuriating staging.
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on 15 January 2015
Beautiful production in black&white, excellent singers. However, I was at times irritated by unnecessary director's ideas (jumping up and down chairs and tables, without any meaning whatsoever) - bur it's a marvellous opera, always great to hear and watch.
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on 26 September 2015
I am not an opera buff but I enjoy this one and this particular production is absolutely amazing. Buy it - you will not be disappointed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2012
A radical, surreal production with over the top farce.

Picture quality 3 - poor digital video look.
Sound quality 5
Sets 4 - large, impressive black and white sets which can be wheeled on and off very quickly. During the overture a whole street is assembled!
Storytelling 5
Acting 2 - over the top farcical acting which becomes irritating. Extras play a big part in the background for all the scenes.
Direction (camera work) 5
Singing 5 - Almaviva 5, Bartalo 5, Rosina 5, Figaro 4, Don Basilio 3, Chorus 5. Some of the arias have been slightly reworked by the conductor. This is explained in the documentary.
Orchestra 5 - wonderful playing.
Costumes 3 - for most of the opera comical black and white. In the last scene comical brilliant colours.
DVD extras 5 - 58min documentary. The singers take the viewer through the opera explaining their parts and giving insight into their characters. Excellent!

Recommended if you can put up with the acting.
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Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia [Blu-ray] [2015]
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia [Blu-ray] [2015] by Joyce DiDonato/Antonio Pappano/Juan Diego Florez/Pietro Spagnoli (Blu-ray - 2015)


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