Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gala Reopening of the Teatro La Fenice / Ciofi Ganassi Mingardo Sacca Pertusi Rivenq Allegretta Guadagnini Muti Venice Opera|
Actors: Patrizia Ciofi, Sonia Ganassi, Sara Mingardo
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Slightly Odd Gala Concert for the Reopening of La Fenice
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 07/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Teatro la Fenice, Venice's gloriously beautiful and historically significant opera house, burned to the ground in January 1996. An eventually successful international effort to rebuild it started immediately and although it took more than seven years, with fits and starts, for the building to be rebuilt exactly as it had been before the fire, it re-opened with this gala concert featuring soloists, chorus and orchestra of La Fenice under Riccardo Muti in December 2003. The concert itself features, aside from Beethoven's second-drawer 'Consecration of the House' Overture (de rigueur in these sorts of occasions), music by composers associated with Venice. After the Italian national anthem and the Beethoven, the chorus and orchestra present Stravinsky's 'Symphony of Psalms.' Stravinsky is buried in Venice, and his Mozartean opera, 'The Rake's Progress,' was premièred at La Fenice. The three-movement Symphony is here given a lovely performance; the Fenice chorus sings radiantly, particularly in the last movement, 'Alleluja. Laudate Dominum.'
One might expect something by Vivaldi to have featured on the program; he was after all probably the composer most associated with Venice. But it is a ten-minute 'Te Deum' by his close contemporary, Antonio Caldara (1671-1736), that is presented. It is a ten-minute hymn of praise that features two quartets of vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra. It is pretty but not terribly distinguished music. The double-quartet -- which includes such emerging stars as soprano Patrizia Ciofi and contralto Sara Mingardo -- doesn't have much of interest to do.
The concert concludes with two marches by Wagner. Wagner's primary connection with Venice, as far as I know, is that he died there. The 'Kaisermarsch,' written for the dedicatinon of Bayreuth, is Wagnerian boilerplate bombast but the 'Huldigungsmarsch' is a stirring seven-minute Tristanesque tone poem, played here in its less familiar full-orchestra version; it is more generally heard as played by wind band, as it was at its première at a birthday celebration for Wagner's patron, King Ludwig of Bavaria. The performance is splendid.
The visuals of the rebuilt Teatro la Fenice show off its exquisite interior to great advantage. The gala crowd are dressed to the nines, and the audience includes the President of Italy as well as a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in full regalia.
Originally broadcast on television by RAI, 14 December 2003. Sound (Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1 or LPCM Stereo) is adequate but not overwhelmingly rich. There are no subtitles and no extra features. Liner notes are in German, English and Italian. TT=66 mins.