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Verdi: I Due Foscari [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Leo Nucci, Roberto De Biasio, Tatiana Serjan, Roberto Tagliavini, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma
  • Format: DTS Surround Sound, Colour, Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, German, Korean, Chinese, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00925TAOQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,819 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

To celebrate Giuseppe Verdi's bicentenary in 2013, C Major is proud to present the truly unique project, TUTTO VERDI: All 26 operas released on DVD and Blu-ray, together with his immortal Requiem and special documentary.

I due Foscari was Verdi's sixth opera and based on Lord Byron's play The Two Foscari. Rich in intrigue, the plot tells of the final days of the famous Venetian doge, Francesco Foscari, and his illegal overthrow in 1457.

Review

[Leo] Nucci returns as the despairing Doge and is on stonking form, stealing the show shamelessly, especially in his act 3 aria 'Queste dunque è l'iniqua mercede', which is fantastically dispatched, and his death scene. Renzetti is... in charge of the pit and he and his cast make as good a case for the opera as the only other production I've seen, August Everding's for the Royal Opera. --Mark Pullinger, International Record Review

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The libretto for this work was adapted by Francesco Maria Piave from Byron's play entitled 'The Two Foscari.' The opera was first performed in the Teatro Argentina on 3 November 1844, which means that it is one of Verdi's earlier works. He, himself, soon realised that it was too gloomy overall. However, the work is important in that it reveals another significant step in the development of Verdi's greatness in that it shows how he was always ready to explore new ways to better articulate his compositions.

This particular rendition of the work in the Teatro Regio de Parma is greatly helped by the excellence of the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma conducted by Donato Renzetti and by the sympathetic staging and the stage direction by Joseph Franconi Lee. There's careful blending without anything getting in the way of anything else as, sadly, does happen sometimes.

Whilst appreciating the point concerning the 'too-gloominess', I have to say that this in no way encumbered my own particular enjoyment of this rendering of the work. In any case, there's a very real bright spot, with dancing and capering around, on the waterfront at the beginning of Act 3, which was especially well staged and a real delight to watch.

The performance is well directed with all participants clearly giving of their best. They interpret Verdi's music in the best possible fashion, bringing out the nuances involved in coping with the cross-current of emotions involved in the turmoil of human machinations. Leo Nucci is just perfect in the role of Francesco Foscari, octogenarian Doge of Venice. The whole gambit of problems involved in the conflict between his role as a father and his duty as Doge of Venice could not have better brought out.
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Format: Blu-ray
Composed in 1844 during the composer's 'galley years', I Due Foscari has very little dramatic drive and is largely tied to the conventions of the number opera, but somehow Verdi still manages to overcome those limitations. In some ways the structure and lack of drama makes this an untypical Verdi opera, but at the same time it demonstrates his characteristic attention to detail and his unerring ability to find exactly the right tone that best meets the dramatic requirements of the work. It might take you right until the end of Act III to realise just how masterfully that has been achieved, but this fine 2009 production from the Teatro Regio di Parma gives the work its best possible presentation.

Based on a work by Lord Byron, 'The Two Foscari', there's very little dramatic development in a story that is little more than a murder trial where we get to see neither the murder nor the trial. The accused however is the son of the Doge, so there's a great deal of conflict between family and duty (not an uncommon situation in a Verdi opera) where the Doge, Francesco Foscari finds that even as the ruler of Venice, his powers are limited. Dramatic developments might be few then and the sentiments are conventional expressions of patriotism, pleas to God, arias of despair and calls for vengeance but Verdi is nonetheless able to create a compelling drama out of this, allowing the intensity to build through the first two acts before hitting you with a powerful Act II finale and then following it with a showpiece for the Doge in Act III.

It helps if you have great singers to play these roles and, fortunately, the casting for this production in Parma is of the highest order.
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Fantastically sung and acted performance of Verdi's chiaroscuro Venetian masterpiece. On this showing Tatiana Serjan should be a household name, as should de Biasio, totally convincing and sensitive Verdian stylists who sing with total conviction. Add this the nonpareil Nucci in this role and this set is a success from beginning to end. Just a word that il maestro was 70 when this was recorded - the voice and acting are irreproachable. A unique achievement and a great advocacy for this unjustly neglected masterpiece.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I purchased this disc in preparation before seeing this opera (with Placido Domingo in the title role) at the Opera House. This was a very good buy since I was able to appreciate this unknown opera, sung and acted superbly by all singers especially Nucci who gives a convincing performance.
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