Customer Reviews


50 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certain reservations
This 2011 production of Tosca has the great advantage of three very fine singers with Angela Gheorghiu in the title role, Jonas Kaufmann as the idealist republican Mario Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as the malevolent police chief Baron Scarpia. Their singing plus the fine musicianship of the orchestra, under the baton of Antonio Pappano, are the major pleasures of this...
Published 18 months ago by trottman

versus
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Faulty Sound
I received this DVD in March and looked forward to watching this highly rated performance. Unfortunately, every crescendo was accompanied by white noise, a manufacturing fault that made the DVD unusable. I did play around with the audio settings but this DVD was a total duffer. Presumably the whole batch is faulty and so I would not order until Amazon receives a new A1...
Published 11 months ago by Roffey


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certain reservations, 19 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
This 2011 production of Tosca has the great advantage of three very fine singers with Angela Gheorghiu in the title role, Jonas Kaufmann as the idealist republican Mario Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as the malevolent police chief Baron Scarpia. Their singing plus the fine musicianship of the orchestra, under the baton of Antonio Pappano, are the major pleasures of this traditional production of a very popular opera. That said certain question marks exist in relation to certain performances and the staging. Once again with a DVD of a Covent Garden performance the viewer is placed at a disadvantage by poor presentation, for information is limited to an essay and a synopsis. No chapter headings are provided.

A seasoned regular at Covent Garden Angelea Gheorghiu masterrminded the 2010 production of Adriana Lecouvreur and in their assessments certain reviewers, although paying tribute to the excellence of the soprano's singing, described her performance as rather lightweight. Such is the impression gained in the first act of Tosca for this accomplished singing actress tends to concentrate too much on the flirtatious side of Tosca's character at the expense of both a deeply held religious commitment and an alarmingly jealous nature. Here she is not helped by a set on three levels which demands that some of the action must take place on a staircase. Such works to the disadvantage of the performers. Gheorghiu has a well deserved reputation as a supreme depicter of tragedy and in her Act 2 confrontations with Scarpia she is at her very best. The act's high point is the soprano's heart felt rendering of "Vissi D'Arte" which is received with well deserved applause. She is again very good in the final Act 3 and the final moments of total despair are most convincing.

Many reviewers now regard Janos Kaufmann as the world's best dramatic tenor and as both actor and singer he is in first class form. Both his two major arias, particularly "O Dolci Mani" are expertly delivered. His acting skills are at their best in the demanding Act 3 for with just one fleeting look it is obvious that he fully realises that the firing squad will not be the sham affair with blanks that Tosca in her misplaced innocence imagines.

As the evil selfserving Scarpia Bryn Terfel delivers a consistently good performance but certain essentials are lacking. In the avaricious pursuit of power and women a political manipulator such as Scarpia would realise only too well the absolute importance of appearance and here Terfel's hangdog expression, unshaven face, long unkempt hair and somewhat scruffy clothing is at odds with character and also detracts from performance appreciation. Unfortunately the performer's appearance is such that it is virtually impossible to believe that this Scarpia could generate the fatal fascination that is so necessary to the character.

As mentioned above the staging of Act 1 is of questionable benefit. The act is not helped by less than impressive performances by Angelotti and the Sacristian. Misplaced attemps to make the Sacristan a comic figure are a total misfire. Act 2, set in Scarpia's apartment at the Palazzo Farnese is well staged in period character. Act 3 is set as an execution centre with minimal but effective staging aided by clever lighting.

This production has many very good moments and is a worthy addition to an opera collection. In 1985 Franco Zeffirelli masterminded an amazingly staged production at the Met with a jaw-dropping Act 1. The production is well served by Placido Domingo as his most ardent best, a truly evil Scarpia in Cornell MacNell and a well acted Tosca in Hildegard Behrens. The great character bass Italo Tajo shows just what can be done with the part of the Sacristan Some years earlier the Met mounted a production of the opera with the outstanding Shirley Verrett delivering a marvellous "Vissi D'Arte". Cornel MacNeil is impressive as Scarpia and Pavarotti sings impressively although his acting does not match that of Domingo and Kaufmann.

Outside an opera house Tosca is the subject of two good opera films. The best is a 1976 version with Domingo and the seriously beautiful Raina Kabaivanska in the title role. Scarpia is expertly played by Sherril Milnes. Benoit Jacquot's film of 2001 benefits from the definite chemistry between
Angela Cheorghiu and Roberto Alagna and another excellent Scarpia in Ruggero Raimondi. Some reviewers consider the black and white footage of the actual recording session a disadvantage as it breaks up the continuity of the film.

Trottman
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Virgin, 7 Oct 2012
By 
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
I have had this recording for some time and I have put off watching it because I have seen many other Toscas. I need not have worried. Seeing and hearing this production is like experiencing Tosca for the very first time. The casting of Angela Gheorghiu, Bryn Terfel and Jonas Kaufmann is unbeatable on the contemporary opera stage. All three can act as well as sing. The melodrama is, if anything, played down but the plot is made all the more menacing by the realistic portrayals. Bryn Terfel is a master of understated menace and his interpretation is the opposite of the pantomime villain that Scarpia can sometimes become.

Angela Gheorghiu is a cool, calculating killer. After her heart-rending Vissi D'Arte the audience, naturally erupts into applause. After the applause dies down Scarpia does an ironic handclap himself. The knifing of Scarpia is not a bloodcurdling as some productions I have seen but I particularly liked the calm way that Tosca places a candle at either side of his body.

Jonas Kaufmann acquits himself well in his two big arias and I particularly liked his O Dolci Mani immediately before his execution. The opera ends with Gheorghiu making an impressive dive from the castle parapet, much better than the stunt double she used in the 2001 film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars but...., 25 Feb 2014
By 
Elaine Simpson-long (Colchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Oh I wish Angela Gheorghiu was not the Tosca on this DVD. I find her characterisation lacking in any kind of emotional depth, only coming alive in her confrontation with Scarpia in Act two. I felt exactly the same when I saw this in the opera house and my main reason for attending was for Bryn Terfel. Kauffman was not the tenor on that occasion. Terfel was brilliant and mesmerising and though Miss G took the final bow at the end the applause was far less than that for Bryn. I had treated myself to seats in the stalls for this and wondered how those in the amphi could hear her voice which I find small and from comments in the interval from other patrons it was clear I was not alone in my opinion.

However on a DVD this smallness of voice does not show itself and of course she has a lovely tone and exquisite phrasing and well aware that my aversion for her is my own personal reaction. Kauffmann is simply superb, what a voice this man has and he seems to be able to sing Puccini and Wagner and others with equal beauty and facility.

But I return again to Bryn Terfel. I freely admit I am a huge fan of his and could watch him in anything and I think he is a stunning Scarpia and delighted to have this DVD on my shelves
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars magnificent singing, though short on electricity, 6 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
The lack of electricity may have something to do with the make-up of Bryn Terfel - a remarkable double of Les Dawson! But the singing was superb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 6 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Adored Angela since she was a young and budding soprano so, love to hear her sing, but Bryn was the star he was a 'horribly' magnificent Scarpia and the best I have ever seen. Well done Bryn!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Puccinissimo!, 14 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Although I'd seen this production on TV, I just had to have a copy. To be able to sub-title it in Italian enables me to follow the libretto. Magnifico!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A menacing Scarpia, 3 April 2014
By 
Joyce Girard (Portsmouth U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Bryn Terfel gives a cruelly menacing performance as Scarpia. His glorious deep voice conveys his evil intent.
Gheorghiu is a beautiful Tosca with glorious high notes that capture joy and despair. My only complaint
is the live recording is not as clear as I would wish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Husbands Birthday present, 2 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
His favourite opera with some of his favourite singers. Stunning production

You could think you were in the opera house not at home.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD SHOW !, 10 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Although this a good interprepation, I still hnaker to find a copy of that wonderful performance recorded for television in black and white.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 6 Mar 2014
By 
Miss L. M. Preece (east sussex, england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
bought this for a friend as she was after this for a while. she absolutely loves it as she is a opera singer. good value for money as shopped around and would recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xafea8fc0)

This product

Puccini: Tosca [Royal Opera House, 2011] - Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel [DVD] [2012]
12.36
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews