Search - Puccini - Tosca / Patane, Tebaldi, London, Tobin on DVD

Puccini - Tosca / Patane, Tebaldi, London, Tobin
Puccini - Tosca / Patane Tebaldi London Tobin
Actors: Renata Tebaldi, George London, Eugene Tobin, Franco Patane
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2002     2hr 6min

This is a precious collector's item, the only video disc that brings together two of the most important opera stars of the mid-20th century. Tosca and Scarpia were key roles for Renata Tebaldi and George London; they pe...  more »


Movie Details

Actors: Renata Tebaldi, George London, Eugene Tobin, Franco Patane
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Sting, Classical
Studio: Video Artists Int'l
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 06/25/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1961
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 2hr 6min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Italian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Renata Tebaldi Sizzles in her Signature Role -- TOSCA
F. Barton | Newport, WA USA | 09/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This extraordinary DVD brings the talents of Renata Tebaldi and George London to digital excitement. The picture is smooth and very detailed, while the sound is of CD quality. For those who have this performance on video, this release tops it, in both sound and picture. The menu photos are glorious, and the natural sound of the original venue comes through like never before. This DVD is playable in ALL regions, and comes with optional English subtitles.This is the BEST quality of an actual opera performance, complete, with Renata Tebaldi and George London. In fact, it's London's ONLY complete opera captured on video. It's also terrific to jump to favorite parts of the opera, as well as repeat those you love. The packaging is sleek as well. Truly a DVD for your library. Let's hope that the CHENIER and OTELLO find their way to DVD as well. But none will have the quality of this Stuttgart TOSCA. Grab it now!!!"
The disc might merit the 5th star, but ...
Plaza Marcelino | Caracas Venezuela | 01/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"But the Cavaradossi, a tenor called Eugene Tobin whom I didn't know of, conspires against my granting it outright, as he is simply of a lower level than Tebaldi's or London's. The stage production itself also contributes, out of its own anodyne-ness. But let's not complain too much: we are to thank heavens for the fact that this video tape was kept in the vaults of SDR, the South German Broadcasting Corp., and survived in such a good condition four decades of storage for it allows us to see a legend of 20th century opera singing in one of her signature roles, in full command of her conditions and in a complete performance at that. From the other great Tosca of the times, Maria Callas, we only have the second act, in two separate performances that I know of (are there more stashed away in the archives of some european TV station or opera house?) but her vocal conditions in those two videos were not the most adequate, even in the earlier of the two, her Paris debut. She of course was the better actress (Tebaldi's suffering of Polio infection in her childhood reputedly limited her stage movements, according to critics) but "La signorina"'s voice was unique and in a class of its own, far more subtle and cultivated than Callas's. George London was a masterful Scarpia, a nasty impersonation with a master degree in cynicism, and he proved also a very accomplished actor; his voice was enormous, powerful as perhaps none other of his generation. Both he and Tebaldi are featured in Decca's late 1950's stereo recording to good effect, accompanied by Del Monaco's short on subtlety Cavaradossi. Callas is, of course much better served in the rightfully legendary 1954 EMI recording than in the videos I made reference to, and far less well so in the 1964 stereo remake.

The rest of the cast are downright substandard: the Spoletta barely bothers to sing, preferring to speak many of his interventions, the Sacristan and Angelotti fare better but sing in some sort of semi-italian that would be booed today.

Patané was well known, as was also his brother Giuseppe, as exponent of a tradition of opera conducting that was earned after hard work in the orchestra pit in provincial theatres in the deep Italian boot. That tradition hardly exists now. Sound is alright as is also the video image, rather fuzzy by today's standard but mind this dvd comes from a 1962 black and white video tape."
Great singing, but very dated production
C. Harbison | Montague, MA United States | 10/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Tebaldi and London clearly have this opera down pat--they can emerge after grueling singing and still smile sweetly like movie stars at the audience. The sets are primitive by today's standards, the staging/lighting is also very elementary although London manages somes effective serpentine movements. It is fantastic to see Tebaldi and London perform but the picture quality is only fair and the sound not nearly as good as the contemporary (1960) London/Decca CD set with T, L, and Del Monaco."
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 09/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With a plethora of Tosca DVD's, there would seem to be little reason to add a black and white version with simple sets and traditional production. My reason for recommending that you do so lies in the fact that it is as good as any you will find and of historical value as well. Why? Renata Tibaldi and George London! Each is at the top of his form. Each produces memorable moments. We also get a chance to see and hear the American tenor, Eugene Tobin, who never scaled the heights of the operatic world, but shows himself to be capable of sharing the stage with two of the Masters.
I should note that this brief review was originally attached to another of Tebaldi's performances of Tosca. My thanks go to Corliss Phillabaum, whose comment set me on the right track.