Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Luisa Fernanda |
Actors: Plcido Domingo, David Rubiera, Federico Gallar, Mariola Cantarero, Jos Bros
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Perfect introduction to zarzuela
Bill | Seattle, Washington United States | 10/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, be sure to buy the blu-ray disc (the one featured on this Amazon page), not the regular DVD. It's musical performances like this one that make you truly appreciate the format. The image is so sharp and the sound so clear and immersive that it's nearly as enjoyable an experience as being at the performance itself.
While the price for Opus Arte blu-rays is high compared to that of other labels, their extremely well-produced discs are well worth the extra dollars. For perspective, consider: It's much less than you would have paid to sit in the theater, with the plus that you can see it again and again.
The performance of "Luisa Fernanda" here is just about ideal. The dialogue has been severely cut. In the bonus feature, Placido Domingo makes it clear that this decision was done consciously to make zarzuela more accessible to non-Spanish audiences. To my mind, this is a good thing. The plot -- what there is of it -- remains easy to follow, and the focus rests, as it should, on Federico Moreno Torroba's beautiful music.
Traditionalists might also have an issue with the staging here, since it's quite modern. The sets are minimal, and it's left to the costumes to provide period atmosphere. It worked for me.
For the most part, this performance offers all one could wish for musically. Domingo, in particular, is extraordinarily good in the baritone role of Vidal, both vocally and in terms of acting (in the past, he's sung Javier, the tenor role). Keep in mind that at the time of this taping he had already been singing for about half a century! You'd never know it, based on the fine state of his voice and his full commitment. Surely, no one in the history of opera has given performances of such a high caliber for so long. He's truly a wonder and we'll never see his like again, which is why we should all be grateful that performances like this one have been captured in high-definition video.
As you'll find out in the lightweight but enjoyable bonus feature, "Luisa Fernanda" holds strong sentimental value for both Domingo and the director of this production, since performers in their families have had close ties to the work for about 75 years. It's obviously a labor of love for them, and we, the viewers of this performance, are the beneficiaries.