Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Eligio Quinterio, I Fagiolini
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Twin Peaks: High Art, Low Humor
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 11/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before there was opera, before oratorio as a sacred surrogate for opera, before there was a "Baroque" theatricality, there was musical theater, in the "intermezzi" staged at weddings and other events of "state' among the urban princes of the Italian Renaissance. L'Amfiparnaso (Both Peaks) by Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605) is the most ample and intact example of such Renaissance musical theater that has survived, complete with its music, its script, its stage directions, and even illustrations suggestive of what its staging might have looked like. It's a work of deliberately mixed genres: polyphonic madrigals of the utmost refinement treating the usual theme of amorous desire, and slapstick commedia dell'arte on the scurrilous level of a Punch-and-Judy carnival show. Bridging the gap between the genres are the madrigals composed in the manner of high art but setting texts rife with scatological and beastial noises, obviously to be sung with comic emphasis.
This filmed production of L'Amfiparnaso is likewise of mixed genres. The dramatic context, a tale of greed and love featuring old miser Pantalone, his beautiful daughter Isabella, her lover Lelio, and the rest of the typical commedia dell'arte crew, is performed in mime with Venetian carnival masks on a sketchy stage. The story is delivered in prologues to each scene by actor Simon Callow, in an English translation full of outrageous puns and topical jokes. Love scenes, however, are filmed on the beautiful grounds of the Darrington Hall Estate in Devon. Meanwhile, the madrigals are sung by the six members of the consort I Fagiolini (the Little Beans), all seated off to the side of the commedia stage. There's a slapdash, home-made quality about this production that most viewers, I'm sure, will find charmingly appropriate. The singing is excellent, well-tuned, well-phrased, and in the comic madrigals well-grunted, honked, and squealed. The full script of Vecchi's original comedy (libretto by Giulo Cesare Croce) is printed in the booklet in both Italian and English translation.
A lot of fun. Quite unique. Gotta see & hear it to believe it."