Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Leoncavallo - Pagliacci / Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana|
Actors: Violeta Urmana, Vincenzo La Scola, Vladimir Galouzine, Maria Bayo, Carlo Guelfi
Director: Giancarlo del Monaco
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A CAVALLERIA WITH NO CHURCH IN SIGHT
Charles D. novak | minneapolis, minnesota USA | 01/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"GianCarlo del Monaco staged this opera as a Greek tragedy. The entire performance takes place on a stage full of marble stones. He comes dangerously close to turning the performance into a concert version in costume. Movement of the character is slow and minimal and del Monaco doesn't offer any new insights to the story. You wouldn't even know it takes place on Easter. There is a person who drags a cross across the stage followed by a couple of hooded actors who are flogging themselves. This is as close to religion as the opera gets. Violeta Urmana sings the rocks off her part as Santuzza. Vincenzo la Scola is okay as Turiddu. The Lola and Mamma Lucia should cancel any dreams they have about singing at the Met. At the end, the fight takes place on the stage as Turridu walks into the knife held by Alfio as a sort of planned suicide. CAVALLERIA begins with Tonio's prologue to PAGLIACCI. He comes walking down the aisle of the auditorium making his entrance like Mamma Rose in GYPSY. CAVALLERIA ends as Turiddu's body is rolled off the stage on top of one of the marble stones followed by Canio's traveling show wagon. Did they really not have an intermission between the two operas?
PAGLIACCI is the better production. There are two huge murals on stage which look like a picture of Gloria Swanson chained to a pillar but are actually a movie still from the 1960 Italian film LA DOLCE VITA. The singers are good but not great. Maria Bayo as Nedda is enthusiastic about her part but why is she dressed in such masculine attire? It probably was not a good idea for her to weat a tank top to feminize the rest of her costume. And why did the director stage the love making scene with her and Silvio right in front of the show wagon where Canio could appear at any moment? He does. Maybe that was the idea. I like the pantomine that was performed during the intermezzo with the cast putting on their make up. They have despondent looks on their faces like they already know about the tragedy to follow.
If there is a star in both these operas, it's Jesus Lopez Cobos conducting the Madrid Symphony Orchestra. CAV & PAG are two of my operatic guilty pleasures. I think they are both the finest examples of "verismo" ever composed. Cobos inperpretation is just short of legendary. Even with its flaws I have no qualms about purchasing this DVD. I was brought up on opera when the Met was throwing their best singers of the 50's and 60's into these rolls and as much as I was thrilled by those great voices, I can still appreciate the efforts made by the casts in both these performances."