Bellini: La Sonnambula [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] [2000] (DVD)

Outstanding production
Customer rating 5.0/5.0
21 Oct. 2013 By I. Zaneres
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6 out of 6 found this helpful

The basic set is a rather nice grassy bank, it is a rather enchanting scene. It forms the basis of other scenarios, props are added and a variety of projected backdrops add to the atmosphere. It does struggle a bit when it becomes the counts bedroom but other than that it is brilliant.
The costumes for the lead characters and the chorus are very well done, there is colour coding between the chorus and the lead characters costumes so they do not get lost in the crowd, and there are of course many chorus scenes.
The first of the excellent voices is Sandra Pastrana as Lisa, a delightful soprano with a pure tone. When Eglise Gutierrez enters as Amina a real treat is in store, she has a beautiful voice and the sweetest sounds when she gets into the upper register.
Antonio Siragusa is a light east tenor, he has very clear tones and is admirably suited to the part of Elvino. The count sung by Simone Alaimo is an extremely listenable baritone and adds character to the part. Gabriella Colecchia is a good mezzo and makes an excellent Theresa. Gabrielle Nani is passable as Alessio, but the part gives little opportunity to shine. The chorus have a lot of work to do and a good job they make of it too. So much for the the artistes.
The music is just one long succession of melodic arias, duets, combinations of chorus and soloists. I cannot think of an opera that produces so much melody without producing an operatic top 20 favourite.
The booklet is adequate, nice and glossy with all that you need, artist and roles,
sections are itemised but not timed, and a précis of each act.
I have three versions, this is the best, the Eva Mei versionis a close runner up with a poorer staging and lastly Natalie Dessay in a modernised version which in my opinion is dire. Even Dessay seems to screech her high notes, though I note that a number of reviewers like it.

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