Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Donizetti - Don Pasquale / Corbelli Mei De Candia Siragusa Gatti Korsten Teatro Lirico Cagliari|
Actor: Eva Mei
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
The story of the old fool who is thoroughly cured of his eagerness to marry and relieved to be able to pass the young devil of a woman on to her true love is as old as comedy itself and has been used frequently by composer... more »
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Donizetti at his best
Brian Wrangham | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 10/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I waited many years for a video of this very delightful and amusing comic opera by Donizetti to appear and finally it is available from TDK. This production comes from Italy and is presented in a 16 x 9 format, with a variety of audio options, including DTS, and very legible subtitles in various languages including English. Special features last about 30 minutes and are satisfactory. Both the sound and picture are superb as is the video direction. The balance between the singers and the orchestra is exemplary. The staging is quite straightforward but adequate for the action on stage.
The four principal singers are perfectly suited to the considerable vocal demands Donizetti placed on his cast.
My only criticism concerns the subtitles. Besides occasional spelling mistakes, the subtitles were confusing at times because they tried to follow all the singing by all the characters all the time. After watching this DVD I would say that this practice is not only unnecessary but also impossible to achieve."
Kevin Trent | Seattle, WA United States | 04/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This performance is a lot of fun. Eva Mei is not an ideal Norina, but she gets the job done vocally and is a good comic actress. Alessandro Corbelli as Don Pasquale is every bit as funny as he was as Dandini in La Cenerentola. Antonino Siragusa who plays Ernesto has a lovely firm, high tenor voice, the third act duet with he and Eva Mei is beautifully sung, as are all of his solos. Gerard Korsten's conducting is nicely paced, the scenery bright and well lit as are the empire/Roman Revival costumes and set pieces. The staging is excellent with quick set changes between scenes and great chorus work moving off and on in imaginative ways."
Surprising enchantment in Donizetti's opera buffa.
Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono | Jakarta, Indonesia | 06/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although we always think that L'Elisir D'amor is regarded as Donizetti's masterpiece in buffas, surprisingly we found that Don Pasquale is not less than the first mentioned opera.
This Don Pasquale, rarely performed as it was rather unknown is proven to be not less enchanting thanks to the performance by the Italian Opera Group Teatro Communal - Bologna in such a way and by such perfect singers, although the names we have not yet heard of, that we are really enjoying the entire performance and begin to love the music itself.
As Don Paquale is the main performer in this opera, Corbelli was giving the perfect image of the old foolish man. Corbelli's singing in his deep bass baritone voice and performance is so magnificently and perfect. In addition supported by De Candia in his clear baritone voice, as the mischievous doctor Malatesta, Eva Mei in her crisp soft soprano voice, as the cunning girl Norina and Siragusa in his specific light tenor voice, it became a special spectacularly comedy performance, not less than L'Elisir d'Amor. We feel that the whole presentation is as beautiful and magnificent and surprisingly so enchanting that we begin to appreciate this opera as much as we appreciate L'Elisir d'Amor."
Frank Elliott | Hendersonville, NC United States | 11/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have become a fan of Allesandro Corbelli. He seems to take great pleasure and delight in playing character roles - moving about on stage easily , with every gesture and expression just right. He isn't really portly, made up with a pillow for a gut, and was willing to be the patsy, the butt of jokes in order to make this opera work. The story is a little uncomfortable to watch. An old man,Don Pasquale, the same Corbelli, has the typical overindulged nephew/heir apparent who is a smart aleck and not really very likeable.
The Don will disinherit the nephew if he insists on marrying that poor girl, Norina, played byEva Mei...also a more than a little haughty and full of wiles, and therefore also hard to like. So an elaborate hoax is hatched by the Don's companion and friend, the Dottore Malatesta ( which means "headache" in Italian )- and among the three of them- nephew, poor girl, and doctor, set up the "old fool" with a mock marriage to the poor girl in question, who delebirately, immediately after the fake marriage, turns spendthrift, high maintenance woman, not tonight I have a headache shrew...all to teach the Don a painful lesson.
In truth, we all wince, knowing that he will indeed be made the fool, and the butt of the hoax. The liner notes explain that this was a popular theme in its day , and no doubt helped society get over all the arranged marriage "into money" stuff. Put in that context, it makes it a little more understandable, but still....it is rubbed in almost to excess for the poor sap, Don Pasquale. In the final analysis, we never really escaped from the high maintenance woman, and the not tonight I have a headache shrew, now did we? So let's play a gigantic hoax on some haughty goldbricker regarding that miserable example of human failing, shall we not?
So the story is a little simplistic for modern tastes. But what this opera lacks in character depth, it more than makes up for it in set, costuming, acting, singing, musicianship, and directing. All fabulous and stunningly beyond compare. I have never seen a more imaginative series of sets, folding and unfolding, lighting, color....all breathtaking and pure genius. Anyone planning to stage anything needs to have this opera and study it carefully. The production is flawless.
In the end, I think you too will have to admire and respect Allesandro Corbelli. A wonderful actor and baritone.
The nephew, Ernesto, played by Antonia Siragusa is no slacker of a tenor either. Quite lovely - very nicely done. He also shines as the hero in Rossini's Zelmira, the Opera Rara audio boxed set. Great music and libretto, which we hope will be staged one day soon.
I still don't like the character of "Norina" , required to play the deceiving, spendthrift, high maintenance woman we all deplore. But that is a predictable result of having watched the cruel hoax played out. Actually, Eva Mei who plays Norina is enormously up to the task. The most beautiful arias are sung by her.
One would have a better opinion of her if one watched her perform in Massenet's "Thais", where she plays the seductive goddess , Thais, who leads the entire city of Alexandria Egypt in merry go round multiple sex partner revelling. She is ultimately redeemed; but in the meantime, one would will again see some superlative vocal work by her...a fine soprano; and just so happens to have the face of classic beauty seen in so much art."