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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 23 July 2004
The performance of Madrid's Teatro Real TOSCA is worth to buy and watch. Orchestra is in good mood even that the tempos may be a little bit faster and with more passion (the final chords of Tosca and Scarpia meeting in Sant Andrea della Valle church). Dessi is a real Tosca with fine acting and very good singing. Her 2nd act aria is a lesson of legato and expression of music just as Puccini would like to hear. Armiliato as her lover Mario is a real suprise - excellent singer, best in both arias, but also in "Vittoria" in 2nd and "O dolci mani" in third act. The only weak link is Raimondi as Scarpia, even that the audiance cheers him mostly. His voice was never, from my opinion, the right one for this character (not comparable to the voices of Sherill Milnes or the best one Tito Gobbi), specially now when passed his prime (Te Deum is an example of loud singing only on the border of barking). The smaller parts are well done too. The scenary is appropriate grandious with some original solutions, specially in the 3th act. Listen, watch and enjoy!
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on 22 January 2013
If you need a basic but competent version of this masterpiece by Puccini you can not go wrong with this one. The stage is classic but classy, well sung an the acting is all right. Subs for several languages are included (english, spanish, german and french, not italian though!) in a BD50 disc. Bonus are a so-so compilation of ArtHaus productions but who cares. Go for Tosca.
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on 4 December 2011
I have very mixed feelings about this recording. As an affordable introduction to Tosca, it is excellent: the singing and the music are very good, and the English subtitles are well done and avoid most of the unfortunate translations that on some recordings make one want to laugh at inappropriate moments. I hadn't heard either Cedolins or Alvarez before, and thoroughly enjoyed their singing performances. Unfortunately, I find Alvarez' appearance (slightly chubby, somewhat gap-toothed and with protruding eyes) detracts from his performance. I know this is purely my problem, but it is an unwelcome distraction. Also, often both of them were concentrating too much on the conductor; perhaps this is a consequence of the acoustics of the huge arena, but again it is a distraction (nearly 50 years ago I was watching Tito Gobbi in Othello at Covent Garden when I first became aware that it is possible to sing an aria while running down a staircase and apparently taking no notice whatever of the conductor!). Raimondi's Scarpia was, I thought, very well portrayed, and free of these mannerisms.

The sets are on a large scale, probably a necessity in this arena with little opportunity to change sets between acts. It is a challenge to fill the stage with a relatively small cast, and I think the production succeeded in this. But the massive crucifix and the gigantic head of a statue don't seem to tie in well with the drama. Perhaps I was missing something symbolic here.

A minor annoyance with the packaging. The synopsis is printed in a small font on the back of the cover label, so is stuck behind the plastic of the BluRay case - and virtually illegible. This would be a nuisance for someone coming to the opera for the first time. And although the release claims 147 minutes of additional operatic extracts, my player could only access the first of the five pages of extras.

But overall, especially at this price, I am glad that I added this to my opera collection.
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on 1 January 2012
Well, the first time I've watched opera, I bought this one for my partner, but,FANTASTIC, I loved it, the production was incredible, fantastic open air theatre,wonderful set, incredible voices of Fiorenza Cedolins and Marcelo Alvarez with Ruggero Raimondi and the orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona, just wonderful. I'm 65 and did not like opera, till now. A must for opera fans. ONE PROBLEM I HAVE AND IT'S PROBERLY NOT THE DISC. I'VE WATCHED THIS 5 OR 6 TIMES NOW. LAST NIGHT WE HAD FRIENDS ROUND AND DECIDED TO WATCH AGAIN. (NORMALLY IN FULL HD5.1DD AND SUBTITLED.) LAST NIGHT IT ONLY CAME UP PLAY ALL, OR TRAILERS. WE COULD'T GET IT FROM COMPRESSED TO FULL HD SOUND AND COULD'NT GET UP SUBTITLES. Does anyone have any ideas?????
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on 15 October 2009
The Arena di Verona is a spectacular venue seating an audience of 15,000 but its open air situation makes any musical ambience near impossible. The orchestra is well recorded in DTS-HD audio but does sound flat because of this and the singers come through less intimately. The artistry is ok with Florenza Cedolins capturing a couple of nice moments in her role as Tosca but this traditional production is generally less than riveting. I feel there are better renditions of this opera to come on Blu Ray so this version cannot be enthusiastically recommended.
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on 19 December 2012
It's Tosca - what more can I say ? Go for it ! Thoroughly enjoyed the performers and the performance. Much enhanced of course by the Blu-Ray experience.
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on 9 March 2014
Im not much on an Opera fan but this blew me away amazing, fab to look at singing superb Blu-ray quality very good as well
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on 8 February 2013
Not another essay, or I will stop sending you 'reports' on my transactiions - I just (usually) get what I wanted from you
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on 10 February 2016
Great Product
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on 12 January 2016
VERY GOOD
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