4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Apart from a couple of arias for the tenor, not much musical attraction; and the ladies leads do not shine visually on blu-ray.,
This review is from: Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur [DVD]  (DVD)
Sorry to say that I have never liked this work as I did other verismo operas, starting from the days of the recording by Scotto and Domingo.
The entire musical set up is rather boring, despite the gorgeous sets, who chiefly won the three stars that I give to this piece.
Sadly, Jonas Kaufmann has very little 'aria' to sing in this work, and visually he has matured somewhat since his Carmen days at the Royal Opera House. If his stage presence is considered a main selling point, then be prepared for some slight disappointment. His singing is, however, very good, just as his usual high standard, and he is charismatic in this otherwise thankless tenor role. What redeems this set is that Kaufmann made this character 'Maurizio' the Count of Saxony a real 'hero', some thing not even Placido Domingo managed to do in his earlier recording with Scotto. Unfortunately, the role of Saxony sings scantily, so in the 2011 competition for the 'Best operatic singer' (a role by which Kaufmann was nominated)the award went to Christian Gerhaher as Wolfram in Tanhausser.
Angela Gheorghiu is as always good to look at, but here visually as well as vocally, she is past her prime, and as one other reviewer so aptly pointed out, this Adriana is not her role vocally. The same visual fiasco happens to the 'princess' role, sung by the great Olga Borodina.
Both ladies' interactions with Kaufmann are unattractive in the unkind blu-ray high definition picture, if not on stage.
When the music borders on boring, and the lady leads are visually not in best form, it is a bit difficult to sit through the entire show merely because the sets are great.
Fortunately, Herr Kaufmann redeemed an otherwise musically mediocre work.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Oct 2012 21:51:44 BDT
Israel Iskowitz says:
"Chacun à son goût". This opera bowled me over when I first heard it on an old Cetra set back in the 1970s and I've loved it ever since. A stream of gorgeous melody from beginning to end and not in the least boring as far as I'm concerned, and I doubt that my opinion is that much out of step when you consider that this piece still holds a place in the repertoire and that the title role has been sung by the likes of Olivero, Tebaldi, Scotto, Caballé, Freni and Sutherland.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2012 06:22:38 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
I agree. It is hard to understand where this reviewer is coming from. Six of us watched the opera on high-def projection and were blown away by the production and singing. Jonas K. was astonishing in a great role - and as to his looking older - we should all be so lucky - well men at least. And as for the lead - well having struggled through so many mediocre opera productions I was glad to see a real star performance as frankly I don't care how "difficult" other reviewers have said she is off-stage. Surely what she does on-stage is what matters - and I thought she was terrific!
Posted on 20 Nov 2012 11:40:25 GMT
H. A. Weedon says:
Just as 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', '"Boring" is in the mind of the listener.'
Posted on 7 Jan 2013 20:26:26 GMT
Giles Penfold says:
You write: 'Sadly, Jonas Kaufmann has very little to sing in this work' which means you went to sleep during the performance. As to people assessing art on the basis of artists being fatter or older, this is infantile nonsense.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2013 14:16:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Nov 2013 15:50:16 GMT
Nigel Gallimore says:
Having written a review of this piece myself; and having been picked up by Giles as a reviewer who had suggested Olga Borodina was too fat to play Princess de Bouillon, I feel obliged to reply. I wasn't intending to spout 'infantile nonsense', nor was I suggesting that fat people had no place in opera, but many of us did comment on Ms Borodina's decline during discussions in the floral hall during the intervals and this must have stuck in my mind when I placed myself in the lions den by offering my opinion in review. Someone picked me up on this and I offered an explanation for my comments, perhaps Giles could read my reply on my 'comments' page and then, perhaps, offer his opinion on it.
In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2013 17:28:58 GMT
Israel Iskowitz says:
I can sympathise with Nigel Gallimore's point of view. My review of the Solti DVD of Strauss' "Arabella" received several "thumbs-down" ratings, probably due to the fact that I had suggested that Gundula Janowitz (fair, fat and forty at the time of the production) was unsuitable to be playing the part of a young girl barely over the age of consent! In the opera house we can overlook the visual appearance of things to a certain extent, but for repeated viewing in the comfort of one's own room it's not so easy to do.
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