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Verdi: I Masnadieri [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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  • Verdi: I Masnadieri  [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: Giacomo Prestia, Aquiles Machado, Nicola Rucinski, Lucrecia García, Nicola Luisotti
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jan. 2013
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0094AH3MU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

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.

NTSC
Picture: 16:9
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

Review

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

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
perfect!
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Format: Blu-ray
I Masnadieri was staged in San Carlo two years after the world premiere in London in 1849 for a run of 14 performances and never again until this production from March 2012. The opera was rarely performed until a successful concert performance by the Opera Orchestra of New York in 1975 and the issue of a Philips recording with Bergonzi, Caballé, Cappuccilli and Raimondi, conducted by Lamberto Gardelli. Bonynge conducted it at the Sydney Opera House in 1980 and recorded it for Decca in 1982 with his late wife.

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 .
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Together with Alzira there is a tendency to regard I Masnadieri as the bottom rung of the Verdi ladder but judging by this spirited production from Naples (2012) the opera does not deserve the unwarranted oblivion to which it has been consigned since first staged in London in 1847 for the musical content is certainly superior to the enjoyable but lightweight Un Giorno di Regno or the B side effort Il Corsaro. Much of the blame for the obscurity can be laid at the door of Andrea Maffei who penned a libretto containing vicious references that eclipse even those of Don Giovanni but which totally lack any of the brillance of Da Ponte. By even the most extreme operatic standard the opera's ending can only be described as absurd.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray
Based on a work by Friedrich Schiller and composed just after his first attempt at adapting Shakespeare to the opera stage in Macbeth, I Masnadieri was another attempt by Verdi to put some literary weight behind his work. The work failed however to live up to its source and was not a success when it was first performed in London in 1847 with Verdi himself conducting. More conventionally structured than Macbeth, I Masnadieri is not the greatest Verdi by a long stretch and hasn't enjoyed the same popularity as its predecessor, but it's still Verdi all the same and with the right kind of production, even the composer's lesser works can be highly charged and thoroughly entertaining. That's certainly the case with this 2012 production of from the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.

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.
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