Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana / Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci |
Actors: Placido Domingo, Fiorenza Cossoto, Attilio d'Orazi, Oliviero de Fabritis, NHK Symphony Orchestra
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Genre: Performing Arts - Concerts Rating: NR Release Date: 12-AUG-2008 Media Type: DVD
TODD KAY | 01/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Caught during a losing round in the ongoing weight battle of his thirties and forties, Plácido Domingo cannot be said to *look* his best in these Tokyo performances taped 5 September 1976. In CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, he resembles an Elvis impersonator, and someone -- for reasons known only to that person and God -- thought it would improve things to give him as much blue eye shadow as the leading ladies. In PAGLIACCI, to play the middle-aged Canio, he has been grayed to an eerie approximation of his present-day self. No matter: his healthy and stylistically impeccable singing dominates both operas; in 1976 this was a titan just on the crest of his spinto prime.
These provincial performances of the indestructible one-act verismo potboilers by Mascagni and Leoncavallo, respectively, benefit from a concentrated dose of Italianata -- most of the principal performers and the conductor are natives. They include one supernova (Spaniard Domingo), one major star (Fiorenza Cossotto), and an assortment of lesser lights among whom the only immediately familiar name is that comprimario unexcelled, Piero di Palma (sounding his ageless self as Beppe in PAGLIACCI). However, one should not be dissuaded by the absence of the likes of, say, Scotto or Cappuccilli. Even the weakest performances here (the rather plain Alfio of Attilio d'Orazi in CAV; Lorenzo Saccomani, stiff in both vocalism and physical attitude, as Silvio in PAG) would give great pleasure if encountered today in a company of less than the front rank.
In CAVALLERIA, Fiorenza Cossotto's Santuzza is both farther along chronologically and farther out histrionically than in her assumptions of the role for conductor Herbert von Karajan (an unsurpassed audio recording opposite Bergonzi in 1966; a filmed version of 1968, recently released on DVD). Those familiar with her stage appearances will not be surprised to learn that she looks glamorous and that her acting could most kindly be described as old-fashioned, weighted from her very first, mute appearance with little gasps and clutches that suggest not an anguished and spiritually bereft young woman but a matron in the grip of a reflux episode. Cossotto's tone and breath line are well preserved and her sustained notes have great power, although she is prone to forcing and there is often shrillness in the upper third. During this period of her career, this once enviably accurate musician was having more frequent pitch problems with her highest notes, and there are a few instances here to induce charity among the sharp-eared. It is nevertheless a performance worth savoring: in such passages as the dialogue with Lucia and the final, honeyed entreaty to Turiddu, Cossotto brings to bear qualities that are very difficult to teach -- an aristocratic caress to the phrasing; the stature of a captivating storyteller. Her Easter Hymn, delivered from a kneeling position, is quite moving, and she manages authentic tears.
Domingo was Cossotto's frequent colleague; she co-starred on his first commercial recording of a complete opera, the 1969 Mehta/RCA TROVATORE, and they were generously documented together for much of the subsequent decade. Whatever he may have thought of this notoriously tempestuous mezzo on a personal level, he was a great admirer of her as a performer and a technician, calling her "the most outstanding voice I have ever heard for parts like Amneris, Azucena, and Eboli," and marveling at her stamina and her preparation (p. 121, MY FIRST FORTY YEARS). He is more modern and restrained in his histrionics than is Cossotto, but their duet reaches a thrilling boil. Domingo long has claimed to find Turiddu a sympathetic character (by no means a majority opinion), and one can see him here, largely left to his own devices, attempting some ennobling touches. His Turiddu wants to be tender with Santuzza, and occasionally makes gestures in that direction, but ultimately is repelled by her clinginess. The most noteworthy support is provided by Nella Verri, who not only sings with security and conviction but *looks* like a Mamma Lucia out of central casting. Asian choristers and supernumeraries march around sleepily during the opera's several musical interludes. Alfio makes his entrance on foot, singing about and occasionally whipping a horse that apparently was not in the budget.
The performance of PAGLIACCI is, if anything, slightly superior; it is set sailing with an outstanding account of the Prologue -- by turns oily and earnest -- by the Tonio of Benito di Bella, who bears a slight resemblance to Sherrill Milnes both physically and vocally (especially in the upper middle of his range). With a lesser Canio than Domingo, di Bella might have stolen the show; his singing is consistently attractive and thoughtful, and he even takes care to differentiate, vocally, the character Tonio portrays in the play within the opera. The leading lady, Elena Mauti-Nunziata, has not been blessed with a voice either particularly appealing in tone or with much variety of color, but she uses it shrewdly; she is a vibrant, ripe Nedda whose high notes hit their targets unerringly. Domingo's singing in the aria, as elsewhere, has a splendid refulgence. While one ultimately may conclude that he is too obviously patrician for either CAV or PAG to be among his best operas (his Canio has not the terrifying force of Vickers's, for example), his dignified and refined delivery -- especially in the more lyrical portion of the violent denouement -- is most welcome, allied as it is to his matchless musicianship.
Oliviero de Fabritiis conducts the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Union of Japan Professional Choruses in brisk, no-frills readings; in CAV in particular, one is conscious of his not going in for post-Karajan sensuousness or grandeur. Stage/pit coordination is not immaculate, and the ear must forgive some poor tunings and coarse blends in the orchestra here and there. This release has what may be the best picture yet in VAI's Tokyo series; it is brighter and better defined, the colors more true. The mono sound, however, is below par -- there is a boxy quality that does not flatter voices, although it is better than listenable. The burned-in Japanese subtitles are more distracting than usual, because they are of greater quantity than before and they alternate between the top and the bottom of the screen (and so are not always covered by the English ones). Camerawork is adequate when in focus, which for brief periods (usually during one-shots of principals) it frequently is not. The same rather utilitarian and monochromatic set is used for the whole of CAV and, with very minimal modification, most of PAG; only in the "play within the opera" that concludes PAG do we finally get some brightening relief. As a consequence, both performances lack a great deal in atmosphere and specificity, which are important considerations in CAV/PAG. Ultimately, whatever their shortcomings (some of which are common to all the entries in this fine 1960s-70s VAI series), these performances must recommend themselves as displays of idiomatic and compelling Italian vocalism."
Great performances of Cav and Pag:
operamarty | 01/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These performances from Japan, 1976, are really good. Domingo and Cossotto are in top form (he was only 35) and the voice and acting skills all there in retrospect having seen his more recent Pag performances and Cav on DVD. If you love these operas you will love this DVD. The subtitles in Japanese are imbedded in the disc in white but if needed, the other subtitles are in yellow and can be easily read. With these compelling performances (including supporting casts) you won't notice. I'm playing this at my next potluck opera gathering for my friends to enjoy. Our general director is still unbelievable and I'll be seeing him sing Walkure in a couple of months - he truly is the King of the Opera. Cossotto was always amazing and gives 200% here. The Japanese audience went crazy! Great to find that the company has managed to issue the high quality video and sound in this DVD."
Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci: Recording a period of tr
Ali Hassan AYACHE | São Paulo, Brasil. | 07/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seal Video Artist International stands by the release of titles of operas and ballets of decades of 1960/70/80. Rarities previously available only in pirated copies of dubious quality are now released on DVD. This year we were treated to a version of Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci, the masterpiece of Pietro Mascagni and Leoncavallo Rugero, video recorded in Tokyo in the distant year of 1976. The cast of opera stars of the second half of the twentieth century, Plácido Domingo and Fiorenza Cossoto and singers of high school as Attilio d'Orazi, Nella Verri, Elena mAuto-Nunziata. The regency was entrusted to Oliviero of fabritis.
The fundamental importance of the video is the quality of the soloists. Any connoisseur of opera knows that the voice has surprises. Some renowned soloists sometimes sing badly, his voice betrays them. Anyone who has attended a number of recitations of the same opera realizes that one is never equal to another. I can say that this video all the soloists were at their peak, in a state of grace.
Plácido Domingo has always suffered and struggled with the sharp, covered this with exuberant performances arts. While recording the highs are all present, vibrant, bright and colorful. This does not necessarily mean beautiful. Spanish tenor takes on the gritty, realistic style of singing and requires strength in voice and texture, expressed their feelings through it with the violence required for this type of opera. Example is the end of the monologue Cavalleria Rusticana, where Turiddu asks her mother to look after the innocent Santuzza. No I Pagliacci have the aria Vesti la Giuba, stands out here moving interpretation of a man who knows is being betrayed.
Fiorenza Cossoto is one of the great mezzo-soprano of the second half of the twentieth century, her vocal technique Santuzza ooze with acute powerful, medium and severe dark and vibrant. Voluminous voice coupled with a dramatic performance impeccable taste because she deserves to be among the big names in opera. Only sings Cavalleria Rusticana, this is more than enough to demonstrate his greatness. Highlights also include Attilio d'Orazi as Alfio, Nella Verri as Mamma Lucia and Gabriella Novielli as Lola, all correct in their presentations.
Elena mAuto-Nunziata has become an enigma to this scribe. His Nedda has so many qualities, correct technique, voice of an odd beauty with acute and medium well posted, strong, large, clean, ideal for the character. But her career took off, very few recordings or quotes that soprano. I myself did not know. For whatever reason the opera was the loser. Are characterized by good voices of the Tonio Benito di Bella and Silvio Lorenzo Saccomani.
Who attends a production of today you can find the DVD a little moldy. Poor sound, poor image, costumes simple and static light coral linen with Japanese Italian villagers of the late nineteenth funny, we remind the reader that the record is 1976. The booklet does not have anything interesting. The direction is the basic, simplistic view that takes advantage of the many scenic opportunities. Does not compromise the show and does not add much.
Why have this video in your collection? To learn about the productions of the 1970s and see a transition period of the opera. Of the great voices of decades of 1950/60, the theatrical performance was in the left side (except in rare cases such as Maria Callas) and the physical aspect was irrelevant to the character is related to a new concept. The 90 years to the present day we have new requirements that make the opera, the singers spent the artists. The voice is no longer the only element that aims for success. Know act, build a character and look like it's mandatory items, together with all the artist have a charismatic beauty becomes a star. In the video's already capture the trend of the future and besides singing well as Plácido Domingo, his voice was the freshness of youth and Fiorenza Cossoto, with the mature voice work in unique ways. Incorporate your character, suffer for him and with him
Cavaleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci: Gravação de um período de transição.
O selo Vídeo Artist International se destaca pelo lançamento de títulos de óperas e balés das décadas de 1960/70/80. Raridades antes disponíveis apenas em cópias piratas de qualidade duvidosa agora são lançadas em DVD . Esse ano fomos brindados com a versão da Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci, obra prima de Pietro Mascagni e Rugero Leoncavallo, vídeo gravado em Tóquio no longínquo ano de 1976. No elenco estrelas da ópera da segunda metade do século XX , Plácido Domingo e Fiorenza Cossoto e cantores de nível médio como Attílio d'Orazi, Nella Verri e Elena Mauti-Nunziata. A regência ficou a cargo de Oliviero de Fabritis.
A importância fundamental do vídeo está na qualidade dos solistas. Todo conhecedor de ópera sabe que a voz apresenta surpresas. Alguns solistas de renome às vezes cantam mal, a voz os trai. Quem já assistiu a várias récitas de uma mesma ópera percebe que uma nunca é igual a outra. Posso afirmar que nesse vídeo todos os solistas estavam no auge, em estado de graça.
Plácido Domingo sempre sofreu e penou com os agudos, compensou isso com exuberantes atuações cênicas. Nessa gravação os agudos estão todos presentes, vibrantes, brilhantes e coloridos. O que não significa necessariamente bonitos. O tenor espanhol assimila o estilo de canto verista e impõe força na voz e na tessitura, expressa seus sentimentos através dela com a violência exigida para esse tipo de ópera. Exemplo é o monologo final da Cavalleria Rusticana, onde Turiddu pede a sua mãe que cuide da inocente Santuzza. No I Pagliacci temos a ária Vesti la Giuba, destaca-se aqui a interpretação comovente de um homem que sabe está sendo traído.
Fiorenza Cossoto é um dos grandes mezzo-soprano da segunda metade do século XX, sua Santuzza esbanja técnica vocal, com agudos potentes, médios e graves escuros e vibrantes. Voz volumosa aliada a uma atuação dramática impecável provam porque ela merece estar entre os grandes nomes da ópera. Canta somente a Cavalleria Rusticana, isso é mais que suficiente para demonstrar sua grandeza. Destaque também para Attilio d'Orazi como Alfio, Nella Verri como Mamma Lucia e Gabriella Novielli como Lola , todos corretos em suas apresentações.
Elena Mauti-Nunziata tornou-se um enigma para este escriba. Sua Nedda tem tantas qualidades, técnica correta, voz de uma beleza impar com agudos e médios bem postados, fortes, volumosos, limpos , ideais para a personagem. Mas sua carreira não deslanchou, raras são as gravações ou as citações desse soprano. Eu mesmo não a conhecia. Por qualquer que seja o motivo a ópera saiu perdendo. Destacam-se pelas boas vozes o Tonio de Benito di Bella e o Silvio de Lorenzo Saccomani.
Quem assiste a uma produção dos dias atuais pode achar o DVD um pouco mofado. Som pobre, imagem fraca, figurinos simples, luz estática e o coral de japoneses com roupas de aldeões italianos do final do século XIX engraçados, lembramos ao leitor que a gravação é de 1976. O encarte não tem nada de interessante. A direção fica no básico, leitura simplista que não aproveita as inúmeras possibilidades cênicas. Não compromete o espetáculo e não acrescenta muito.
Por que ter esse vídeo em seu acervo? Para conhecer as produções da década de 1970 e ver um período de transição da ópera. Das grandes vozes das décadas de 1950/60 ,a atuação cênica no período era deixada de lado (salvo raras exceções como Maria Callas) e o aspecto físico era irrelevante se relacionado ao personagem, para um novo conceito. Dos anos 90 até os dias atuais temos novas exigências aos que fazem ópera, de cantores passamos a artistas. A voz não é mais o único elemento para os que almejam sucesso. Saber atuar, construir um personagem e se parecer com ele são itens obrigatórios,aliado a tudo isso se o artista possuir uma beleza carismática passa a ser uma estrela. No vídeo alguns já captam a tendência do futuro e além de cantarem muito bem como Plácido Domingo, sua voz estava no frescor da juventude e Fiorenza Cossoto, com a voz madura atuam de maneira única. Incorporam seus personagem, sofrem por ele e com ele.
Ali Hassan Ayache