Plácido Domingo stars in this powerful Royal Opera House production of Verdi's great romantic opera. Domingo is memorable in the role of Gustavus, with Katia Ricciarelli as Amelia. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House gi... more »ves a superb performance of Verdi's score under the baton of conductor Claudio Abbado. Cast - Gustavus - Plácido Domingo
"This production from Covent Garden is set in Stockholm, and not Boston. With Reri Grist (Oscar), Placido Domingo (Gustavus), Katia Ricciarelli (Amelia), Piero Cappucili (Renato), Patricia Payne (? - the booklet or DVD fails to credit the singer) (Ulrica) and Claudio Abbado in the pit: all at their peak, you just simply cannot go wrong when purchasing this DVD. This performance made me realise why I had fallen in love with opera: beautiful (today one should be thankful) and convincing sets and costumes, and fiery conducting and singing from all the above soloists which leaves you breathless. Domingo as the King (not the Governor of Boston) is simply ravishing! He is so convincing and dashing as Gustavus - I think very few tenors nowadays can even attempt such a convincing vocal and dramatic performance. But then just perfect for her role is the creamy-voiced Ricciarelli! The Ulrica is very convincing as the soothsayer and she looks downright terrible! Piero Cappucili gets a bit wobbly now and then, but what a fantastic performer he was then. Reri Grist sparkles her way through the very demanding role of Oscar, and such joy is imbued into her singing that she makes you forget just how difficult that role is. But the most important thing is that everyone LOOKS and SOUNDS their part. And the conducting by Abbado is just perfect: well-thought out and balanced! It is clear that in making a choice between the Met "Un ballo" and this one from Covent Garden, there is simply no competition! Even though Aprile Millo is a very impassioned Amelia, Pavarotti's acting and level of commitment is no match for Domingo's. The DVD itself is very basic, and gives as little information as possible. It is difficult to navigate - there are only tracks for the Acts and not for the separate musical numbers. Unfortunately there is also no choice of subtitle language. There are English subtitles throughout, which you can not turn off. Pioneer seem to have little regard for their DVD transfers - the same criticisms apply for their issue of "Mitridate" from the same series (Covent Garden on Pioneer)."
Excellent, possibly the best I have seen.
N. Gallimore | Upminster United Kingdom | 06/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Ballo is just excellent and I am sorry that as a teenager I didn't go and see it.The Covent Garden production is excellent, although why the other characters retain their Boston status, and King Gustaf his Swedish one, is more of a mystery. Also, Ulrika and Sam and Tom are uncredited and don't take curtain calls - why?Forget that though, Domingo is perfect and puts into the shade Pavarotti's perfomance in two DVD's from the Met. He seems to have studied the role to every fine detail and executes the role to perfection - as does Katia Ricciarelli ( in much better voice I think that in the Met DVD of the same opera). Piero Cappuccilli gives a good perfomance, but my wife always reckons it "was nice of him to turn up". That is a bit harsh, but I wonder if he deserves to get the huge ovation during Act III from the very reticent 1975 Convent Garden audience. Better perfomances go unapplauded.This though, is the best Ballo on DVD, and wont be over shaddowed by the second Met Ballo with Pavarotti which is due for release this autum. As a Ballo addict though, I will have all three."
The cast in this DVD was ...
Erico Mangaravite | Vitoria, ES Brazil | 05/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After spend some time in researches , I founded a complete list of the cast on this '75 ROH production:
Amelia - Katia Ricciarelli Gustavo III - Placido Domingo Anckarstroem - Piero Cappuccilli Oscar - Reri Grist Mlle. Arvidson - Elizabeth Bainbridge Silvano - William Elwin Samuel - Gwynne Howell Tom - Paul Hudson Un giudice - Francis Egerton Amelia's servant - John Carr ROH Chorus and Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
5 for cast & conducting....0 for lighting
S. J McKenna | San Francisco, CA USA | 08/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a dream cast (as the other reviewers have indicated). All the voices are up to their roles, no mean feat...and this is a delicious opera. Katia Ricciarelli is an ideal Amelia with her warm creamy tones and excellent acting ability. Domingo revels in the role of Gustavo in his juicy young voice (he's about 34 here. Ulrica is just perfect with a voice wholly up to the demands.. an exceptional Ulrica in my mind. Renato is fine...not show-stopping, but more than up to it nonetheless. Reri Grist is fine too...again, not beyond the beyond (every Oscar I have seen live or recorded has been good to very good..this must be a vocally felicitous role in general or I have been very lucky).
BUT, the lighting for much of this is non-existent. The darkness is appropriate to the libretto, but is not compatible with viewing as well as listening. Maddening. The entire 2nd act is mainly flashes of white handkerchief or collar ruff with the occasional glimpse of a face.
Joseph Hart | Visalia, CA United States | 06/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Enjoyed this very much. Every one did a wonderful job, I thought. Nothing spectacular or outstanding, but really engrossing and pleasing. (It took the king about as long to die as Desdemona and Gilda! They all kept coming back to life!) I knew before but it didn't take until this show that there really are other sopranos besides Sutherland, Callas and Sills, good ones. Ricciarelli was very good, liquid and warm. Oscar I thought almost stole the show. She was wonderful, a tricky, intricate, demanding part sung with ease, reminded me of Ratti, whose performance I've cherished for years. Domingo (particularly during his curtain calls) seemed just like a very nice guy with a huge talent. Good acting all around. Was struck by everyone's calm self-assured competence during curtain calls. Old pros. Was finally struck by how much more is gotten (at least by me) from watching an opera than just listening to it on CDs. Sets were beautiful, texture of the film or color seemed a little off, but minor, subtitles left lots to the imagination. Subtitle: "I want to see my son." Amelia sings for 10 minutes, no subtitles. "You may see your son." Then her husband sings for 10 minutes, no subtitles. The subtitles were just enough to keep you conscious of what the story was, little better than a synopsis, made me a little angry eventually. If you like this music, I recommend this DVD, even, subdued, quality, good performances."