Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cin Ci La'|
Actors: Maurizio Micheli, Elena Rossi, Orchestra Corpo Di Ballo, Coro Corpo Di Ballo, Leonardo Caimi
Director: Elisabetta Maschio
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
A Pure Delight!
John Centenaro | NJ | 08/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been an opera and operetta fan my whole life, I often wondered why it was that no one ever seemed to present any Italian operettas. I was sure that they MUST exist, since the Italians had been the inventors and masters of opera buffa through the first half of the 19th century, but, except for a few of the lighter works of Puccini, Mascagni, and Leoncavallo (which are really comic operas, rather than operettas) there seemed to be nothing. So, when I read the review of "Cin Ci La" in Opera News I was immediately intrigued and ordered the present DVD. My verdict: It is a total delight.
The music sounds like a potpourri of Lehar, Romberg, and early Jerome Kern with a generous helping of Neapolitan song mixed in. Beautiful, lush, Italianate lyrical melodies alternate with up-tempo, Jazz-Age style tunes, complete with double choruses and extended dance sequences. The libretto, concerning the problems of a couple of "Korean" royal newlyweds who are charged with producing an heir to the throne, but have no idea of how to do so because of their puritanical upbringing, is totally silly, but works very well in the context. The title character is, of course, the "Femme Fatale" who is experienced with many lovers (both Korean and European) and sets it all right by "instructing" the couple on the ways of the world. There is also the requisite principal comedian (Cin Ci La's French lover) in the Gilbert and Sullivan "patter" tradition, complete with comic banter, a nasal voice, and several wonderfully comic songs and duets.
The production couldn't be better. All the voices are excellent and the sets and costumes are both strikingly beautiful and very effective in their context. Bright colors and exotic designs abound and are a delight to the eye. The dancing and stylized "Asian" choreography is beautifully conceived, well executed, and never upstages the principals even when it is being performed behind them as part of the overall stage picture. Everyone, including the conductor and the orchestra, seems to be having a great time and it really shows in the performance.
In short, if you love opera, operetta, and early Broadway musicals, you can't go wrong with this DVD!