Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Puccini - La Rondine |
Washington National Opera 1999
Actors: Ainhoa Arteta, Inva Mula, Marcus Haddock, Richard Troxell, Emmanuel Villaume
Directors: Brian Large, Marta Domingo
Genres: Art House & International, Music Video & Concerts, Sports, Musicals & Performing Arts
The piece is barely represented on DVD and Marta Domingo's production was celebrated yet controversial for adapting the ending to reflect the more tragic outcome of the story; this is one of three endings Puccini wrote for... more »
Not Definitive, But Pleasurable Enough
Randy Buck | Brooklyn, NY USA | 08/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1999 Washington Opera production of Puccini's chocolate box of an opera isn't perfect, but has many delights. The cast, all verismo stalwarts, have glamour, fine voices, and are decent-enough actors. Marcus Haddock looks rather unfortunate clean-shaven here as the juvenile; his Don Jose at Glyndebourne is much more physically appealling. Richard Troxell, though, is attractive and funny as Prunier. Both the female leads are seen to good advantage, with Inva Mula in particular a delight. The physical production is lavish but not completely overwhelming, with many witty design touches in the second act, and a nicely simple beach cottage for the third act. Marta Domingo's direction is intelligent, thoughtful and well-detailed. Unfortunate, though, is her decision to impose a tragic ending on Puccini's own bittersweet resolution. This opera's frequently characterized as TRAVIATA LITE; tacking on a suicide for Magda at the final curtain doesn't accomplish much, except making that comparison seem weighted even more strongly in Verdi's direction. This is probably the most enjoyable of the several RONDINES currently in the DVD catalogue; fans of this opera, or Puccini in general, will enjoy this handsome DG release."
An impressive traditional production of La Rondine
T. C. | 08/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are currently four DVD versions for La Rondine.
For my taste, this new one from Decca is the best.
Martha Domingo presents the opera in a beautiful and effective traditional production.
I really enjoyed Ainhoa Arteta performance as Magda. Hers two Act I arias are sung with beautiful pianissimi and finesse which expresses vulnerability. She is very moving in the finales of Act II and III.
Hopefully, the lavish Met production with Gheorghiu will appear on a commercial DVD (although it has a very weak performance by Samuel Ramey). In the meantime, this production will do more than enough.
Brian Hoskins | Salem, Oregon United States | 12/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen both the New York City Opera's production and the latest one with Ghiorghiu and Alagna on TV. This is the best in that all of the singers are excellent and the staging and costumes look great.
Marcus Haddock has an excellent voice but suffered from poor direction being made to perform as a country bumpkin for too long into the play and whoever put him into "Billy Bunter" trousers for the final scene should feel ashamed (even if they were correct for the period). The staging of the background in Act III is very static until the final scene when the clouds start moving-in and so do the waves.
Ainhoa Arteta looks like Julia Roberts better looking younger sister, but why make this Spanish beauty with dark eyebrows and brown eyes into a blonde? It does not really work (nor did it work for Julia Roberts)
I am giving this 5 stars because only 4 or 5 can be chosen and this is, in the end far better than a 4-star production."
Delilah Sams | San Diego, CA United States | 12/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this performance on TV years ago, and have searched it for a long time. I was delighted to watch it again. It was just as I remembered it. Arteta, Haddock, Troxell and Mula are wonderful in their roles. I like the costumes better than the Met version this year (Gheorghiu sound great, despite her cold, but those costumes! I think she did not look her best.) I highly recommend this - Puccini's music is gorgeous."