Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Pizzetti - Assassino Nella Cattedrale |
Murder in the Cathedral
Actors: Ruggero Raimondi, Paoletta Marrocu, Piergiorgio Morandi, Luca Casalin, Sonia Zaramella
Directors: Daniele D'onofrio, Tiziano Mancini
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
This is the first-ever film recording of Pizzetti's operatic version of T.S. Eliot's play, Murder in the Cathedral, telling the story of Thomas Becket's murder by the knights of Henry II. This production features the world... more »
Richard | Minneapolis, Mongolia | 04/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is an opera using TS Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral as its basis. It's sung in Italian so the poetry has to go into the music and I'm not sure how much of it survives. This opera certainly doesn't replace Eliot's play. But it has had a lively history including Von Karajan's decision after hearing it in Italy to take it to Vienna (and there is a recording of its performance there). Pizzetti is a conservative composer - so the opera is gentle on the ear. At times it rises to melody but for the most part the music serves the text. The real reason for this DVD is Ruggero Raimondi's Becket. He is a superb singing actor and the role gives him the chance to shine. The other singers are unknown but quite adequate. The video is based on a performance in the Bari Cathiedral which dates from the time of Becket. It is performed before a large audience with the orchestra placed in front of the singers. It is definitely better seen on video than live since the first row of the audience seems far away from the singers. But the video also includes some material to flesh out the drama. It is definitely worth a see for Raimondi; whether it is worth more than that I'm not sure."
The cosmic power of this tragedy is missed
Jacques COULARDEAU | OLLIERGUES France | 04/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This adaptation of Eliot's play to the operatic stage takes something away from the play, the famous discussion of the assassination by the four culprits themselves who defend their act. This discussion gave to the murder the whole historical perspective and dimension Eliot wanted when he created that play, in the late 1930s, when Hitler was menacing the world, when Stalin was ossifying hope, when the west was condescendingly yielding to the two ideologies, with cowardice in front of Hitler and via the relay of the working class and class struggle in front of Stalin. Eliot was frightened by that double perspective and that has been erased from his play in this opera. The idea of producing it in a basilica was brilliant, though the orchestra in front of the choir, between the choir where the action took place and the audience was not the best solution since the music was like a rood screen between that audience and the singers. But the general idea, brought by the music and by the performing of it, is that it is very static. We are living a drama, historical, personal, political, social, religious even cultural, and yet the music remains very bland. We are expecting the tempters to really tempt Thomas Becket, and they do not. They sound wordy when they should sound mesmerizing, pressurizing, manipulative, tyrannical, even erotic and obscene, and Thomas Becket should be tortured by them and not only negative about them. The pleading of the various choirs and the performance of the knights are bland too. We need more action, more force and power, more torturing of the mind, more suffering of the body to reach the cosmic dimension this drama has in Eliot's vision. It is a very good initiative to finally have one recent rendering of this opera on DVD but Eliot should get out of its vault and we need to reopen some locked up rooms of his work that are at the present moment unreachable, like the film of this Murder in the Cathedral. We need to reassess his whole work (poetry and criticism) and to find a new life for his always universal and visionary art. We kind of regret a Strauss or a Berg have not dealt with this play. I guess it is too religious for the modern world. But maybe it could be dealt with as if it were spiritual.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, CEGID"