Customer Reviews


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

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Maria Stuarda.
After seeing this in a cinema broadcast from the Met I constantly accessed the Met Opera site to see when and if they would release it. It was the very best production we had seen and DiDonato's voice is out of this world. All the cast is good, set design superb and very imaginative. Camera work is good and was the same as broadcast. Highly recommended as the essential...
Published 2 months ago by CDW

versus
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
I, too, saw this as a live transmission at the cinema, and was bowled over by the dramatic intensity. Not my favourite out of the 'Three Queens', but still a marvellous work. I would have liked to give this at least 4 stars, but could not do so on 2 counts.

Mathew Polenzani was weak as Leicester, and on top of that, I was infuriated by his arrogance in the...
Published 2 months ago by polly


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Maria Stuarda., 28 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
After seeing this in a cinema broadcast from the Met I constantly accessed the Met Opera site to see when and if they would release it. It was the very best production we had seen and DiDonato's voice is out of this world. All the cast is good, set design superb and very imaginative. Camera work is good and was the same as broadcast. Highly recommended as the essential Maria Stuarda
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous performance, 22 April 2014
By 
A. J. Valentine (London.UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I have always thought that of the three Donizetti Tudor operas, Maria Stuarda is the greatest. That was until I saw the ghastly produced and under sung performances offered up recently by Welsh National Opera. I thought may be my judgment on these works was wrong. It shows how poor performances can damage a works reputation. It was with great relief that after watching this DVD my original thoughts, that this is one of Donizetti's greatest works. I have been fortunate enough to hear many great Maria's ,Janet Baker, Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballe, Mara Zampieri , to name a few. Having seen Joyce DiDonato in a number of roles mostly comic or frivolous I wondered if she would have the dramatic weight both acting wise and vocally for this role. I need not have worried, she is quite superb.(Sorry Joyce for doubting you) My standard for the role of Mary has always been Janet Baker, whose performances at the English National Opera in 1973 and again in 1982 were quite magnificent. DiDonato runs her a close second, with her great technique and many colours in her voice she brings the character vividly to life, her final scene extremely moving. Elza Van den Heever is an excellent Elizabeth, she may not have the fullness and beauty of voice of Rosalind Plowright at her greatest, or the natural Italianate sound of Sonia Ganassi on the Dynamic DVD but her large well projected voice makes the scene between the two Queens very exciting. Matthew Polenzani as Leicester seems to force his tone in the first scene and the sound is a bit gritty, but he improves greatly later on, though my favourite Leicester is the young Joseph Calleja (also on Dynamic). Joshua Hopkins makes a very insidious Lord Cecil and its good to see the British singer Matthew Rose from the ROH young artist programme making his mark as Marys confidante and confessor Lord Talbot.. Maurizio Benini is well at home is this repertoire and conducts an exciting performance with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on terrific form. What brings this performance together into a dramatic and believable whole is the production of David McVicar in magnificent sets by John Macfarlane. David McVicar tells the story clearly and succinctly in correct period. He cleverly shows the passing of time between each scene. What a relief to have a producer as servant to the composer, rather than some of the awful travesties that some opera producers foist on the public. I shall always keep my DVD of the ENO production, though sung in English it enshrines a truly magnificent performance from Dame Janet Baker. Some people reviewing this set complain that it is not Blu-ray. I have a large flat screen television and find the HD filming of this opera superbly clear and the surround sound natural and full, in fact the cannon shots in the final scene signifying the execution of Mary quite terrifying . I can fully recommend this great new performance.
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 Good traditional staging with good overall cast, 8 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
A beautifully costumed but no frills production that brings out the drama of Schiller's original. Overall the singing is above average, but this wouldn't be a first choice for singing except the superb Elza Van den Heever.
Joyce Di Donato gives a marvelously compelling interpretation of the title role, with some brilliant coloratura, but the pronounced fast vibrato can be a little intrusive at times, and occasionally compromises the pitch. She is nonetheless superb. The tenor is not Pavarotti - but who is!
Chorus and orchestra are of the usual high Met standard.
Recommended - but not definitive.
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 Good bargain, 18 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Good MET production, attractive cast, very good singing and great Di Donato . The best avaible Maria Stuarda on DVD.
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 Joyce Di Donato shows very good acting skills in the title role, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
The sound is first rate so bringing out the powerful singing of the cast. Joyce Di Donato shows very good acting skills in the title role. Excellent production,
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 14 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Saw the live streaming of this opera from the Met in the cinema and was pleased as punch to find the dvd on Amazon at a great price. I love this opera and I rate this production vrry highly. Joyce is superb as usual but the young South African soprana playing Elisabeth is a revelation! Her portrayal of the young queen is mesmerising and the voice is sublime. I have no quibble with the picture quality on this dvd either and would say it is high definition quality. All in all you won't find a better production in my humble opinion. Enjoy...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Maria, 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I enjoyed this a lot and am sick of whiging people going on about it not being in blue ray.
I know its cheaper than going to NY to see it live. which i cant do anyway.
The Elizabeth though dressed most unflateringly (hated the fact in the second act her wig didnt get put on correctly and stayed that way till the end of that scene) The hunting costume is so wrong historically it has to be scene to believed.
but it suited her characterisation which was a vast as her vocie incredilly butch and awkward which i think suited the aging manically jealous queen she nearly won out over the star joyce di donato who i had heard of and seen. She sings divinely
and its nice to see her singing something serious for a change her technic is great and brings to this role all the presicion of the rossini singer coloratura with careful phrasing and a mulitiude of varying delightful vocal colours
The Production is period and nothing out of the ordinary but it is an improvement on his Anna Bolenna but then its a better opera. All the men left me cold standard,costumed drearly and workaday but this opera belongs to the queens and will no doubt delight them
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star DVD, 19 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
This disk fulfilled all of my expectations. Joyce DiDonato is superb. The service by the sender was excellent and the disk arrived before the anticipated date.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great, 11 May 2014
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
I, too, saw this as a live transmission at the cinema, and was bowled over by the dramatic intensity. Not my favourite out of the 'Three Queens', but still a marvellous work. I would have liked to give this at least 4 stars, but could not do so on 2 counts.

Mathew Polenzani was weak as Leicester, and on top of that, I was infuriated by his arrogance in the between scenes interview, when he scoffed at the idea that Elizabeth had good reason to be tough on Mary. Mary had been complicit in the murder of her own husband, Darnley, and had WITHOUT DOUBT plotted to steal Elizabeth's throne. Standing as he was beside an Englishman who would know a deal more about it than an American opera singer, I thought his reaction was inappropriate to say the least.

But that is neither here nor there in the scale of things, any more than that the story, though based on fact, has been fictionalised for the purposes of this opera. There is no evidence at all that Mary and Elizabeth ever met - but hey! who cares - it's a marvellous and spine chilling scene, and the music is just great, though no opera singer has EVER spat out the words that Elizabeth was a dishonourable bastard of a whore, Anne Boleyn, with the conviction that Joan Sutherland did. And Leyla Gencer was a very close second on that score. Just don't go thinking that because you see it the opera, it actually happened! There is also no evidence for the 'love triangle' idea, but again, that doesn't matter in the interests of dramatic license. And the same is true of the last scene - no one going to execution would have had to walk up such a long flight of stairs, but again - unimportant, since it was wonderfully dramatic effect.

But most of all, there is also no evidence that Elizabeth walked with such a pronounced limp, to the point of disability. I liked Elza van der Heever very much, but her portrayal was distracting and unattractive. And her costumes, especially the hunting garb, were simply terrible, and DiDonato's were not much better. I would say that both the limp and the costumes were not her fault, but that of David McVicar, and although I like some of his ideas, he does sometimes overdo a good thing. From what we do know of Elizabeth, she could be vain and liked to appear feminine in the sense that she wanted to be an attractive woman, but she also liked to convey strength, so that those around her did not feel the lack of a king so much. But this masculine, butch portrayal, was just awful.

I thought Joyce DiDonato, whom I greatly admire, did an excellent job, thoroughly convincing, despite a little over-acting. But she was still a joy to behold, and to listen to. All in all, I enjoyed watching and listening, but it was marred for me by some of the above. If the production had not tried so hard to be so pretentious, and if van der Heever had been allowed to portray Elizabeth in a more dignified way, it would have been an almost perfect production. As it is, there are other performances I infinitely prefer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic production and performance but release this on Blu-ray! it is 2014!!!!!, 17 Mar 2014
This review is from: Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
This was a 5 star product and performance, but why are they releasing this only on substandard and dated DVD?

The Met production of Rossini's Le Comte Ory (also from the Met Live in HD series and starring Joyce Didonato) was also only released on DVD and the quality is just not good enough and I regret buying it. If I wanted DVD quality I would just download it from the net. Please release this on Blu-ray so it is actually worth buying and keeping for the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014]
Donizetti: Maria Stuarda (Live at the Metropolitan Opera, 2013) [DVD] [2014] by Elza Van den Heever, Matthew Polenzani, Joshua Hopkins, Matthew Rose / Maurizio Benini , David McVicar Joyce DiDonato (DVD - 2014)
11.49
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews