8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Verdi: Il Corsaro (Parma 2008) (Ribeiro, Lungu, Salsi, Dalla Benetta, Bonfatti, Papi, Villari, Lamberto Puggelli, Carlo Montanaro) (C Major: 722504) [Blu-ray]  [NTSC] (Blu-ray)
This was shot over two performances in Busseto, in October 2008. Teatro Verdi in Busseto is a small but beautiful building inside the Pallavicino castle. This staging was captured on a Dynamic DVD when it played in Parma in 2004. It's a simple, traditional and beautiful staging that was scaled down for Busseto from Parma's much larger house (1200 seats in Parma vs. Busseto's 300). They could fit only 27 Parma orchestra players into the Busseto pit.
Director Lamberto Puggelli's staging employs a dramatically effective system to outline the action and convey a sense of time and space. The single set is a deck of a ship with sails, ropes and masts going up and down for scene changes. Costumes are rich and colorful. There is a thrilling battle scene between the pirates and the Turks. The staging and lighting are replete with wonderful and ingenious touches.
The four leads were relatively young and unknown singers at the time. They are all very good in every aspect, three are superb. The Parma choir, prepared by Martin Faggiani is as always first rate. Video direction by Tiziano Mancini is on the same high level of his work in Parma. The sound is fantastic. The PCM stereo track gives you the perspective of a seat deep in the house with some hall resonance. I have only a stereo setup and I played the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio surround sound track accidentally. I don't know what my stereo setup does with this track (a stereo mix-down or just the front speakers?) but what I heard was very intriguing. The perspective is from a front row seat, no hall resonance, but what surprised me was the realistic sense of presence. The singers were located in a three dimensional vocal space very clearly and there was something in the sound that was very natural, lighter and more pleasant on the ears. The orchestra had that distinctive sound coming from a pit - this is very rarely captured; it's quite special. I ended up choosing the surround track, something I have never done before. I would be curious to hear from someone with a surround setup how it compares with the stereo.
Overall this production is a pleasure to experience from start to finish, a real gem.
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Initial post: 26 Mar 2013 13:56:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Mar 2013 13:56:38 GMT
Filippo Secondo (aka AB) says:
Hello, Noam Eitan. Ribeiro (Corrado) and Lungu (Medora) are the two outstanding singers here. Comparing this with the Dynamic release of the same production, I think that Adriana Damato's Gulnara is far superior to Silvia dalla Benetta's abrasive portrayal, and Salsi as Seid isn't in any way better than Bruson's aged assumption of the role. I wouldn't like to be without either set, anyway, 'Il corsaro' being a great favourite of mine.
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