Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Savall Zanasi Figueras Mingardo Abete Turk Vargas Bettini Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona|
Actors: Montserrat Figueras, Furio Zanasi, Arianna Savall, Sara Mingardo, CÚcile van de Sant
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Jordi Savall directs Le Concert des Nations, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and the leading soloists of early opera in a beautiful period production of Monteverdi's favola in musica staged at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Lic... more »
Scholarly, luxury production.
Plaza Marcelino | Caracas Venezuela | 05/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Savall may be today's grand guru of the "historically aware" musical production scene, and conducts here a recent, indeed sumptuous production of this masterwork from Barcelona's Liceo opera house. The theatre was ravaged by a fire some years ago and has been recontructed magnificently. Savall makes use of his catalonian forces one frequently encounters in his recordings and they rise magnificently to the occasion, producing a scholarly and thoroughly convincing, from the philological perspective, rendering. His singers are a varied lot. Montserrat Figueras, Mrs Savall in real life, opens up the proceedings as a very convincing La Musica, if somewhat over-acted. The Orfeo, a singer I face up for the first time (Furio Zanasi), gives a beatifully vocalised Orfeo that is utterly wanting on the acting side, apparently being more concerned with an impeccable mastering of the work's vocal intricacies than in projecting his character on stage in a convincing manner; the "possente spirto" passage is precious, though. The Euridice is given nepotically to Savall and Figueras's young daughter Arianna, who is not very convincing as the unfortunate girl that prompts Orfeo's rescue excursion into hell. She has a likeable voice but has still to develop her skills; in my view, there are in the market far better candidates for the rôle Savall might have chosen. The jewel in the crown is the Messenger, soprano Sara Mingardo, ravishingly poignant when bringing the news of Euridice's death, her voice soaring all over the vast venue and superbly acted. The supporting rôles are well cast and sung, and the Act 1 dancers do their fare effectively. The production by flemish régisseur Gilbert Deflo is, as I said in the introductory sentences, luxurious and all-encompassing and resembles a similar one that Spanish TV (TVE) broadcast by satellite to the world in 2000 from Madrid's Royal Theatre that I don't recall if is also his; in Barcelona it surprises you from its very beginning as Savall's enters from the back of the stalls, period-dressed and deliberately walking towards the pit to impetuously launch the proceedings, with musicians in charge of the famous opening fanfare distributed in various places in the hall and balconies.Sound quality has the spectacularity one has grown to expect from this source."
A desert-island opera DVD
Frederick II of Hohenstaufen | right here | 05/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is wonderful to find an opera DVD without any noticeable flaws! The picture and sound quality are great. A real relief of a DVD as so many operas being performed today try to modernize the setting and costumes (turning the opera into a grotesque spectacle that is unbearable to watch).
This DVD has good bonus features, too. Highly recommended!"
Outstanding production of Monteverdi's masterpiece
Paul Brians | Pullman, WA USA | 02/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jordi Savall is well known in early music circles for combining sound scholarship with high creativity, and this production of L'Orfeo is an example of Savall at his best. The sets and costumes evoke Monteverdi's era well, the choreography is based on the art of the time, and the singing and playing are magnificent. One might have liked a little more dashing Orfeo, but overall this is a refreshing change from the self-indulgent postmodern reinterpretations of Baroque operas one often sees. If you like L'Orfeo, you'll probably like this production."
The essence of Orfeo
D. Boothe | Indiana | 03/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great performance of L'Orfeo! It moved me a lot more than I thought it would! The singing is impeccable, though I would've preferred more extensive ornamenting by the soloists, the musicians are absolutely magnificent, and the visual effects are also stunning! A collaboration like this with so many world class musicians does not happen all the time. I recommend this for anyone who complains that baroque opera is boring or stale."