Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Verdi - Ernani / James Levine The Metropolitan Opera|
Actors: Luciano Pavarotti, Leona Mitchell, Ruggero Raimondi, Sherrill Milnes, Charles Anthony
Director: Kirk Browning
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
No opera is more romantic than Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani. Three rivals risk everything for a hot-blooded woman, plotting abductions, hatching conspiracies, swearing fatal oaths. This 1983 Metropolitan Opera production brough... more »
Early Verdi at its best!
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 02/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"George Bernard Shaw described Ernani as Verdi's most intense opera, and in this rendition, all of the musical and visual elements of the work that so pleased the irascible Shaw come together marvelously. Who better to conduct it than James Levine, today's best interpreter of Verdi, and considered by many to be the heir to Toscanini. Young and still vocally secure, Pavarotti sings with boldness and color, with few of the extra syllables which mar so much of his middle years. Milnes, in the manner of Leonard Warren, is perfect in the role of Carlo and Leona Mitchell, while not quite the Verdian as Leontyne Price, fully realizes her part. Considering that this is a 1983 recording, this DVD shows how well the medium captures both the visual and musical elements of opera in general and Ernani in particular. A standing ovation for such a grand performance of a grand opera! And by the way, for folks who think that Verdi didn't hit his stride until Rigoletto, here is the proof of how truly great his earlier works are."
Pavarotti excites as Ernani in Met alternative Version
Gerard Fagan | Dublin Ireland | 06/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"James Levine and his met forces offer us a performancer of 'Ernani' that includes revisions Verdi made to the score after its Venice premiere. He added a cabaletta to Silva's aria that was taken from an alternative aria he wrote for his first opera 'Oberto'. The bass part of Silva was considered a secondary role because his aria had no cabaletta. Consequently star basses used to have the baritone role of Don Carlo transposed to bass register. Verdi inserted the cabaletta into the opera to discourage the practice. Furthermore in Act II Verdi wrote a new aria to act as finale to the Act. This was done at the behest of Rossini who wanted a bravura aria to showcase the talent of his protege Nicolai Ivanov. Both Ruggero Raimondi as Silva and Luciano Pavarotti as Ernani justify their inclusion in this performance. Elsewhere in the performance Pavarotti sings with lovely melting tone and Raimondi strikes one as an utterly driven Silva. Leona Mitchell as Elvira sings securely as Elvira even if she is not as dramatically compelling as Mirella Freni for Riccardo Muti in La Scala. Similarly Sherrill Milnes yields dramatic points to the incomparable Renato Bruson, yet delights by his firm top notes and ease with which he sings his music. By virtue of the variants described above this performance should be seen as a supplement to instead of an alternative to the Muti performance"
Good in every way.
Gerard Fagan | 05/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Outstanding in almost every way. The staging is impressive, the costumes are attractive. The singing is superlative. The public may be most interested in Pavarotti, but the real winner here is Sherrill Milnes. He is an intense and noble figure throughout. His third act aria is the opera's highlight, in my opinion, where he reaches a powerful Ab. Raimondi is also outstanding. I was so happy that his cabaletta was not cut out, and, was not cut at all: Both verses are performed. In fact, Verdi lovers will rejoice that this performance is complete. There is an alternate tenor aria included as well. Purchase without hesitation, for this is a winner. Dana Hill"
Ideal cast for this early verdi Opera
Spinto | ct | 03/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First I think It has to be said that Ernani is not an overly believable story. The sheer melodramatic unlikeliness of some of the action make it less of a sheer dramatic experience, unlike say, Rigoletto, Otello, La Traviata, or many of Verdi's later works. This is not a reflection on Verdi, who uses this mediocre Libretto to create some very moving music.
As I said in the title, this singers are nearly ideal. Pavarotti plays the bandit Ernani. He has rarely sounded better. His tone is Bright, attractive and ringing, This first act aria, despite a small rhymical mistake at the end, is fabulous. He takes an optional aria, that I had never heard before and sings it virtuosically. His acting is general, but he looks very good onstage. I was not dissapointed by his acting. I believe this is because the Liberetto does not make intricate dramatic demands on the singer, so general melodramatic emotion passes as appropriate.
Leona Mitchell is an excellent Elvira. It is a part that has alot of chest voice required, and Leona brings it. She sings Ernani Involami, with ardor and passion. The costumer might have mae a more intelligent choice so that the Diva's chest didnt heave out of her shirt with every breath, it wasnt exactly becoming.
Ruggero Raimondi was intense as Silva. He was believable as the cucolded old man. his voice was booming and edgy. While his voice isn't always focused perfectly, he is a perfect dramatist. His performance is wonderful.
Sherill Milnes is a great Charles the 5th. It is of interest that this performance was Milnes's comeback from vocal sugery after busting a cappilary in his vocal cord. He kept it a secret and cancelled many performance, including the Met centennial gala. His anxiety over this performance, by his own admission, approached hysteria. Miraculously, he sings very well here. Perhaps his voice is a bit under, but its still has the Milnes coloring. His aria comparing himself to Charlemagne, was a classic. Throwing caution to the wind, he muscles out a A flat, to the delight of the crowd.
Overall this is an excellent production of verdis opera. If you are an early verdi fan, this is a must have."