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on 5 July 2014
Donizetti composed Opera full of light humour and beautiful love songs such as L' Elisir d'Amour, and other works such as Lucia di Lammermoor full of desperation and ending in tragedy. I recently attended the Metropolitan Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Anna Netrebko was unfortunately touring in concert but the production was the same, and I have the DVD. The Anna Bolena Opera was Donizetti's 31st completed in 1830, and amazingly, the first to be really successful during his lifetime.
Anna Netrebko plays beautiful Anna Bolena with a passion that is truly regal. This is a great contrast to the flirtatious country girl in L' Elisir d' Amour, but she is joined again by Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as King Henry V111. Here his humorous capabilities as the Doctor are also put aside, for a very serious and strong portrayal of a menacing monarch who allegedly stopped at nothing in his desire for a male heir. Anna Netrebko and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo show their brilliant versatility also in Le Nozze Di Figaro by Mozart, in a video directed also by Brian Large.
Elina Garanca is wonderful, giving an equally dramatic and beautifully spell binding performance as Giovanna Seymour. A Lady in waiting, Giovanna is the object of Enrico V111's affections and soon to replace Anna as Queen.
The Libretto by Felice Romani takes artistic licence with History, but the stress of her imminent execution induces a sense of unreality as Anna tries to comfort her young daughter Elizabeth, just as Lucia di Lammermoor is driven to madness. There is much confrontation and reverie throughout, but Anna begins the finale with the beautiful arias Piangete voi? and Al dolce guidami castrei natio, with the Chorus.
The young Minstrel Smeaton is played excellently by Elizabeth Kulman, with Dan Paul Dumitrescu as Lord Rochefort, Francesco Meli as Lord Riccardo Percy, and Peter Jelosits as Sir Harvey.
The supreme Chor, Orchester und Buhnenorchester der Wiener Staatsoper is conducted by Evelino Pido. The sumptuous 16th Century period costumes are designed by Luisa Spinatelli.
Intense drama and scintillating music demanding the pinnacle of vocal prowess, all captured on Blu-ray. What more is there to say?
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on 11 June 2014
I can only endorse the superlatives given by the other reviewers. The sets and staging appear fairly discrete but very effective. This is in no small part due to the performers. Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca are brilliant in singing and acting. The same is true of ldebrando D'Arcangelo as Henry 8th. All three look the parts which is a great bonus.
The orchestra under Evelino Pido perform superbly. The video direction by Brian Large is, as usual, exemplary, without wasted camera shots or close-ups which would destroy the atmosphere. There are of course close-ups but always well judged.
A must buy for opera lovers.
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Great singing from Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo too gave a fine performance as Henry Reminding us at times that Henry was a fine athlete in his younger days.He struggled with some of his lower notes, but his upper register shone.Francesco Meli I have never liked. His top notes were feeble & he lacked power during Orchestral tutti's. A sign of the times I suppose as far as tenors are concerned, some notable tenors excepted.I am prepared to put up with Meli to hear such fine singing from the soprano & mezzo. History tells us that Anna was a notable beauty & Netrebko did us proud in that respect as did the lovely Garanca as Jane Seymour.. A splendid performance of a great opera
Charles Webb Pontypool Wales.
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on 5 January 2018
This is a review of the Vienna State Opera's Anna Bolena. To my untrained ear the singing is perfect. The costumes and lighting are marvellous, a Holbein come to life. Excellent.
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on 10 April 2015
The production is magnificent and matches the excellent singing. Anna Netrebko is at her best as Anna Bolenene and she is well supported by Elina Garanca as Giovanna Seymour.
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on 2 August 2015
Beautiful singing by all the cast and the acting was superb.
Netrebko lit up the stage and Garanca is the perfect mezzo.
I never tire of listening to both soprano's and they perfectly complement each other.
Netrebko has tremendous charisma.
Henry the 8th was played very well and Harvey and the musician were not over shadowed at all and the whole ensemble are excellent.
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on 15 February 2016
So beautiful, and so well cast, making it very believable.
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on 9 October 2015
Athletes of song combine with a fine orchestra to make an historic recording.
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on 22 January 2014
This recording is suprb. Anna Netrebko proves again at she is the best soprano singing today. Elina Garanca is relly brilliant here both in singing and acting. They are just perfect together.The male cast is o.k. nothing more. I love this dvd and I am very glade at I have bought one and the english subtitles are not missing.
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on 16 August 2013
A fabulous recording with a singer with an exquisite voice. Highly recommend to lovers of good singing. A first class production
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