Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Puccini - Tosca / Guleghina Licitra Nucci Mariotti Gavazzi Parodi Muti La Scala|
Actors: Alfredo Mariotti, Leo Nucci, Silvestro Sammaritano, Riccardo Muti, Ernesto Gavazzi
Director: Pierre Cavasillas
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
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A GLORIOUS TOSCA
Mark the music lover | Virginia | 11/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No matter what the naysayers have said, I absolutely loooved this performance. First of all let me say that the production was amazing. The sets are very grand in the Roman tradition. Luca Ronconi's abstract sets are brilliant and mirror the internal conflicts of the three principles. In addition, operatic productions tend to amount to little more than banal fare when interpreted in the same traditional way all the time. It is so refreshing to have different fresh voiced singers for these demanding roles. It is such a wonderful change to see a production without Domingo in it. Though talented, he's never been a particular favorite of mine. His voice always sounds tired, worn, and under pressure. I'm frankly tired of seeing him, he's in everything!!!! Salvatore Licitra sings Cavaradossi with simply brilliant tone, and phenomenal acting. The Scarpia of Leo Nucci is probably the most sadistic and terrifying portrayal I have seen since Tito Gobbi and Ruggiero Raimondi. His facial expressions are unbelievable!!!!! Finally, we have the Tosca of the formidable dramatic soprano Maria Guleghina, who simply shines in this role. She is the only current Tosca alongside Angela Gheorghiu and Daniela Dessi who is totally convincing vocally, physically, and dramatically. I believe Tosca requires both power and beauty. It is not enough just to have authoritative high notes, but also lush vocalism. Tosca cannot be done full justice by a soprano who squawks and screeches her way through the role. Guleghina's voice is simply gorgeous and full bodied like a finely aged wine. Her acting is well thought out and tightly controlled so that she doesn't portray Tosca as a selfish monster like so many singers do, but a decent human being beneath all the surface grandeur. Her Vissi D'arte is infused not only with power, but with an emotional pull that comes from the gut. Muti and the La Scala forces are equally brilliant!!!!!!Do yourself a favor and check out the Tosca of Daniela Dessi now on DVD, a first class artist with a hint of Callas thrown in for good measure!!!"
Jackson K. Eskew | USA | 04/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a purely mechanical performance of Tosca. Nothing special here at all, except of course for Puccini's gorgeous music. But the performances are far, far surpassed in the Met version with Domingo/Behrens from 1985. Especially annoying about this new disc are the sets, which are yet another tired celebration of postmodern asymmetrical nonsense. The sooner set designers get over this fascination with bad taste, the better."
Tosca done badly.
Loretta Balga | Juliette GA USA | 04/07/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Guleghina usually makes anything look good, but this time she had to suffer the worst sets and the worst stage direction I've ever seen in my life. The annoying skewed sets brought to mind a bad hangover, bent glasses, or my worst migraine. I found myself unable to ignore the tenor's exclusive attention to the promptor's box, and in spite of the nice voice and a passionate
situation,"Cavaradossi" never connected with "Tosca". (I longed for Tosca to sing "hey, I'm over here" while the prompter's box was being adored; learning one's role is a minimal requirement for praiseworthy performance, and even Pavorati was bad about that.) Finally, the last scene-a ridiculously long flight of stairs for Tosca to climb, with skirt hitched up and audience wondering if she would make it, to end the worst version of Tosca I've ever seen. Bummer."
Very good by all standards
Stefan Westerhoff | New York, NY | 01/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like this DVD, and I listen to it a lot. Above all, it's so good to have fresh faces singing this old war horse. I was for the first time quite impressed by Leo Nucci, who on CDs often sounds worn out, but here he is a really scary Scarpia. Nucci and Guleghina are also excellent actors and their scenes in Act 2 are quite something. Every time I watch it, there are new nuances to discover. Muti is excellent, very straightforward, and luckily, he doesn't see the need to milk every phrase. The sets are bizarre, a bit like "Dr. Caligari," but interesting to look at. It is not exactly a modern production and should not offend those who like their Puccini in period costumes on a cluttered stage. In short, this is one of the better opera DVDs."