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Rossini: La Gazza Ladra (Dynamic: 55567) [Blu-ray] [2006] [Region Free]

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Paolo Bordogna, K.Papatheologou, Dimitry Korchak, Mariola Cantarero, Alex Esposito
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Dynamic
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Jan. 2012
  • Run Time: 201 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006K70A52
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,991 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By H. A. Weedon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Mar. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is a great production; but, first of all, some considerations concerning magpies. The magpie, a large, long-tailed black and white bird, is a member of the crow family. During my formative years in rural Suffolk, living as I did in close contact with five members of the crow family: rook, carrion crow, jackdaw, jay and magpie, I grew to know them and their habits very well indeed and I could tell each species just by listening to its voice. The jays, who lived in a large wood near my home, were the most colourful of the five species, but had the harshest voices. Once, after we had had tea on the lawn on a sunny summer afternoon, a magpie carried away a teaspoon which had been dropped on the grass. Magpies, who sometimes feast on other birds eggs, always build their large stick nests with a roof on them, thus preventing their own nests from being robbed. Outside of the breeding season I once climbed up to have a close look at a magpie's nest and found that various bright and/or colourful objects had been woven into the stick-work.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There's an air of familiarity to Rossini's La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie), and it's not just the famous overture (reputedly dashed off the evening before the first performance) that is second in popularity only to the composer's overture to William Tell, nor in this case is it anything to do with the composer's habit of reusing his music for other compositions. What is familiar to the point of predictability in La Gazza Ladra (written in 1817 between la Cenerentola and Armida) is the manner in which its opera semiseria melodrama plotline plays out. What differentiates this opera from other lesser examples of the style is the fact that - obviously - it's by Rossini, and being Rossini, the music is always melodically thrilling and inventive. The hook in this particular opera is of course that thieving magpie theme that flits through the opera musically, as well as the recognition of it as a playful dramatic theme, a deus ex machina element, that pops in now and again to move the plot along and prevent it from getting bogged down in melodramatic excess.

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.
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Format: DVD
GET THIS DVD! I cannot praise this wonderfully inventive production enough - having been in the audience at the Rossini Festival for it, ic an honestly say this was one of the most thoughtful, witty and watchable productions I've ever seen.

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.

BUY IT!!!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I’ve recently developed a love of the operas of Rossini and have been enjoying working my way through the available DVD/blu-rays – especially those from Pesaro. This is the first one that I really haven’t enjoyed – and I’ve watched it twice to be sure I wasn’t just having a bad day the first time.

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.
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