Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ponchielli La Gioconda / Vienna State Opera|
Actor: Eva Marton
Director: Placido Domingo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Recorded live at the Vienna State Opera, Placido Domingo and Eva Marton star in a sumptuous recording of Ponchielli's famed four-act melodrama, a story of tyranny and intrigue set in semi-historical and ever-romantic Venic... more »
By Default the Best Gioconda
David D. Dollinger | Pasadena, CA | 05/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, of course, not a new release, but a reissue from Image, a company that has deleted (or lost the license) their operatic catalogue. In one sense it is a historical document coming from the mid 80's. A conventional production it is nonetheless eminently satisfactory. For an opera that is so quintessentially Italian, it is ironic that not only does it emmanate from Vienna, there isn't an Italian in the cast. Even so, the singing is full-blooded, healthy, and robust. It surely is the best document for Marton. She is even able to scale her voice down for the hairpin turns in the last act. She is not, alas, able to produce a piano B flat (the famous Milanov note) in the first act, but then neither could Callas or Tebaldi. Domingo is splendid as is the underrated and underrecoded baritone Matteo Managuerra. The Laura is a Russian; she tends to be somewhat generic is a role that cries out for a Barbiere or Simionato. Nevertheless she is never less than satisfactory. Kurt Rydl as Alvise is somewhat outside of his fach, and is perhaps the least satisfactory of the principals, but it is hardly his fault that he was born in a German speaking country rather than Italy. La Cieca is sung by a house stalwart, Margarita Lilowa. This is the one piece of casting where the Liceo trumps this performance: they were lucky enough to have Eva Podlesh, probably the last remaining contralto. There is a clip of Voce di donna on YouTube.
Other DVD's have such serious short comings that they simply are not in the running, notably the performance from Verona with Andrea Gruber. If you are a Voigt fan and can deal with the short comings of Margison this performance can be a contender.
Essentially this performance does not enshrine any truly weak point and overall yields a great deal of satisfaction.
A production you will long remember
Jay Silman | New York City, New York | 11/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is sometimes difficult to present a standard repertoire item in a fashion which will bring out hidden beauties, but this production manages to do this especially with the translation option which brings out
information which is not readily apparent. Case in point: At the conclusion of the opera La Gioconda stabs and kills herself to prevent Barnabas from satisfying himself. As she is lying dead, Barnabas screams in her ear, "I drowned your mother because she was bothering me!". This ties up a loose end in Act 4 where La Gioconda was looking for her mother(La Cieca). The cast and scenery is traditional and engaging."