It was the celebration of the century, a party of truly operatic proportion. On the one-hundredth anniversary of the Metropolitan Opera, almost one-hundred of the world's leading singers and conductors performed some of th... more »e most brilliant arias and ensembles in two separate programs. Conductor: James Levine. The Metropolitan Opera and Chorus.« less
"The 1983 Metropolitan Opera Centennial Gala was perhaps the classical concert of the century, with most of the greatest, still-living voices in attendance and participating. But Pioneer Classics DVD recording of this concert is the recording crime of the century. From the opening notes of the Overture to the Bartered Bride to the final "Happy Birthday", the sound is so grossly distorted that it is almost totally unlistenable. When I played the first copy of the disc I bought, I thought that there was something wrong with my speakers or my DVD player, but other DVDs sounded wonderful. I returned the first disc and ordered a second thinking that the first was simply badly copied. But the second disc is just as bad. Pioneer Classics should withdraw this DVD from production until a recording worthy of the event can be produced. Please don't waste your money on this DVD. If you love this music and these performers as I do, you will only be enraged at the injustice which has been done to both."
A Must-See for Anyone Who Cares for Opera!
John G. Gleeson Sr. | Frederic, Mi USA | 04/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD contains the majority of a two-day celebration of the Metropolitan Opera's first 100 years. While its origin in 1983 prevents it from being sonically 100%, the performances are simply fabulous! You'll see why the "three tenors", Pavarotti, Carrerras and Domingo, deserve the fame that they enjoy. You'll see and hear why Dame Joan Sutherland was called "La Stupenda" by her fans. You will see and hear the most ravishing singing of two scenes from Der Rosenkavalier, which will convert even the most ardent operaphobe. You will marvel, as I did, how sensitive and youthful the late Alfredo Krause sounds in the love duet ( with the simply splendid Catherine Malfitano) from Romeo et Juliette. With nearly four hours of marvellous singing, with arias, overtures, duets, trios and ensembles, this disc will be replayed over and over at our house -- and yours, too. My usually objective wife was clapping and exclaiming "bravo" as the performances progressed, and properly so. Don't miss this one; and its perfect as a gift for any opera lover or anyone who is curious about what opera is all about."
Opera Centennial of the Century
(5 out of 5 stars)
"3 hours and 49 minutes of excellent and moving performances by present and past opera singers and conductors with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. 23 operatic vocals including arias, duets, trios, a sextet, and a septet. There are two overtures and a ballet. Nota bene that an older DVD player had terrible sound problems with this and other Pioneer Classics like La Boheme. This Centennial Gala and La Boheme sound fabulous on the new DVD player. The lighting, colors, and perspectives are as good as you will see on television and better than VHS. The English subtitles are optional. There is a DVD 58 page history of the Metropolitan Opera. This is a jewel in my operatic collection. Enjoy!"
I could have watched the whole thing --
DanCusick@MSN.com | 11/04/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I could have watched the whole thing, which lasted for six hours, but for some reason the people who put out both the video and the DVD decided to trim it by two hours. Why? Since this was a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, why cut a third of it?
I taped this myself when it was originally broadcast, so I have it all, but my enthusiasm for a couple of the very performeances that were edited out have created some slight damage to those parts of my twenty year-old tape. I hoped I'd find the complete performance when I bought this, and was really disgusted when I realized how much had been cut. Among many others that I have often enjoyed were: the sextet (or is it the septet) from La Italiana in Algeri, with the wonderful Edda Moser doing her high notes, Ara Berberian sounding out like a bass drum; Neil Shicoff and the Met male chorus doing the Kleinzach song from Les Contes d'Hoffmann. this was the first time I ever saw Shicoff and I was a fan of his from that point. If I'd been given the choice of who or what to cut, I could have found some performances I could have lived without, but for this special occasion, I would really have voted to leave them all in. When will we see their like again?"
Journey to Valhalla !!!
Andiemusik Al | norfolk, virginia United States | 04/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was my 1st dvd purchase.For this operaphile, this is the Mount Olympus of the arts. The performances were extraordinary.Vocal mastery was in abundance.It's difficult to single out specific exemplary performances.The phenomenal Eva Marton set the mood with her searing version of "In questa Reggia". The collaboration of Battle,Von Stade& Soderstrom for the ethereal final trio from "Der Rosenkavalier".Carreras &Caballe scaling new heights with the finale from "Andrea Chenier".The limpid beauty of Madama Butterfly's Act 1love duet sung to it's zenith by Leona Mitchell & Giuliano Ciannella. The list goes on & on. 4 hours of pure listening pleasure. The fashion police ,however,must have been on stakeout at the other end of town. money well spent!!!"