Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rossini La Cenerentola |
Actors: Ruxandra Donose, Maxim Mironov, Simone Alberghini, Nathan Berg, Vladimir Jurowski
Directors: Sir Peter Hall, Robin Lough
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Don't Be a Pumpkin
Joseph L. Ponessa | Glendive MT USA | 11/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For several years I have owned the DVD release of this performance. Just before the Blu-Ray copy arrived, I watched the whole DVD copy all the way through and was impressed by the high musicality and good staging. The Prince stood out as a Rossinian singer of high excellence, who would be a credit to any stage.
After the Blu-Ray arrived I compared the two masterings with an eye to detail.
Visually, the Blu-Ray stands hand over fist above the DVD. Even with upscaling the DVD is fuzzy, and Jurowski comes across as a stern, aloof figure at the podium. With the extra clarity of the Blu-Ray picture, the maestro's tiny facial expressions demonstrate that he conducts by his charm as much as by his hand gestures. He possesses an inner understanding of the humanity of this piece of music, and exudes it during the overture. That revelation alone is worth the price of the Blu-Ray disc.
Sonically, the Blu-Ray is a careful remix and clean-up of the original tapes. On the DVD, two chairs can be heard to squeak on the floor a split second before Jurowski lowers his baton. Those distractions are gone on the Blu-Ray track. There is also better attention to volume level: the DTS track on the DVD becomes very harsh in the upper levels during the ensemble work, but everything balances nicely on the Blu-Ray.
I enjoyed the DVD very much but that was no reason to turn into a pumpkin: get the Blu-Ray."
An Evening of Joy
Elder Dave | Greenbank, Washington United States | 10/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There can't be much dispute about the quality of this work. The staging, the singing, the technical brilliance of the hidef experience both visually and aurally are impeccable. A group of us gathered to experience La Cenerentola in my home. We laughed, we applauded, we smiled to each other sharing the delight.
As the review above noted, no magic is involved in this rendering of the Cinderella story. Everything is worked out through the wisdom of Alidoro, the Prince's old sage counselor (sung brilliantly and with all due gravitas by Nathan Berg). This makes it a comedy well within the human domain. The moral lessons are clear: vanity is illusive and will not serve us well, all of us must treat each other with kindness, virtue is rewarded, and forgiveness and love heal all.
The characters are beautifully played and sung. Angelina (la cenerentola herself--Cinderella-sung by Ruxandra Donose)appropriately plays a somewhat withdrawn role at first but grows in vocal power and confidence throughout the opera . She emerges at the end as a shimmering beauty of brilliant voice. The "evil" stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe (Raquela Sheeran and Lucia Cirillo) are presented as very distinguishable comedic personalities whose voices often combine in bell-like harmonies. Don Magnifico, the wicked stepfather, is played to great comedic effect (Luciano Di Pasquale)as a buffoon who is cruel, fearful, and self-delusive at the same time. His is a gem of a performance. (It is with this that we see one of the drawbacks of such high visual resolution: one can easily see where the scalp cover is joined to his temples. But then again, the characters and sets seem almost three-dimensional, so it is a definite plus). The Prince, Don Ramiro, (Maxim Mironov) is carefully constructed as a major character who must be less prominent than Cinderella herself, so he is a Rossini tenor, somewhere between tenor and counter-tenor. He is young, handsome, recognizes virtue and responds to it honorably, and sings well. Yet it is the other characters who dominate, including Dandini,(Simone Alberghini) the valet the Prince has commissioned to play him while the Prince stays in the background to observe the reactions of the stepdaughters and anyone else hoping to be his bride.
Certainly this production shows off the glories of high definition BluRay, but it is the quality of the performances that should really sell this version to the public. For opera lovers, this Opus Arte presentation of the Glyndebourne production (almost always high quality from Glyndebourne and Opus Arte)is truly a must. It is not possible not to revel in this 3-hour delight. Do yourself a favor and get it; you'll love it.
Bob North | MN USA | 09/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a treasure. The technical quality of this Blu-ray is magnificent. I am a tech. perfection freak... this one has it. Video and audio revealed no flaws to me. The performances were excellent all around. Lead singers were knock-outs. The theater felt intimate. Fantastic lighting. I could not believe how super fine the sound was and the video is stunning. But... the direction of the thing was what worked me over. I connected immediately. There were no fairies... no magic of any kind... except the magic of an all around perfect show. This version of the story ultimately yanks away the worship of royalty and gives us a good and decent woman and man. The hero is Cinderella. I think that a Blu-ray disc like this would be an eye opener of an equipment sales tool. This is the reason I have Blu-ray. More please...."
A delight to both the ear and the eye
John Chandler | Melbourne, Australia | 11/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a fine disc. I am reluctant to give a 5 for video as it will be even better in the years to come but bearing in mind the challenges of filming under opera house conditions, this is about as close as current technology can get. The performance is excellent but there are others on SD DVD that run it close. This is a delight to the eye, the ear and the inner sentiment. If you have a blu ray player treat yourself to an evening of pure enjoyment. If you don't then there is no better excuse to go out and get both a player and this disc!"