Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cilea - Adriana Lecouvreur / Dessi Larin Borodina Guelfi Brignoli La Scala|
Actors: Olga Borodina, Sergei Larin, Giorgio Giuseppini, Daniela Dessė, Roberto Rizzi Brignoli
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Good drama magnificently presented
Dr. J. J. Kregarman | Denver, Colorado United States | 09/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Given mixed reviews elsewhere of both this opera and its production, I was quite peasantly surprised by the effectiveness of both. The opera itself is quite melodious and it may be noted that in the past some of Cilea's areas for the baritone and for the tenor have been recorded with a fair amount of frequency. Dessi's portrayal of Adriana is more girlish/hysteric than that I have heard from exerpts by others but in context of a complete performance her view seemed valid. Sergei Larin sings well and while he doen't look like a fellow two women would be fighting over - well that's not too unlike reality. In general, I would say, all roles were well acted and well sung with Olga Borodina's princess receiving universal and well deserved praise.
And what sets and what costumes! The production is lavish - a feast for the eyes. I can not immagine a better way to enjoy this opera than live or on DVD."
VERISMO AT ITS BEST
Francesco Alvarez | 07/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea, is definitely "verismo" at its best. Any time I embark in the adventure of listening or watching this opera I feel its vibrant strength and passion. Do not expect well-defined arias as the ones you would find in more classic operas. However the melodic thread is always there with passages of great beauty and a nostalgic mood that pervades the whole opera from beginning to end. Such is the case of "La dolcissima sfige..." (followed by a fantastic duet with the soprano) and "L'anima stanca" both sang by the tenor at the first and second acts respectively. Most of Adriana parts are also memorable, including the aria of the flowers in the last act and the stunning Fedra's monologue at the end of the third act. A second love duet wit Maurizio in the last act is also glorious. Symphonic intermezzi are outstanding (e.g. the one before Adriana's encounter with the princess Bouillon in the second act, the "French" ballet in the third act and the overtures of the first and fourth acts). The role of Adriana Lecouvreur is not easy to sing and even great divas have failed in it. I have had the fortune of listening Magda Olivero (one of Cilea's favorite) in the title role, in Caracas, in the early seventies. However I also had the misfortune of listening the "great" Joan Sutherland, in the same role, in Toronto in the mid eighties. This version from La Scala is quite irregular. None of the lead singers, with the exception of Olga Borodina (aka princess Bouillon), really impress me as singers. Their acting and scenic presence are good though and, somehow seem to surpass their musical talents. The settings and costumes are beautiful and elegant and work quite well in the background of a careful stage direction."
Outstanding production and very effective singing
C. Harbison | Montague, MA United States | 05/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The La Scala production is gorgeous and effectively captured on this DVD. The singing is always good and sometimes very sensitive and gripping; the conducting is superb, vigorous and also nuanced and delicate. The video filming is especially effective in giving enough cut away shots so that you can really appreciate the beauty of the sets (shades of Fragonard, etc. very appropriate--although why the mosque at Cordoba shows up in one backgound painting is hard to say). All the singers except for Carlo Guelfi, who is very assured throughout, seem to be warming up during their first appearances but overall their committment and acting is effective and moving. The subtitles are amazingly literal so that at times they are very silly, but at least it teaches you just how basic opera librettos often are. Color gorgeous, sound excellent. Highly recommended for any fan of this beautiful and tuneful opera."