14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A Perfect Tribute to Verdi,
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This review is from: Verdi: Nabucco (Abbado 2009) (Nucci/ Ribeiro/ Surian/ Theodossiou/ Chiuri/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Michele Mariotti/ Daniele Abbado) (C Major: 720504) [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
IN A NUTSHELL :- Great Performance, Excellent playing and singing and excellent video and audio production. BUY, YES, BUY.... One star less for what I deem as a flaw explained at the end.
One of my favorite Verdi Operas and I own many dvds of the same. It is a real pleasure watching this on Blu ray. The picture clarity and the sound are worthy of the medium. Very laudable, in fact.
It is really no wonder that Nabucco is performed as often as it is in world opera theaters and there are innumerable recordings of this work on dvd. Each Nabucco production tries to project a different aspect of the work,be it staging, drama, sets or costumes. To bring out something spectacular besides what others have done requires a lot of thinking, a lot of work. This particular production is by those standards, quite straightforward, devoid of outlandish sets or skewed direction. It can be classified as a 'routine great performance' of this work with one or two blemishes. I will not compare it with ever so many others that are quite as good as well.
Let me review this production cast-wise and a little otherwise:
Leo Nucci - This is the third production with Nucci as Nabucco that I own, the other two being with the Vienna State Opera and Arena di Verona. Nucci has yet to get over his Rigoletto afflictions (facial contortions) insofar as 'acting' the role, but his singing - SUPERB... the best of the three. He IS the star of the show by a mile.
Dimitra Theodossiou as Abigaille - If Nucci was my star of the show, Theodossiou stole the hearts of the very critical viewers of Parma. Although I personally feel that her lows are her low points and the top highs need a little more rounding off, she comes through in this production a wonderfully watchable as well as very a accomplished singer for the role. She holds her own.
Ricardo Zanelatto as Zaccaria was a pleasant surprise. Excellent and powerful voice and again, I think this is perfect casting.
Bruno Ribeiro as Ismaele - This guy according to me, is an out and out lyrical singer. Here, he comes through more as a Wimp rather than Royalty. His voice, though very 'beautiful', is not compatible for this particular role. I have not seen his other appearances on stage, but my bet is that he will have to work hard to be classified as a dramatic singer or for a powerful role in any other Verdi opera.
Anna Maria Chiuri as Fenena - Excellent for the role, both dramatically as well as otherwise..
Chorus and Orchestra = TOP CLASS , period....
E TU PARMA?
Although thankfully we dont see machine guns on stage, the costumes look totally incompatible - with each other. They are a bunch of confused styles, with the top soloists turning out in what can perhaps be passed off as 'period' costumes of those times, highly decorated and bejeweled etc., but the others on stage, the chorus has costumes like a bunch of modern day Jews coming out of a Synagogue after prayer, all suited with what looks like patent leather shoes, and the Babylonians like wise, sporting Armani... A pair of spectacles here and three girls dressed up like vanilla pastry with stilettos there. Just What are these guys trying to portray?
Everything else being perfect, even the settings, though minimal, but effective, the costumes kind of take away the ambiance of the whole production without achieving anything even symbolical.
ONE STAR LESS FOR JUST THE ABOVE IRRITANT.