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Puccini: Gianni Schicchi [DVD]  
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Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role in Annabel Arden's whirlwind production of Puccini's compact opera, in which the scheming Gianni Schicchi retrieves for himself the spoils of a disinherited family to pave the way for his daughter to marry her love.
"Alessandro Corbelli delivers a masterclass in how to extract every ounce of humour from comedy by playing it straight. He is the king of comedy and an international treasure." (The Stage)
"...conducted with flamboyant verve and mercurial comic energy by Jurowski, this is close to the perfect Glyndebourne experience." (The Sunday Times)
"Puccini's comic masterpiece comes in a production by Annabel Arden that determinedly underlines the black side of this sparkling farce. The conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, also emphasizes that point, suggesting that Puccini's construction anticipates that of the modern film in its timing and cutting of scenes...On the musical side, perfection of ensemble - for which Glyndebourne has long been famed - is at the root of this performance's success, with such characterful singers as Felicity Palmer and Marie McLaughlin among the mixed group of grasping relations. Alessandro Corbelli proves a masterly Schicchi, at once characterful, funny and sinister, and the two lovers are well taken by the tenor, Massimo Giordano, and the young soprano, Sally Matthews with her fresh, flickering vibrato." (The Penguin Guide)
CastAlessandro Corbelli (Gianni Schicchi)Felicity Palmer (Zita)Marie McLaughlin (La Ciesca)Massimo Giordano (Rinuccio)Sally Matthews (Lauretta)
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir JurowskiStage Director: Annabel Arden
Catalogue Number: OA0918DDate of Performance: 2004Running Time: 74 minutesSound: DTS Surround; LPCM StereoAspect Ratio: 16:9 AnamorphicSubtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, ITLabel: Opus Arte
Top Customer Reviews
This production was given just a year ago - in July 2004 - and was part of an oddly appropriate double bill. The other opera, Rachmaninov's 'The Miserly Knight' (sometimes called 'The Covetous Knight') was not only composed in roughly the same time period (early 20th century) but has greed as a common theme. I will be reviewing the just-released DVD of that release a shortly. But if it's anything like this production it will be a winner.
This is easily the best overall production of 'Gianni Schicchi' I've ever seen and I recommend it enthusiastically.
TT=74 minutes; includes extras: interviews with stage director Annabel Arden, conductor Jurowski, baritone Alessandro Corbelli (the wonderful Schicchi); a narrated and illustrated synopsis; a gallery of pictures of the cast. Sound: Stereo or DTS surround sound (and the sound is quite good). Subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.
In the title role, Alessandro Corbelli once again shows us why he is one of today's most sought-after singing artists. His expressive face, a marvel of muscular mobility, mirrors every fleeting thought and emotion, and every gesture is telling; yet one never feels that any of this is contrived, but only a natural consequence of Corbelli's total identification with his character. He uses his considerable vocal resources intelligently and respectfully, always in service of the music and dramatic situation, and never for the sake of pure vocalism. Corbelli is a Schicchi for the ages.
The supporting cast are all top drawer. One could not wish for a better Zita than Felicity Palmer; Sally Matthews and Massimo Giordano (not to be confused with Marcello Giordani, another fine tenor) are touching and ardent-voiced as the young lovers.
Gianni Schicchi is produced in a totally traditional setting of fastidious historical accuracy and complexity. The drama is provided by the interactions between the characters and the situation rather than through changes of scene as there is just one scene throughout. The cast are perfectly matched and are all outstanding in both their singing abilities and their acting abilities. This priceless combination makes this by far the most effective and enjoyable production that I have ever seen of this opera.
One must mention a few particularly outstanding roles however. Alessandro Corbelli in the title role matchlessly demonstrates his wonderful sense of comic timing throughout. In this he is matched by Felicity Palmer as the grasping socialite, Zita. Her nephew, passionately wishing to marry Schicchi's daughter and equally believing in Schicchi's abilities to solve the problem of the disinheritance, is sung with equal passion by Massimo Giordano. He is well matched by the sincere simplicity of Sally Matthews as Schicchi's daughter who gains special applause for her touching rendition of `O mio babbino caro'.
This is a dream team and a dream production.Read more ›
The performance on the new DVD is sheer delight from every point of view. It was filmed live at the Glyndebourne Opera House in 2004. The director Annabel Arden adapted the plot from the Middle Ages to somewhere in the 19th centaury. Sets and costumed are beautiful, and Arden is doing an inspired job, full of surprises.
Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra with excellent results. Puccini brilliant orchestration is heard with great transparency due to the excellence of the recorded sound (True Surround Sound).
The singers are all excellent. The extremely funny Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role; Massimo Giordano and Sally Matthews are the young lovers with fresh voices. Felicity Palmer, Marie McLaughlin and Luigi Roni are some of the relatives.
Opus Arte should get a very high mark for the technical quality and presentation. Picture is crystal clear and the sound is warm and brilliant. Highly recommended!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can only add my conviction to the other reviews. This is indeed an amazing piece of entertainment, with both amazing singing and acting. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Stevie