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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sterling cast with a shimmering Hui He in the title role.
This DVD of Aida is probably one of the most even in terms of singing that one could find on the market, spanning from the days of the great Luciano Pavarotti, given that even Pav in his time did NOT have as good an Aida as one could probably find here in Hui He.
In the major supporting role, Amneris is sung by veteran mezzo-soprano Luciana D'Intino, who reprises...
Published on 22 Jun. 2012 by Abert

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Fiasco in Parma
This is the worst release in the Tutto Verdi series, even though it gets a little better in the last two acts. It was compiled from two performances on February 2012. I didn't give it only one star because of a hissy fit, but because there is nothing in it worth another star.

It is a challenging task to review the singing honestly without coming across as...
Published on 30 May 2013 by Noam Eitan


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sterling cast with a shimmering Hui He in the title role., 22 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Verdi: Aida (Arthaus: 101598) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
This DVD of Aida is probably one of the most even in terms of singing that one could find on the market, spanning from the days of the great Luciano Pavarotti, given that even Pav in his time did NOT have as good an Aida as one could probably find here in Hui He.
In the major supporting role, Amneris is sung by veteran mezzo-soprano Luciana D'Intino, who reprises this role since the late 1980's with Cheryl Studer as Aida.
While Hui He may not be most verbally incisive Aida, her performance here sets her way above many other lyrical spinto sopranos who have undertaken this role: Maria Chiara, Cheryl Studer, Violetta Urmana, and more lately Sondra Radvanovsky, though not yet recorded.
Hui He's impassioned performance of this role is fully enhanced by her shimmering lirico spinto voice, which is fully lyrical without the slightest edginess that marrs other spinto sopranos like Urmana and Radvanovsky. Yet her timbre is at the same full-bodied and rich throughout all registers, which is a real marvel. Her duet with the veteran D'Intino is the first bit of evidence of her seemingly endless vocal prowess, and her Nile scene culminating in her great rendition of 'O Patri Mia' is outright the greatest rendition heard since the days of Monseratt Caballe who recorded this role for Ricardo Muti in the early 1980's.
Her duet with Amonasro is the third piece of concrete evidence of her fully convincing portrayal of the emotionally torned Aida. The final death scene with Radames on the other hand witnesses her superb lyricism in this role after a full-length emotionally-charged performance of Aida.
As Radames, Marco Berti has all the vocal goods - squillo, pitch and range. He is, however, not as convincing in terms of acting, being a more stolid stage presence than most members of this cast.
As Amonasro, Ambrogio Maestri is very effective, giving a hair-standing duet with Aida.
The sets and costumes are very elegant, if not outright grand.
Zubin Mehta takes veteran reign over the entire show, if a bit on the stolid side.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Fiasco in Parma, 30 May 2013
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This is the worst release in the Tutto Verdi series, even though it gets a little better in the last two acts. It was compiled from two performances on February 2012. I didn't give it only one star because of a hissy fit, but because there is nothing in it worth another star.

It is a challenging task to review the singing honestly without coming across as mean-spirited and/or boring, so I'll pass. Body mikes were used and everything in the orchestra pit is spot miked, so there is no sense of a coherent, continuous space and you don't get a feeling of the hall ambiance or of "being there". The sets are traditional but the costumes are a confusion of style from anywhere but ancient Egypt (Nepal? Mongolia? I think I even detected Aztecs). There are miles of colorful fabric on stage, not counting footwear, headgear and endless various accessories. The prevailing color is blue - this was nicknamed "Blue Aida" when it first appeared in the Verdi Festival in 2005. The direction is static - the singers engage in solemn, stereotypical postures (or are just on their own, there is little acting). There is absolutely no dramatic tension or development; it's all flat and lifeless. The conductor is useless. Even the gods expressed their disapproval by causing an earthquake the day of the prima - it lasted about 30-40 seconds, a magnitude of 4.9, strong shaking.

This release may have one practical use: to be used as a tool to diagnose tone deafness. One of the leads has the worst intonation I've ever heard (among other serious problems). He/she is sometimes flat by more than a quartertone, a few times by almost half a tone! That means he/she sometimes hits closer to the next note down instead of to the right one, and this is easy to spot because it happens in loud, exposed singing. All twenty-four major and minor scales have half tone intervals, so if you are unable to spot this singer you may be tone deaf.
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Verdi: Aida (Arthaus: 101598) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
Verdi: Aida (Arthaus: 101598) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] by Roberto Tagliavini (DVD - 2012)
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