16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A word of caution about the text,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Handel: Rodelinda [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Fans of Fleming, Scholl and the Met in general will not worry much about fine detail in this performance, but anyone looking to it simply for a performance of "Rodelina" should be aware that the opera has been re-written in several places. I don't think it's a question of alternative versions by Handel; I think someone at the Met (presumably Harry Bicket) has changed text and music to create what they consider a better dramatic effect.
This is most obvious in the final scene, which is lengthened, and more of a role given to Iestyn Davies. This is not surprising, as the original stops rather suddenly - but if more was wanted, they could have used a big final duet Handel wrote for a revival.
I also noticed changes in Act II, in the recognition scene after Bertarido's wonderful aria "Con rauco mormorio" which his sister Edwige interrupts; they build on this great moment by cutting some text and inserting a cavatina "Chi ritorna alla mia mente" for Edwige from Handel's "Teseo". I like this: the aria is Scholl's finest moment, and the extra music allows Stephanie Blythe (much the most impressive singer in the show) to complement him very effectively, so that together they give us the best ten minutes of music on the disc - but it's not what Handel intended.
I'd also note (with pleasure) that the staging, high-tech as it is, does mimic practice in Handel's day. The action flows continuously, the sets change in full view of the audience, and the singers are (for the most part) allowed to sing without jumping about - though of course Handel's theatre could not move whole libraries (they didn't do snogging either).
I'd buy this again for the production, and for the singing of Blythe and Davies, but if you are looking for a performance of "Rodelinda" as Handel wrote it, I suggest you go the Alan Curtis CD of 2004 or if you want a DVD, the 1998 Glyndebourne staging, also Scholl, but singing better, and with a much preferable Rodelinda.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Mar 2014 06:50:38 GMT
A. F. S. Mui says:
Thank you ever so much for this most informative review.
In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2014 14:10:23 GMT
C. Wake says:
My pleasure. Thank you for your comment.
Posted on 2 Jul 2014 04:38:33 BDT
Yes, i find Fleming to be 'off' as Handel soprano. Her Alcina with Christie is also woolly.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›