It's rarely performed for a reason....
Smorgy | Southern California, USA | 10/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This opera is rarely done because the 3 leads of Tancredi, Amenaide, and Argirio are extremely difficult to cast. The music is very beautiful and florid (with 2 of the most beautiful soprano/contralto duets imaginable). This performance is OK... but far from excellent (especially in this age of virtuoso mezzo and soprano! when will we see a DVD of this work with Podles or Kasarova?)
This performance uses the Ferrara tragic ending, with the finale of the Venice happy ending as an encore piece. The staging is minimalistic and simple (and works fine, IMO). Period costume.... very stiff... tho can't be used to justify the stiffness of the 2 female leads!
Fine voices they have, but they sing as if they don't understand the Italian words coming out of their mouth! Bayo's 'Amenaide' at least looks as if she is trying to show some feeling as she sings, di Nissa's 'Tancredi' remains just about as moving as a statue. There is no sense of longing or reverence for the home country to be had as she sings 'Oh Patria! dolce e ingrata patria!' She could have been singing of her last high school English essay and you wouldn't know the difference. I think bad stage direction has a lot to do with it, but I've seen how good singing actors made relatable performances out of horrid direction before.
The best performances to me come from Gimenez's pinging authoritative voiced 'Argirio' and Bak's wonderfully lyrical and florid 'Isaura.' With D'Archangelo's 'Obrazzano' making the most of his brief time on stage, too.
There are 3 great CD recordings of Tancredi (the Sony with Horne, the Naxos with Podles, and the RCA with Kasarova). If you've heard any of the 3 you will find this one musically very disappointing. So... if you haven't heard this work before and want to explore it. Go for this tape for the staging first, then get one of the 3 great CDs (my choice is Kasarova on the RCA label which has both endings in their entirety). Not the other way around!"
Obscure but enjoyable
wvmcl | Washington, D.C. | 09/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This early Rossini opera is so obscure that it doesn't even get a mention in "Kobbe's Opera Book." It's an opera seria in a similar style to Mozart's "Idomeneo." The lead role of the warrior Tancredi was originally a castrato part - here it's performed by a mezzo. Mario Bayo is the standout cast member as Tancredi's love interest. The plot is a typical tale of love vs. duty - it doesn't really matter when and where is it set. Lots of impressive coloratura singing. The production and sound quality are very good. Be sure to wait through the curtain calls, as there is an "encore" of the alternative ending Rossini wrote."
Operas need more information
Luciano Tanto | Salta (argentina) | 06/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"which are the "finale" of all this tancredi? the tragic of voltaire, or the happily version? please, explain more and better. (opera is not r'n'r' or pop music; and sorry for my poor english).
luciano tanto, salta (argentina)."
Tancredi non tremar.
Anna Shlimovich | Boston, MA United States | 10/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I long had the DVD but it is the recent performance by Opera Boston that prompted me to comment on this one.
Indeed Ewa Podles live was absolutely incomparable to Bernadette Manca di Nissa; still, even if Bernadette acting was not animated, she sings with great agility.
I also found Maria Bayo virtuosity amazing, and Raul Gimenez gives a great commanding presence. In Boston we had Amanda Forsythe and Yeghishe Manucharyan for the roles; I must say I feel Gimenez is excellent.
While Ildebrando D'Archangelo is so handsome and convincing.
True, the soprano and contralto duets are heavenly; and just to think that Rossini was only 19 when he created Tancredi!
For me personally there were two important discoveries in Tancredi - first, that couple of moments were obviously borrowed from Don Giovanni. The first one is when Orbazzano tells Amenaide that he is happy to marry her - the recitative sounds exactly as Giovanni tells Zerlina: "ci sposeremo".
Then, in Act II, when Amenaide is alone in her prison cell, she sings of "caro padre" - and in resonates so strongly with the opening aria of Donna Anna.
Further, we can notice that Verdi borrowed two details - the reading of the letter, which Argirio does - the same episode in Traviata reading Alfredo's letter, and Lady Macbeth reading her husband's.
And of course, the finale of Traviata was borrowed from Tancredi - a long death scene, completely unjustified musically and dramatically in both operas, but alas...that is the way it is.
Overall, I think it is a very good performance."