Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Verdi - I Due Foscari / Bruson Roark-Strummer Cupido Roni Gavazzeni La Scala Opera|
Actors: Linda Roark-Strummer, Renato Bruson, Alberto Cupido, Luigi Roni, Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Early Verdi Masterpiece
P. Byrne | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I have had a poor VHS from PAL transfer of this superb production for several years. What a thrill to find it restored on DVD. And what a restoration. The production is stunningly simple, yet utterly dramatic. Linda Roark-Strummer is a ferocious Lucrezia Contarini, the daughter-in-law of the opera's central character, the ill-fated Doge. Renato Bruson, who literally owns this role, gives a heart breaking reading of this great Verdi baritone role.No composer wrote better father/daughter duettos than Verdi, and the ones here rank among his very best.
The mercurial Gavazzeni commands the La Scala orchestra with a style that many younger conductors would do well to emulate. This opera is one gorgeous melody after another. For all fans of beautiful singing. A must.
Patrick C. Byrne"
A preview for Boccanegra
Richard | Minneapolis, Mongolia | 10/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who could have imagined the sheer luxury of having not one but two Foscari to choose from on DVD so soon into the medium's life? First we had an adequate performance from Naples which has now been replaced by Renato Bruson, Gardelli and La Scala. Foscari is not top drawer Verdi. Even he acknowledged that. First of all nothing much happens. At the beginning the son is seeking to have his banishment revoked. That does not happen. He is banished again. And his father loses his power as Doge and dies. That's it for a plot. Not much. Ah, but then there is the music and the relationships. Verdi gives us much to appreciate in spite of the lack of action. Only Bruson and Gardelli are known qualities here but the rest of the cast are more than adequate. If you like Verdi beyond the standard rep check this out."
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 11/10/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"'I due Foscari' is one of Verdi's darkest operas. And it has very little stage action. It may be better experienced as a sound recording rather than as a stage production. I've known and loved the audio recording of 'I due Foscari' led by Lamberto Gardelli' made in 1977 for many years. It has a superior cast -- Piero Cappuccilli as the Doge, the young fresh-voiced José Carreras as Jacopo Foscari, Katia Ricciarelli as Lucrezia Contarini, Samuel Ramey as Loredano -- and is superb throughout. I have not seen the DVD (or VHS) of the competing 'Foscari' with Nello Santi conducting and the Doge sung by Leo Nucci. But this DVD conducted by Andrea Gavazzeni (not Lamberto Gardelli as the previous reviewer mistakenly says) and with Renato Bruson as the Doge simply cannot compete with the audio recording. With the exception of Bruson, who is in good voice and does a very credible acting job as the conflicted, frail, dying Doge, the cast isn't up to snuff. Linda Roark-Strummer is a bit overparted as Lucrezia; the voice is of moderate size, she sings rather generically and she tends to overact. Much worse is Albert Cupido as Jacopo. His voice is, let's face it, not inherently pleasant and he doesn't handle it well, he strains in the more dramatic bits, cannot sing a legato line and his acting is wooden. (His mad scene in Act II is embarrassing.) Considering that Jacopo dominates much of the action, this is not a good thing. About the best I can say for this production, aside from Bruson, is that the scenery is nice and the costumes are richly gorgeous. And that Gavazzeni gets marvelous playing from his La Scala orchestra. I was particularly struck by the viola/cello duet that introduces Act III.
If you have to have a DVD of this opera, I'd suggest you explore the other version mentioned. If you want the opera for its music, but are not familiar with it, you might consider looking for the old Gardelli set. Also, I know that Bergonzi recorded it under Giulini, but I do not know that performance.
Milan does Justice to former enemy Venice
Gerard Fagan | Dublin Ireland | 06/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD of 'I Due Foscari' comes from La Scala Milan. In the period of the opera's setting Milan And Venice were deadly enemies. Indeed the tenor character Jacopo is accused of 'trafficking with a foreign power' namely Milan as well as of murder. The opera deals with the dilemma of Jacopo's father, the doge of Venice in having to preside over his condemnation. This conflict between love and duty is a hallmark of Verdi operas and provides the pretext for some heartrending music. Renato Bruson as the doge is majestic as doge and portrays to perfection the father forced to condemn his son to exile and as ever,proves a true 'baritono nobile'. As his son Jacopo, Alberto Cupido sings beautifully but hardly sets the world on fire with his acting . Linda Roark-Strummer as Lucrezia,Jacopo's wife with more balls than her husband or father-in-law sings very strongly and establishes herself as a force in the drama. The other roles are well taken and the Chorus sings strongly. The sets and direction are more than adequate."