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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat!, 7 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Verdi: Un Giorno Di Regno (Pizzi 2010) (Loconsolo/ Porta/ Antonacci/ Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/ Donato Renzetti/ Luigi Pizzi) (C Major: 720208) [DVD] [NTSC] [2012] (DVD)
I have to admit that the cover photo of a woman in a state of hot pink undress nearly put me off buying this DVD. I took one glance and dismissed it as more Eurotrash. However, I was sufficiently curious to check every now and then to see when a review had been posted. I was pleased to read a revoew that described the production as "refreshingly traditional." I agree with that as with all other points of the earlier review. It is such a treat to see an opera staged in a manner that composer and librettist would recognize as, and admit to being, their own creation, and not the production of some pompous idiot who shows contempt for composer, librettist and audience alike. In this case, the production does exactly what it should do: it tells a story, and in a way that's interesting, engaging, and (dare I say it) charming.

The cast are uniformly excellent. The only name I recognized was that of Anna Caterina Antonacci whom I associate with serious roles. (I've seen her on stage as Adalgisa, Rossini's Ermione and Cherubini's Medea.) She shows herself to be equally adept at comedy as tragedy. The hot pink underwear on the cover is wrapped around her form. My admiration of this fine singing actress increases every time I see her, whether in the theatre or on DVD. She colors her voice to meet the dramatic situation and her technique is flawless.

The other singers, though not so well known, all offer enjoyable performances. The young lovers (Ivan Magri and Alessandra Marianelli) act engagingly and sing prettily. Andrea Porta and Paolo Bordogna are a lot of fun in the two more purely buffo parts of the Baron of Kelbar and Signor la Rocca. Best of all, though, is Guido Loconsolo as Belfiore disguised as King Stanislaus. His voice is full and rich. His characterization shows an appreciation of the predicament in which the king-for-a-day finds himself.

The picture is crisp and the recorded sound splendid. In every way, this one's a winner. It bodes well for the other, and forthcoming, releases in this series. I shall sample further of those that don't feature Dimitra Theodossiu. I think she should be behind bars for what she did to poor Lucrezia Borgia, but that's another review I wrote a couple of years back.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Nov 2012 10:57:19 GMT
dieter s. says:
I had the same reservation about purchasing this DVD, as the cover photo suggested another Eurotrash production. Unfortunately, even Italian opera houses are now turning out this garbage. Thanks for putting me right with your review which made me order the DVD.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2013 17:56:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jan 2013 17:58:56 GMT
Eurotrash? Well, that is sheer prejudice, buddies. I am personally fed up with Ameritrash, productions without imagination or innovation that may have been equally done fifty years ago, pure rutine and flatness, so conservative that one blushes and checks the date just to make sure it comes from the XXI century. Not to mention the singers with lots of publicity around and millionare contracts but not so good when it comes to really, truly singing and act. Keep your Ameritrash, we are very happy with the nerve, imagination, freshness of European opera productions and singers that bring new life to the best opera houses in the world.

Posted on 9 Nov 2014 18:24:56 GMT
Yes, Antonacci is wonderful. I recommend the dvd of 'Maria Stuarda', in which she plays Elizabeth. (Devia is also great in the eponymous role.)

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2014 18:33:26 GMT
To be fair, 'Eurotrash' as a term is used not for innovation, experiment or daring per se, but for ludicrous productions which violate and often in a profound sense 'contradict' the opera itself. Examples of unconventional stagings which are not Eurotrash: the Met Sonambula (set in a rehearsal room) and the Spanish Barber of Seville (clowns' uniforms) with Juan Diego Florez. Examples of Eurotrash: mostly Wagner operas. In a recent Parsifal I saw, Kundry unveils the grail at the end instead of dropping dead; also ring cycles set in disused swimming pools. The recent Valencia Ring (qv) is the ultimate Eurotrash as it dares to patronise Wagner by 'bringing it up to date' using high technology.
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