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Brilliant colours, crisp sound, botched acting,
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This review is from: Cavalleria Rusticana/ Pagliacci: Zurich Opera 2009 [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
These comments refer exclusively to "Pagliacci". The orchestra plays well under Stefano Ranzatti, and the bluray video and audio are crisp and brilliant. However, the performance does not bear comparison with the one we still can watch and hear in Zefirelli's old film, with its fuzzy images and fading colours (but good soundtrack). Fiorenza Cedolins (Nedda) is o.k. with me: she is pretty and makes good use of her pretty voice; she does not display Teresa Stratas' moving tenderness, but she has, I dare say, every right to play the role in a cooler, more up-to-date female manner. But the two key male roles are dismally acted by Gabriel Bermúdez (Silvio), who is utterly unconvincing as a lover, and by José Cura (Canio), who sings "Vesti la giubba" as it might be sung by a lyric truck driver who has just discovered that his wife cheats on him, with none of the shades of pathos and irony required in a clown, that is, someone who is a man (as the Prologue explains), but an artist too. The final scene where Canio and Nedda play Pagliaccio and Colombina is quite impressively done, but still, Cura sounds merely dispirited when he sits down and recalls his love for Nedda ("Sperai, tanti il delirio accecato mi aveva..."), as if he were taking a short rest from his unmitigated cuckolded macho anger, before actually killing her on stage. Quite a contrast with Plácido Domingo's beautifully nuanced singing of the same scene in Zefirelli's film.