Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Handel - Tamerlano / Jonathan Miller Trevor Pinnock - Bacelli Randle Pushee Norberg-Schulz Bonitatibus Abete - Hndelfestspiele Halle 2001|
Actors: G.F. Handel, Graham Pushee, Trevor Pinnock
Director: Jonathon Miller
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
An Opera in Three Acts — Libretto by AGOSTINO PIOVENE — Text Version NICCOL“ FRANCESCO HAYMTamerlano: MONICA BACELLI — Bajazet: THOMAS RANDLE — Andronico: GRAHAM PUSHEE — Irene: ANNA BONITATIBUS — Asteria: ELISABETH NORBERG-SCHU... more »
"5"s all around!
Michael Schulman | Toronto, Canada | 07/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful production from the 2001 Handel Festival in Halle should serve as a model for anyone mounting or filming Handel's operas (or anyone else's operas, for that matter).
First, & most important, all the singers are superb, triumphing over Handel's extreme vocal demands, from long, sustained lines to brilliant coloratura runs. I was especially impressed by the impeccable technique and interpretive artistry of counter-tenor Graham Pushee (Andronico) & the sumptuous sonority of mezzo Anna Bonitatibus (Irene).
Stage director Jonathan Miller has the singers always in character, acting & reacting expressively during their many long da capo arias, & the relatively few duets & ensemble scenes. Trevor Pinnock & his original-instrument band, The English Concert, keep the music moving crisply along, but never rushed, & TV director Helga Dubnyicsek cleverly shifts camera angles & perpectives to create visual variety despite the static stage action (really, inaction) & the single, minimal set. The simple backdrop of golden folding screens suffices to suggest palatial splendor without crowding the stage with any furniture other than a bench-like "throne." Finally, thanks & brava to Judy Levin, for dressing the singers in eye-holding, lavish costumes appropriate to the opera's oriental setting, a most welcome respite these days from the near-ubiquitous Eurotrash designers obsessed with making their productions look like anything but what the composer & librettist intended.
"Bonus" features (quite superfluous, in my view) include a lengthy, not very illuminating, "Making of Tamerlano" documentary, extended (& rather pedestrian) musical excerpts from previous Handel Festivals in Halle, & interviews with many (mostly obscure) Festival participants."
Here's a New Marketing Strategy!
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 05/15/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This performance has been available with a different cover for years; it's still available, with plenty of reviews, both positive and negative. I reviewed it myself in 2007; here's what I thought of it then:
""Let's be clear; I love Handel operas; I have DVDs of every Handel opera available on Region 1. I worship Trevor Pinnock; he'd never disappointed me before. But... this performance is ponderous and unconvincing. Perhaps the lovely costumes so much praised by other reviewers inhibited the singers from adequate blocking and gesture. Monica Bacelli is the chief problem; she is completely unconvincing as Tamerlano, both as an actress and as a singer. She lacks all ferocity. I'm inclined to think that Pinnock's tempi are too "judicious" throughout, which also contributes to the ponderous air of the production. The superimposed score is absolutely worthless, unless you want to pause the opera dozens of times in order to read it clearly.
I will watch this disk again sometime. Perhaps I'll see or hear some redemption in it, but for the moment it's my least favorite Handel DVD except for the disastrous Ariodante.""
I haven't changed my opinion. It's static and costume-heavy. And I like Monica Bacelli less and less the more I hear her. But the competition for "worst Handel of the decade" has gotten tighter, with a fairly unattractive production of Alcina also in the running."