Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Die Operngala Der Stars |
Actors: Elina Garanca, Anna Netrebko, Ludovic Tezier, Ramon Vargas
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
The Festival Theatre at the German spa town of Baden-Baden is a spanking modern concert hall behind the fašade of a handsome 19th-century railroad station. In July 2007, it hosted an evening of wonderful singing by a quart... more »
Stars Shine, but the Smaller Ones Shone even Brighter
Abel | Hong Kong | 01/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the COMPLETE version of the Baden-Baden Concert on July 2007, available on DVD from DG, whereas the CD is the excerpted version.
By ALL means get this DVD version, since it contains double the contents of the CD, with some BEST performances NOT available on the CD version. (Plus stunning visual effects, of course).
Having reviewed the CD version earlier on, I must say that the complete concert reveals some thing quite different and interesting.
DG, in its inlaid leaflet, claims that its two artists Elina Garanca and in particular Anna Netrebko alone would have made the concert a success.
True - but only to a certain extent, and the truth lies mainly in the VISUAL aspect.
Without doubt, both Netrebko and Garanca are top-notch singers. Netrebko owns a voice whose unfathomable lyricism is hard to beat these days from any lyrical soprano. Garanca is a top-notch coloratura mezzo-soprano in the league of the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Both ladies attired in Escada's gowns and Chopard jewelry, really presented a wonderful blend of commercialism and artistry.
Having said that, IMHV, the best performances that evening, rather from the two ladies, came from much less well-known (allow me to say so since I do not reside in Europe) French baritone Ludovic Tezier.
Right after the Norma duet from Netrebko and Garanca after the opening sinfonia, Tezier gave the concert its 'morning call' by his Il Puritani solo aria, a wonderful display of lyrical baritone, rich in tone and flying in coloratura singing. Garanca's Rossini aria from La Cenerantola is the second showpiece, fully demonstrating an agile coloratura. Her Italian diction suffering slightly from comparison with Tezier's, who, by all standards, is a great Verdian baritone in the making judging from his impeccable Italian and wonderful Verdian interpretation in the two Don Carlo excerpts that evening. All these wonderful pieces, apart from Tezier's Don Carlo solo, are NOT available on the CD version.
The two MET stars Ramon Vargas and Anna Netrebko were the natural spotlights in this evening, but Vargas, with a significant reduction in body weight, suffered also a reduction in vocal prowess. His shimmering upper register, so famously beautiful, lost some of its usual lustre this evening. On the whole, his performance could be termed 'passable', but short of brilliant.
Anna Netrebko's voice being as stunning as ever, the focus got onto her diction as she sang in Italian, German and French on this particular evening. My alien ears however failed to catch the differences, and had to reort to the subtitles' search to find out in what language she was singing, as all sounded so much alike.
The Lehar encore piece by Anna included a stunning dancing stint from the soprano, and would otherwise have been perfect but for the slight hiccup in the returning section, luckily speedily picked up by conductor Armiliato. This piece certainly was NOT included in the CD version."
The Ladies Were Great but Evening Belonged to Vargas
An Opera Fan | New York,U.S.A. | 02/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD of the Opera Gala from Baden-Baden is truly a worthy addition to anyone's collection of beautiful singing. The video and audio are excellent. All four featured singers possess gorgeous voices and in top form. The ladies looked divine and performed all their numbers magnificently. The baritone Ludovic Tezier was likewise quite impressive in my first introduction to his considerable talent. However, it was tenor Ramon Vargas who proved to be the rock and big star of the show. Although his voice has grown into a robust, powerful spinto with dark colors, he has not lost any of his admirable and distinctive qualities such as his trademark elegant legato singing, masterful control of dynamics, unerring sense of belcanto style and musicality of the highest order. His burnished bronze served him well in the dramatic Verdi numbers. Not only did he sing the most and clearly garnered the most ovation for his arias and duets, he was chiefly instrumental in raising the excitement level throughout the evening everytime he came out to do his solo or duet. For instance, after Anna Netrebko brought the roof down with the Lehar number and her bag of amusing tricks (seemingly an impossible act to follow), Vargas followed with a rollicking and powerful rendition of Rossini's La Danza in a pretty brisk tempo and demolished the remainder of the house left by Netrebko. It's that kind of a night that clearly belonged to Vargas, the senior of the group. Elina Garanca was sensational in the Spanish number too. The way the ladies looked and everybody sang made this gala a truly memorable one, and hard to top yardstick for a gala of four in the future."
terence reisman | tallahassee, fl USA | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This concert dvd has it all: wonderful video and audio, topnotch vocal performances as expected from the ladies and the baritone .Evidently Vargas has lost weight and some of the beautiful topend of his voice. However, for the price of the dvd who could complain? Netrebko continues to amaze and Garanca is a wonderful mezzo."
An excellent Concert
A. BOSS | Mountainside, NJ United States | 01/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent concert recording. As mentioned by another reviewer, the lesser known singers were up to the high standards of Netrebko and Vargas. Netrebko and Garanca were exceptional in their acting even though this was a concert. They gave the impression they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience was."