Customer Review

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruberova scores an artistic triumph, 13 Mar 2007
This review is from: Norma: Bavarian State Orchestra [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Gruberova waited long before tackling Norma on stage, and this DVD confirms that the wait has been worth it. Having released a concert performance on CD which was recorded in 2005, her first staged performances were recorded by UNITEL in January/February 2006 at the Bayerische Staatsoper. I must admit that looking at Gruberova, one sees an older woman, which is obvious, given that she was almost 60 at the time of this recording. However, age has not seemed to have taken its toll too heavily on her vocal resources. It was probably the need to rise to the occasion that made this recording all the more special. Munich assembled an outstanding supporting cast and Haider, ever the loving and sympathetic conductor, allowed his wife to shine. His interpretation of Bellini's score is, in my opinion flawless and even better than the CD recording. The audience love Gruberova and the performance is one to listen to over and over again. This will probably be the ideal performance for many, however, Jurgen Rose's sets, costumes and direction will disappoint those who prefer a more traditionlist approach to the opera, with a minimal set and the chorus flasing guns at certain moments. Musically, there are no cuts and Gruberova sings Casta Diva in G, as well as both verses of of her ensuing cabaletta. Mira o Norma, with a wonderul Ganassi as Adalgisa, is sung in the high key, with both voices blending beautifully. Todorovich bawls his way a bit through the ungrateful role of Pollione and Scandiuzzi is sonorous as Oroveso. There is even an 11 minute feature on the making of the production, as well as short interviews with the stars. With superb DTS sound and picture in high definition colour, this is one DVD I have and will return to many times over!
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3.9 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)
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