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Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

Price: £14.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) [DVD] [2001] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019HP1C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,487 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

John Cox's innovative production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, with good-looking, authentic designs by William Dudley, put plenty of fizz into this old favourite and was a real hit with the critics. The usual Glyndebourne hallmarks of team work and extended rehearsal paid handsome dividends in this production, filmed in 1982. American soprano excels as the pout Rosina, and John Rawnsley gives a virtuoso performance as the witty barber Figaro.

Cast: Figaro -- John Rawnsley
Rosina -- Maria Ewing
Count Almaviva -- Max-Rene Cosotti
Bartolo -- Claudio Desderi
Basilio -- Ferruccio Furlanetto
The Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Sylvain Cambreling

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

The opening village street is small tidy and excellent, the mottley crew of musicians gets us off to a good start, costumes are excellent and slightly amusing. Robert Deans Fiorello is a pleasing forerunner to Cossoti who has a pleasing light coloratura. When Rawnsley appears he proves to be an architype Figaro, he has a very expressive face and a good voice to boot.
When Maria Ewing appears on the balcony we have a brief taste of the vocal pleasures to come. I like the bit where Figaros shop appears and Almaviva gets his soldiers costume.
The act two set of Bartolos room is quite delightful, Maria Ewing expressing her emotions with eyes as well as voice. I have seen her in varied roles and she always seems to get to the root of the character.
Desderi is a stern self centered Bartolo, not portrayed as a comic figure as in some productions. I prefer his interpretation, he sits well in the part.
Furlanetto has a rich voice, I love his costume and his "slander" is one of the highlights.
The set for act three is again very good, I love the way Rossini makes a satisfying musical meal of " Buona Serra" in this act. It is well presented here.
I own four versions of Il Barbiere and Catherine McCord is by far the best Berta both in singing and acting, I should love to see and hear her in another role.
Watch out for the conversion of the room to the balcony, quite clever and subtle.
This is my favourite version, but Kasarova in the modernised Zurich version is very good, and Herman Prey in a stage filmed version from Alla Scala is not bad. The Met with Florez is passable but not my favourite by any means.
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Once, a friend of Richard Wagner's (yes, he had a few) discovered him sitting in the shadows at the back of an opera house box watching "The Barber of Seville."

"How I love Rossini," said the great man, "but you must not tell my Wagnerites. They'd never forgive me."

This is a good-looking, bright, energetic and wholly entertaining production of opera's reigning comedic warhorse. If the singing is hardly likely to make hard-core fans throw away their recordings with Callas or Berganza, it is nevertheless perfectly respectable.

This is one of the all-too rare productions in which it appears that the stage director has bothered to read the text. Why, wonder of wonders, when young, lovesick Count Almaviva is supposed to be singing a serenade, the director actually has him do just that. And when Figaro, the town barber, is supposed to be shaving Dr Bartolo, the comic sort-of villain, he actually applies foamy shaving cream. Astonishing!

Maria Ewing sings pretty well as she manages to be strange-looking-but-beautiful-anyway, funny, indomitable and adorable all at once.

This is probably as good a DVD as you might hope to find for introducing a newbie to the mad, illogical and ultimately addictive world of opera.

Five stars.

A NOTE ON CASTING:
One Amazon US reviewer has noted with dismay that Maria Ewing who sings Rosina is actually identified as a soprano, not as a mezzo-soprano for which the role was written. Be reassured. More than a few sopranos have succeeded as Rosina in the nearly two hundred years since "The Barber" was premiered. Rossini, himself, coached soprano Adelina Patti in the part. She scored a triumph. (She later became so famous that the barbershop standard "Sweet Adeline" was written in her honor.) Closer to our own time, a certain Greek-American lady named Callas had some success, too.
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I'm not sure that there are many of the top operas that are `feel good factor' operas ... but, this is definitely one of them.
This is a pleasure to watch and its production and players are also Brit's! Hooray!
I won't bore anyone with the plot. I would say immediately that Maria Ewing as the love interest, Rosina, was just brilliant - wonderful singing and great character acting. If you can't have a chuckle at her wonderful facial mannerisms then you really are past the point of no return.
John Rawnsley (Figaro & The Barber) was not far behind her and what a good character he was! It just seems odd that this was done some 30 years ago but looks totally fresh in every which way.
My only minus point would be that the 'disguised' characters and their scenes,were for me,a little unconvincing and not particularly funny. However, there were many fine moments - `The `Slander' scene was great with Furlanetto excelling in this role.
The sets were colourful & lavish, as were the costumes. For me this opera just reeks: pleasure & fun, a lovely evening in, nods of appreciation, smiles, etc. etc ...
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This Barber of Seville is a funny version of this comic opera. The story is not over the top. John Rawnsley is a great Figaro with his manners and facial expressions. Maria Ewing is a real cross-grained adolescent. Claudio Desderi is a credible don Bartolo. Max-Rene Cosotti is a soft and loving count Almaviva and plays a great drunk soldier. The other parts are also done well. Even my fifteen year old son liked the story.
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By H. A. Weedon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase
This is my favourite 'Barber'. Has it ever been better performed? Not only does John Rawnsley sing the part of the barber to perfection, he also acts the part to perfection. Better still, this is how it is with the whole production, which is sung to perfection, acted to perfection and staged to perfection. One part of the staging I particularly liked was the view from Dr Bartolo's window. Dave Heather made an excellent job of directing this production for video.

You couldn't fault any of the singer-actors and the 'chemistry' between them could not have been better. The rapport between the actors is tangible. For instance, Max-Rene Cosotti as Count Almaviva and John Rawnsley's Figaro were obviously very much at home with each other. Claudio Dederi is just perfect as Dr Bartolo and Maria Ewing must surely go down as one of the all time greats as Rosina and I've never seen a better Basilo than that performed for us by Ferruccio Furlanetto. One of the pieces I always watch out for in this work is the solo sung by Berta the Maid and Catherine McCord, who is perfect for the part, didn't disappoint me.

What else can one say? You just can't fault it. In simple terms its just a case of: Glyndebourne does it again! As for the quality of the recording I can't really comment. As with all my DVDs and Blu-ray DVDs, it works perfectly on the equipment I have. Inevitably, there always something that can be picked out as not as good as it should be - picture quality and so on or sound - but I'm not aware of any that kind of thing here. But then, I have to say that I'm generally a happy, easy to please person not given to being driven up the walls by minor annoyances. The character of the Barber of Seville is a great role model. Beset as he is on all sides, he never lets anything get him down. And, believe me, his attitude works. This is great stuff. Buy and enjoy.
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