Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Montserrat Caballe - Beyond Music|
Actors: Montserrat Caballe, Claudio Abbado, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
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A Musical Biography of Montserrat Caballé
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 03/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 90 minute documentary was made for Catalonian Television by Antonio Farré in 2003 and has been shown in Europe, but not in the US, if I'm not mistaken. It is a detailed, loving, and well written and filmed musical biography of the great Spanish soprano. It is filled with clips from performances all over the world, starting with black & white film from Salle Pleyel in 1965 and up to 2002. There are many interviews with such luminaries as Marilyn Horne, Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Joan Dorneman, Cheryl Studer, Samuel Ramey, Mstislav Rostropovich, Giuseppe di Stefano, Joan Sutherland, and more.
Caballé is interviewed extensively in a number of different settings and she tells us, touchingly, of her family's commitment to her early training and of the largesse of a Barcelona family who funded her studies (and much more) when the family's money ran out. She traces her career from her first professional job in Basle and Bremen, her début in her home theater, the Liceu in Barcelona to her triumphs in the greatest opera houses in the world. There are some thrilling musical clips. Particularly so are those of her and Marilyn Horne singing the duet from 'Semiramide' (breathtakingly beautiful) and a performance by Caballé at the Theâtre Antique in Orange of 'Casta diva' in what may be the most stunning performance of it I've ever heard.
There are scenes with her husband, tenor Bernabé Marti, and their two children, including one touching clip from a duet performance featuring her and her now-adult daughter, also named Montserrat and herself possessor of a lovely voice, singing together. Caballé comes across as a charming, gentle (but perfectionistic and stubborn about it), and generous artist. I was touched by the closing credit that says 'This film would not have been possible without the support of my parents and the Bernard family,' the latter being the family who supported her studies all those years ago at the Liceu school.
This DVD is well worth it if you admire this artist.
TT=98 minutes. PCM Stereo/Dolby Digital 5.1. Subtitles in English, French and Italian.
A beautiful effort for Caballe
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A fittingly sumptuous, all-encompassing look at Montserrat Caballe - her life and career, and especially her family. The archival footage of early Caballe performances is riveting, to be sure, and a thankfully sure intelligence in editing informs throughout. The tributes and comments of other artists reveal the awe and affection for Caballe held by her peers. Many affecting moments are spent with her family - brother Carlos, whose managerial genius assured her golden career, husband Bernabe erupting in song at Caballe's birthday party, & her son and daughter reveal their mother and themselves, with insight. Caballe's temperament shines, a complete musicianship utterly rare in a singer, and will and serenity to settle the question of the source of her magical musical gifts, and the success made of them. The enigma of her collaboration with F Mercury is spotlighted, bursts of laughter with her brother, her love of the Liceu Theatre - all contribute to a compelling journey with this artist. Caballe's sensitive and compassionate remarks about Maria Callas are beautiful, and vital to the film. They reflect the passion of Montserrat Caballe: the great love she holds for her family, and for art. Docu-bios abound, this one's something special. An exceptional film at a good price. The rewards are unmistakable."
AS ESSENTIAL AS BREATHING
A. S. Fernandez | New York City | 03/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This docufilm is an ESSENTIAL item for any opera or music lover.
It is one of the most ambitious and large scale docufilms EVER MADE about an opera star. A fascinating journey throughout her life, the world of opera and music in general.
It allows to know and understand Caballé's stature as an operatic titan, her persona, her wisdom and her legacy. And at the same time, enlightens the Opera world to anyone who is not familiar with it - turning it into a completly exciting, emotional and at the same time educational experience!!
To make this film, it took 3 yrs and 22 cities from Saint Petersburg to New York. It takes you on a tour around the world without moving from home!
Among the celebrities interviewed/appearing on the film: Renée Fleming, Placido Domingo, Dame Joan Sutherland, Zubin Mehta, Marilyn Horne, Claudio Abbado, Mstislav Rostropovich, Freddie Mercury, José Carreras, Samuel Ramey, Cheryl Studer, Maya Plisetskaya, Yelena Obratsova, Pr. Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the HIV virus), Federico Mayor Zaragoza (former Secretary General-UNESCO), Maria Callas, Joan Dorneman, among many other. (Basically, the Who's Who of the Golden Era of Opera!).
The film also has included ESPECTACULAR archival material, some of it previously UNPUBLISHED, found in archives of theaters and television stations accross the world. Among them, Caballé's legendary debut in Paris in 1966 with 2 arias from Il Pirata and Anne Boleyn - PURE GOLD.
Also, moments of her sensational collaboration with FREDDIE MERCURY and Vangelis, her Paris Turandot, Norma, Tosca, Adriana Lecouvreur, Salome, Roberto Devereux, Semiramide, and many, many more; surprises that any music lover will absolutely cherish!!
Caballé is a fundamental pillar of the XX Century and this film is an INSTANT CLASSIC and a MUST HAVE piece for anyone who loves not only Caballé and Opera, but music in general. It is an indispensable item for any music lover!!!
An Extraordinary Treat!
Michael A. Murray | 08/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who has admired Caballe on recordings but who never had a glimpse of her dramatic presence (and her more than occasional high spirits) on stage, this video will provide an absorbing look at the work and dedication that went into the soprano's wide-ranging career. The documentary will also give the viewer a sense of the joy that the soprano both possesses and brings to her colleagues. The brief (and they are very brief) clips of great past performances will give any opera fan something of enormous wonder and enjoyment: the glimpsed collaborations with Horne, Domingo, Carreras are all the stuff of an ever-retreating Golden Age. Caballe tells a touching story about her relationship with Callas at one point and then you see the final riveting moments of Caballe's exquisite Vissi d'Arte. And what a marvel of sound and control that is! This DVD is well worth having as part of any opera collection."