Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Donizetti - Maria Stuarda|
Actors: Milan Knazko, Kamila Magálová, Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau
Director: Petr Weigl
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
This is about as unconventional and controversial as an opera video can get. Opinions on it range from wildly enthusiastic to uncompromisingly negative, with little in between. I find it extraordinarily powerful and (onc... more »
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Noam Eitan | Brooklyn, NY United States | 02/26/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The film attempts to combine Schiller's play with Donizetti's opera. The target audience may be opera lovers who grew up in countries where Shiller is taught and revered in highschool. The Czech actors are dubbed in German for the dialogues and in Italian by the Decca recording of the opera, for the sung scenes. The film starts with 15 minutes of an exceedingly tedious dialogue in German. Watching the Czech actors proceed from dubbed spoken German to the dubbed voices of famous singers in Italian is absurd beyond belief. The whole thing has the logic of a Monty Python sketch, and casts some doubt on director Petr Weigl's artistic judgment. The audio and video quality are excellent."
Robert G. VanStryland | Denton, TX USA | 08/20/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a performance of Donizetti's opera. Scenes from the opera (sung in Italian) are interspersed with scenes from Schiller's play (spoken in German). The result is ... well, I don't know what name to give to the result. Petr Weigl has made some pretty good opera films, and some pretty awful ones, but this one takes the cake as the worst trashing of an opera ever committed to film. It doesn't do much for Schiller's play, either. The singing (what there is of it) by Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau, and Luciano Pavarotti is very good (Weigl obtained a pre-existing sound recording of the complete opera and sliced out the little bits that he needed for his film), but there's not enough of the opera or of the play for any music drama or any other sort of drama to happen. Avoid this DVD and buy the CD set of the opera instead. If you're interested in Schiller's play, just read it."
Both dimished by half
S. J McKenna | San Francisco, CA USA | 10/19/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Bloodless bland facial expressions and body language as accompaniment to deliberately emotional full-body singing is a disconnect I don't find appealing. Just letting your mouth hang open as long as a note is held does not convey the fire or the ice of the musical content and intent. Yikes. This is painful to watch when these two genres -- Italian opera and German dramatic play -- are mixed, but never really blended. I'd rather watch a too-old Sutherland and an un-English Pavarotti impersonating their characters through music than watch actors impersonate characters while impersonating singers.
It all comes across hollow/empty/fake/contrived to this viewer/listener. This is a hybrid that thankfully cannot reproduce itself."
L. Mitnick | Chicago, Illinois United States | 03/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you think this is a complete performance of Donizetti's "Maria Stuarda", think again. It's nothing of the kind. I'm not even sure WHAT this is. Scenes from the opera are mimed by actors -----to the recording, no less, of Joan Sutherland-Hugette Tourangeau on London Records. Both sing spectacularly well, but in this context, it makes no effect whatsoever. One is far better off just purchasing the recording on CD. I cannot speak for everyone, but I find this to be a complete failure of an attempt to combine two mediums. By such halfway measures, nothing is accomplished. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. I gave it one star only because I couldn't give it a zero, which is exactly what it is."