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Rossini: La Gazza Ladra (Dynamic: 55567) [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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Dynamic are proud to present, for the first time on Blu-ray, Rossinis La Gazza Ladra The Thieving Magpie recorded at the prestigious Rossini Opera Festival in 2007 (standard DVD release 33567). The stage is set in modern times and the whole story is presented as the dream of a young girl who plays the role of the magpie. The brilliant, rousing overture was made famous thanks to the soundtrack of Stanley Kubricks motion picture A Clockwork Orange.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bearing all this in mind, I have to say that Rossini was spot on with his interpretation of the magpie and Sandhya Nagaraja could not have acted the part better had she been a real magpie. An example of this is when she is looking sometimes out of a large pipe and sometimes over the top of a pile of pipes. This is what birds do. I've seen birds perching in the open ends of large pipes and also on top of them and sometimes they will make their way right through the pipe just like Sandhya does in the opera. Since the whole play of the opera is centred on the magpie, understanding the bird and its place in the ecosystem considerably enhances one's appreciation of the work.Read more ›
A period staging won't cut it in a modern context when the plot can be as stodgy and old-fashioned as this, even with Rossini's music to enliven it. At the same time, it's a mistake to get too clever, since the singers have enough on their plates with the extreme technical demands on their singing without being encumbered with elaborate acting and movements. Directed by Damiano Michieletto, this production - like most for this style of opera nowadays - goes for stylised colourful, minimalist, picture-book style imagery with no attempt at realism of locations, and theatrical costumes of no fixed period or style.Read more ›
From the opening sinfonia where a young girl is trying to go to sleep, eventually waking up in a dream where she become the magpie of the title to the moment where Ninetta's father rushes into the courtroom and the heartrending funeral march, this performance is about as perfect as you can get. The singers are ideal, the Pippo and Ninetta especially and you'll want to watch this again & again.
To start with, it’s an odd work, being neither a tragedy nor a comedy but a “semi-seria” – basically a sad story until a quick twist delivers a happy ending, and not much by way of laughs along the way. As a result a lot of the music is mournful and lamenting, which gets a bit dreary after a while. Also the plot is very thin – nowhere near strong enough to sustain the opera over its almost Wagnerian length of 3 hours 20 minutes. Definitely my least favourite of the Rossini operas that I’ve heard so far.
Musically, this performance is excellent, probably making as much of it as it is possible to make. All the cast are very strong. Mariola Cantarero sings sweetly as the heroine Ninetta, Dimitry Korchak makes a handsome Giannetto in his “Officer and a Gentleman” style white uniform, and I particularly liked Kleopatra Papatheologou’s formidable Lucia. Sandhya Nagaraja does very well in the dancer/acrobat role of the magpie. The orchestra play very well indeed.
The production is inept. For a start, it updates the action to the present day. (ish). The major plot driver is the imprisonment and sentencing to death of the heroine Ninetta for allegedly stealing a spoon. This would be far-fetched enough in its proper situation in pre-revolutionary France, but set in the present it’s just ludicrous.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched the opera today and thoroughly enjoyed it. Rossini wrote many operas and I love his music.
He did not let me down here. Read more
With the view points of both Mr.Keris Nine and Noam Eiten already published, it leaves me very little to comment about the performance in general. Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2012 by Satish Kamath