Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellini - Beatrice di Tenda / Daniel Schmid - Gruberova Volle Kaluza - Viotti - Zurich Opera|
Actors: Edita Gruberova, Michael Volle, Stefania Kaluza, Miroslav Christoff, Marcello Viotti
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Today?s audiences often find it difficult to comprehend what makes Vincenzo Bellini?s operas remarkable. Works like Beatrice di Tenda were not rediscovered and staged until the second half of the 20th century. Bellini's cr... more »
Gruberova still standing tall and singing high
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is unfortunate that Beatrice di Tenda was never really received well enough to give it a slot in standard belcanto repitory. Bellini himself planned on reworking the score but fatefully never did. So with the help of modern music scholars the act II final scene was reworked (mostly as a vehicle for Joan Sutherland's 1961 La Scala outing in the title role) and it is a gem of a piece, if not a little lacking in the dramatics the Bellini usually incorporated in his highly dramatic climatic closing scene (ie. Norma or Puritani). Thanks to the belcanto revival of the 1960's we have a few wonderful performances of this opera to enjoy... among the best we have Joan Sutherland in a live 1961 radio cast from La Scala, she is on fire in this performance but the sound is poor, we also have her 1966 studio where she is more restrained and subtle in her portrayal, but the youthful Pavarotti in the small role of Orombello more then makes up and the recorded sound in good. Since then we have seen a few recordings of modern sopranos that really show how hard this title role is! Sutherland gave up the role by the late 60's, when her high E natural was getting more strident ... however still beautifully excited. The only sopranos that I have ever heard with much success would be June Anderson and Edita Gruberova. And that takes us to the current production from the 2001 season Zurich Opera.
I have to admit that for the first time I really could notice some hints of strain on Gruberova's otherwise faultless technique. She is still has a pure and lyric coloratura that can hit and sustain even the highest if notes and her performance is a masterclass in Bellini style. This recording could be enjoyed for her performance alone, but there is so much more here. As Filippo Michael Volle is truly evil, and his supple baritone feels very comfortable in the range of his music. Hernandez and Kaluza are secure in their roles without as much comfort in the Bellini style. And Marcello Viotti is as always pushing his cast and relishing in the music as it was as fresh as the day it was written. As for the production itself, I personally found it to be entertaining and new. That said moving the piece to I am guessing 1930's art deco Berlin? may have lost some of the original plot meaning. But this is more then worth the price and the sound and picture quality are excellent... buy it and enjoy it."
A Dreary Production of a Dreary Opera
Chaconnesque | Singapore, Singapore Singapore | 08/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite Bellini's opinion that Beatrice was worthy of her sisters Norma, Amina and Elvira, sad to say, she's not quite there. The fault lies mainly in the faulty libretto - repetitive and boring. However, in the hands of a singer with good dramatic capabilities (like Callas, Gencer, Scotto or Sills) the music and story might just come to life. Gruberova does not belong to that category of singers. She's more known for her beautiful singing than her ability to inject drama. It does not help that the production is so extremely static. The chorus for the most part, just stood and sang. Here too, Bellini and Romani just simply wrote one too many chorus in the opera, stalling all the action. The modern setting does not work. In the modern world one does not put to death one's spouse for infidelity. A consolation is that Volle is quite a dramatic presence. Otherwise the rest of the singers don't have much to show. This performance does not rescue the opera from oblivion. Neither did those of Sutherland, for much the same reasons - she's not dramatic enough. Aliberti's recording also does little justice, there because of her tendency to wimper instead of sing even though she's more touching than either Sutherland or Gruberova."
Any Bellini will do
Dr. John W. Rippon | Florida | 03/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any Bellini will do. I love those long arching lines, the haunting chorus weaving effortlessly through one key after another and the whole thing is of such ethereal beauty. Beatrice di Tenda has some great parts, solos, duets, choruses but alas they don't fit well together. It needed some reworking of libretto and dramatic action. It is not up to Norma or Puritani or Sonnambula but it is well worth hearing and enjoying. I'm a great fan of Gruberova and, as the first reviwer noted, she is not as flexible as in years past but to hear her do "Se un'urna e a me concessa" with that floating flute-like pianissimo is worth it all. She was near the end of her career but she could still do it. The production is beautiful but not for this opera - Lulu perhaps. I prefer a setting appropriate to the story or at least to the period of the composer. Part of the magic of opera is gone if you put Romeo y Juliet in some back alley slum. But here the singers are all good so you can close your eyes and just enjoy the Bellini. Any Bellini will do for me."