Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bizet - Carmen / Corelli Amparan Colzani Ribetti Sacchetti Cassinelli Sanzogno Milano|
Actors: Franco Corelli, Beln Amparan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A treasure from the past
Bernal Jimenez | Gaithersburg, MD United States | 11/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, a warning: This is a black-and-white (even though the photos on the cover are colorized), made-for-television, lip-synched Italian version of Carmen from 50 years ago. This DVD is for opera buffs interested in historical documents and is of special appeal to die-hard Corelli fans.
My expectations for this 1956 video were completely shattered. I honestly sat down fully cognizant that I was about to be bored to death. My best hope was that I'd chuckle here and there at how ridiculous and over-the-top it was. Boy, was I wrong. What I experienced was a well-sung, fully-committed performance that made its mark in spite of its limitations. The soundtrack was recorded before the video and so singers must lip-synch to their own voices with variable success, which is frankly distracting. The print here is pretty decent and as good as it's going to get. We must make concessions considering the age of this recording. The audio is tolerable and only once, briefly during Act IV, is it distorted beyond reparation. But the loving effort of the entire production makes this a highly entertaining and enjoyable performance.
Corelli's Don Jose is well-documented on audio recordings both in French and Italian. He's at the top of his game on this DVD, singing beautifully and acting to the best of his abilities. He looks insanely demonic during the scorching Act IV duet. The camera takes care to show us all those physical assets he was famous for in addition to his glorious voice. Belen Amparan as Carmen was the big surprise for me. A very attractive, photogenic woman, she not only looks sexy but sounds it as well. With her smoky, on target, pleasant mezzo, I am surprised she did not have a bigger career. The portly Escamillo of Anselmo Colzani delivers the vocal goods, and though Elda Ribetti as Micaela has the hardest time with the lip-synching and seems least at ease in front of the cameras, her somewhat timid performance does not cause that much harm overall.
The elaborate sets and carefully designed costumes only add to the great performance delivered by the singers. This DVD has subtitles in English, French, and Italian. No extras are included. The booklet has a short essay on Bizet and Carmen but regrettably nothing about the performers or about how this particular recording took place (usually Hardy Classic releases will include interesting information about circumstances surrounding the production of the video)."
Belem Amparan is THE only Carmen
Francisco J. Cuenca | Guadalajara, Jalisco, MEXICO | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a real success to have remasterice this film of Bizet's Carmen because it is an opera song for many great singers, but Carmen is not only singing but acting, feeling, and at least in 20th. Century, there were no Artist like the Mexican Belem Amparan to give life, the perfect concept of that life to the Sex Provocative, Rebel girl, Beautiful Woman and Tragic Heroine.If you want to know how Carmen has to be singed and actued, you have to buy this historic recording in black and white.In early 80`s Placido Domingo sang with her the "Remendao", such great was Belem Amparan."
D. Culp | Los Angeles, CA | 01/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's because the film is in black & white or because it was shot in 1956 when Italian cinema was in love with neo-realism, or maybe simply that the director concentrates on intimate shots rather than grand vistas (it also saves on expensive sets) but almost every frame of this production is involving.
The Carmen (Belen Amperin, who I'd never heard of before) looks slutty - exactly what Carmen should be, with an excellent, if not special mezzo voice. The Escamillo sings very well but is frankly a bit portly to be fighting bulls. And then there's Corelli. At the beginning of his career when he hadn't frozen into Capital-Letter Star mode and took chances. It's as if James Dean could sing. He does things - quick glances, unfinished mouthings of words, meaningful gestures and body movements, and he has a seething ferocity (especially in the final scene) that makes it clear Don Jose was not driven to madness by Carmen, he always was a killer and just never knew it.
Oh, yes. Corelli sings marvelously. Not beautifully, but as if he had decided that Carmen was a precursor to Pagliacci. His Flower Song is especially notable in that it seems he is thinking of the words - and their meaning - as he sings them. For beauty, I'll take Bjorling, but this early Corelli was really something.
Gem from the past! A must for Corelli fans and opera fanati
Operafilly | Fallbrook, Ca United States | 07/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While RAI productions verge on sloppy and shoddy, happily, this is the great exception. I only wish it weren't lipsynced. But that is my only complaint. The direction and camera work are excellent. Great attention was given to the sets and choruses (which I usually am bored with). And tho I've seen Corelli live, there's so much more nuance to be appreciated in his acting with this more intimate showing. He doesn't have to act for the balcony. So we get a more natural kind of acting. And need I mention his glorious singing?? And he is terrifying in the final duet. Really scary!! He makes all other Don Joses quite tepid!!
Amparan is a Mexican mezzo who sings well without that awful harsh sound so many mezzos have. She could be a bit prettier or better made up. But then the Italians are more naturalistic.