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Verdi: I Masnadieri [DVD]  [NTSC]
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C Major presents Verdis opera I masnadieri, as part of their Tutto Verdi project. This is a World première on DVD and Blu-ray. The opera is based on Die Räuber by Friedrich von Schiller. The story tells of how the actions of the jealous Francesco have separated his father from his brother Carlo.
Sound: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo
Running Time Total: 135 minutes
(Opera: 124 minutes, Bonus: 11 minutes)
Subtitles: Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
Booklet: English, German, French
Artur Rucinski's vocal performance is the most distinguished in this production... the promising Polish baritone has a juicy tone and invests his aria and cabaletta with feeling. --Mark Pullinger, International Record Review
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Top Customer Reviews
According to the blu-ray's book this blu-ray was compiled from all 5 performances in the run. Nicola Luisotti was recently appointed music director of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and this production is the first he conducted since his appointment. Gabriele Lavia, a well-known Italian director of high repute, as well as an actor, directed it. He is considered a 'specialist' of Schiller's text "Die Räuber" on which the libretto is based - he directed it (and played the role of Carlo) in a successful 1982 production that toured several Italian towns, and has recently directed a group of young actors in another staging seen in several Italian theatres. He also recently directed this play in one of the major theatres in Rome. In 1986 he produced this opera in Pisa, Lucca and Livorno. So this production of the Teatro San Carlo has generated considerable interest and has attracted fans from all over Italy.
In this staging the entire opera takes place in a single ugly space, possibly an abandoned contemporary theater stage with exposed lighting apparatus, projectors everywhere, or a space in an urban ghetto in Harlem or the Bronx with a broken roof, scattered debris and dead leaves .Read more ›
The plotline treads much familiar Verdi ground and concerns yet another unfortunate soprano at the centre of complex family intrigues including the composer's staples of warring brothers and older man/younger woman relationships (in this case uncle/niece rather than the normal father/daughter) Briefly the favourite son (Carlo) is in exile from the family. His cousin (Amalia) (also his love interest) is coveted by his brother (Francesco) the lovers' scheming nemises. A Verdi villain, with few if any redeeming features, Francesco, played as a crippled grotesque, tries to convince Amalia that both the father/uncle (Massimiliano) and Carlo, who is now the leader of a robber gang, are both dead. Eventually the very much alive Carlo is to enjoy a brief reunion with Amalia, who, grief stricken, he comes across wandering in the woods. Sometime later he discovers that his father is also still alive. Stricken with some form of remorse Francesco kills himelf which is the precursor for yet another death inspired by an oath given by Carlo to his robber band.Read more ›
It's true however that the work is initially constrained by its conventional structure. Each of the principal characters are introduced in the First Act with cavatinas that express their nature and their ambitions. The stagy conventionality of this introduction is matched by the apportioning of the roles according to type - the hero inevitably is a tenor, the love interest is a soprano, the villain is a baritone and the father is a bass. No surprises there. Having introduced the characters however, Verdi launches into the highly charged drama of the situation with his usual fiery arrangements which, if it has the right kind of treatment, can nonetheless be highly effective. The secret to making such material work of course - as is the case with all Verdi's early melodramas - is in the commitment and delivery of the performances.
A production of I Masnadieri stands or falls based on the performers, more so than the staging, but thankfully, the Naples production is strong in both areas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have heard this opera-DVD ten times now in search for undiscovered beauties in Verdi's score, but have alas found none. Read morePublished 21 months ago by christian engel
I won't repeat descriptions of the silly plot since other reviewers have covered that. The music itself is generally wonderful with some vintage Verdi arias and ensembles. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Colin W