Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rossini - Il Barbiere Di Siviglia |
The Barber of Seville
Actors: Juan Diego Florez, Ruggero Raimondi, Maria Bayo, Pietro Spagnoli, Bruno Pratico
Director: Emilio Sagi
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
‚?Ę Acclaimed tenor, Juan Diego Fl√≥rez in one of his greatest stage roles. ‚?Ę Two disc set of the critically praised new production from Madrid‚??s Teatro Real. ‚?Ę A top international cast including soprano Mar√≠a B... more »
Juan Diego Florez Show
M. Montenegro | mexico | 03/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This production is great. The concept is very interesting: it begings in black and white and, as the action develops, the color begins to be add act by act to end full of color and fiesta. This is a bel canto opera... it means all the characters must be able to deliver a pure singing line. Juan Diego Florez really does a great job: the voice is just what the rossini light tenor must be: flexible, beautiful with great coloratura and high notes. Ruggero Raimondi makes a great Don Basilio, even with a noticeable used voice, the singing and acting is, as always, first rank. Pietro Spagnoli, the Figaro of this production, does not make a big impression. His Figaro lacks vivacity wich is essential for the character. Bruno Pratico makes a very funny Bartolo and sings very fluent that difficult part... Maria Bayo is a dissapointing Rossina. I don't understand why she is still singing this part: The voice sounds old and effortful, the coloratura is heavy, and she has lost all the high notes... so, why you need a soprano singing Rossina if she cannot do something a good mezzo can do? Rossina IS a mezzosoprano roll, if a soprano attempt to sing the part there must be a reason for it: for exaple to express a more youthful and playful character... but when the voice shows age and trouble, what is the point if there are great mezzos and light sopranos around to do it? I recommend this DVD basically for two reasons: the production in itself, and Juan Diego Florez, who gives a wonderful show including the aria "cessa di piu resistere" which is regulary omitted in most productions."
Has it all: creative sets, costumes, and lighting; spirited
Toni Bernhard | Davis, CA United States | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not surprisingly, the performance of Juan Diego Florez makes this "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" special. I think of the role of Count Almaviva as third in importance behind that of Figaro and Rosina. But Florez has such a compelling stage presence and is such a spectacular Rossini tenor, that, like me, you may find yourself just waiting for him to come back onstage. (We are rewarded for our patience when he performs the difficult and usually omitted aria, "Cessa di piu resistere," shortly before the curtain falls.) Throughout the opera, Florez's voice rings out with precision and crystal clarity. His vibrato gives the vocal lines an electric sound as if they're pulsating with energy. And he knows just how and when to embellish Rossini's score. It's simply bel canto and coloratura at its best.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I wasn't disappointed with any of the other performers, particularly because their voices blend so well in the ensemble pieces. Pietro Spagnoli as Figaro may not command the stage as we're used to (after all, the opera is named after him), but he has a rich, flexible baritone voice (flexible enough to match Rosina's fast running couplets in their famous duet, "Dunque io son," a feat few Figaro baritones can pull off). Yes, Maria Bayo as Rosina omits a high note here and there, but her soprano voice has a lovely lyrical flow to it and she gives a spirited performance. She is having a great time onstage and it's infectious. It mattered not a bit to me that she's somewhat older than Florez, her love interest. Why shouldn't she be?
I particularly enjoyed Bruno Practico's interpretation of Dr. Bartolo as a rather dim-witted buffa character rather than portraying him in the usual way as stuffy and pompous. Practico's approach integrates Dr. Bartolo into the stage action better and makes his "patter" music (the Act I aria, "A un dottor" and the Act II duet with Almavira, "Pace e gioia") more in line with the comic feel of the opera. He does a great job performing this difficult music. It's a treat to see the veteran Ruggero Raimondi as the amoral Don Basilio, booming out "La calunnia" in Act I and adding to the comic lunacy of Act II. Even Susana Cordon makes the most of her small role, giving us a wonderfully disheveled and quirky Berta but one who is shrewdly aware of exactly what's going on at every moment in Bartolo's household. Cordon gives an animated and funny rendition of her short Act II aria, a piece that often feels as if it's interrupting the action; but here it brings "bravas" from the audience.
The sets, lighting, and costumes are inventive and show up well on the TV screen (opera DVD's are often so dark). I love the black and white motif, made comic with stripes, polka dots, and other assorted odd designs. The lighting designer was able to make black and white look as vivid as if he'd worked with a full palette. Then, at just the right moment, the black and white sets, costumes, and lighting give way to vivid colors and carry us to the end of this sparkling production.
The bonus DVD contains informative interviews with the director, conductor, and performers. One example: Florez describes how he carefully writes out his "ornamentations" (as he calls them) ahead of time.
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 06/13/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Juan Diego Florez as Count Almaviva is the main reason for my purchase of yet another "Il Barbiere Di Siviglia" by Rossini. Although he seemed to be slightly detached from his surroundings in this production, (I guess he's an Opera Super Star!) he does indeed deliver the vocal "goods". In possession of a very light flexible and sweet tenor, he very adequately meets all of the vocal challenges of his role. In addition, he is easy on the eye with a gleaming smile.
Figaro is sung by small voiced baritone Pietro Spagnoli. He is a very young and a very nimble Figaro--no standing and delivering but exhibiting much energy by bouncing and hoping around the stage a lot--it was fun to watch!
My only real "vocal disappoint" was the Rossina as sung by the extremely tiny voiced Maria Bayo; however, she was sadly without high notes. To me, if a high voiced (as opposed to a mezzo) is used in the role of Rossina that voice should possess loads of high notes otherwise give me a good flexible Mezzo Soprano as the role was originally written for. Otherwise, it's sleep inducing.
Bruno Pratico makes a rotund but lively Bartolo. Again his voice is on the light side but well able to negotiate the ornamentations. Ruggiero Raimondi is large voiced and very funny making for a very weird Basilio; however he was very amusing indeed.
The production was very busy with all of the characters moving around the stage a lot--very feisty! The basic colors that are used are black and white which were wonderful.
The sound and picture quality of the DVD is superb.
Buy this disc manly to see one of today's brightest operatic stars do his thing-- Juan Diego Florez as Count Almaviva.
Probably *the* Barber of Seville video to get
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 12/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" from Madrid isn't perfect, but I think overall it's the best choice available on video. For one, it's fairly complete -- and then some. Recitatives are slightly abridged, but musically all the numbers are there, and there's an extra aria for Rosina in the second act, "Ah, se e ver che in tal momento".
The production is also pretty inoffensive. I don't like some things about it -- for instance, having everything onstage in black and white patterns except for the colorful finale seems too cute by half. Plus, Bartolo's house is way too grand -- it belongs more in Der Rosenkavalier. But overall, it's not at all "Eurotrashy."
The cast is also overall very strong. The main reason to get this dvd is of course Juan Diego Florez's Almaviva. Florez makes Barbiere *his* opera. His voice is clear, bell-like, with a fast vibrato that gives his singing an ardent "pulse." Florez is also very musical, decorating his arias tastefully, with wonderful use of appogiaturas. He also is blessed with a beautiful, secure high C. He brings down the house with Almaviva's extremely long, difficult aria at the very end of the opera, "Cessa di piu resistere." On top of all that, Florez also has an exuberant stage personality. His scene-stealing as the "music teacher' during the Lesson Scene is extremely amusing. AND he's very handsome. What more could one ask?
The rest of the cast is also generally strong. Pietro Spagnoli (Figaro) has a handsome, round baritone voice. I like how in this production during "Largo al factotum" he hands out "coupons" to his customers. It gives Figaro a chance to do *something* in an aria that is often stand-and-sing. But overall, Spagnoli doesn't make much of the role -- he's the title role, but he made the least impression on me. His Figaro is rather joyless, without any sense of mischief.
The comic relief is better. Bruno Practico is a delightfully foolish Bartolo, and does a good job with "A un dottor." Ruggiero Raimondi's basso voice has dried up quite a bit, and at times he sounds hoarse during "La calunnia." He's still a good actor, though, making Basilio delightfully megalomaniacal and amoral. He adds enormously to the fun in this production.
The real weak link in the cast is Maria Bayo as Rosina. Maria Bayo is actually blessed with a pretty, bell-like soprano voice. She ornaments her arias "Una voce poco fa" and "Contro un cor" tastefully and imaginatively. Her problem is that she simply doesn't have enough spunk and charm to be believable as Rosina. This Rosina is too "dolce" and not enough "vipera." It doesn't help that she's saddled with a frumpy, curly black wig that does her face no favors, and a frumpy polka-dot black dress.
Oh well. One can't ask for everything. There's a nice bonus disk with an hour-long documentary about the opera, with interviews with the cast. Florez has such a wonderful speaking voice, by the way."