Dunn and Luchetti are marvelous!!!
P. Sutherland | Berea, Ohio, USA | 01/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's true that this opera is a lot of stand and sing with little action, but the singing was excellent! Susan Dunn's aria in Act IV, where as Elena she forgives Arrigo, brought down the house. It was so beautiful. The applause went on and on. And she only got better. Veriano Luchetti was fantastic as Arrigo. Leo Nucci as Monforte was his usual competent self. The ensemble numbers were wonderful also.
I've seen the other Vespri with Chris Merritt and Cheryl Studer and this one is definitely as good or better."
STAND AND SING VERDI
Charles D. novak | minneapolis, minnesota USA | 09/13/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This opera doesn't have any action. The leading characters and chorus sing about things happening, but you don't see them. There is little stage movement on the three video productions I have of this opera and the same was true of the two performances I saw of Vespri at the Metropolitan. Consequently you need six terrifc singers to bring this work to life. For me, this opera doesn't take off until the father/son duet in Act Three. From that moment to the end of Act Five, Verdi's music catches fire and never stops. The Teatro Alla Scala DVD has the best cast (now at a budget price) - Studer, Merritt, Zancanaro and Furlanetto with Riccardo Muti giving the music a run for its money. Unfortunately the production iself is silly, pointless and boring. Those are not good ingredients for an opera you have to look at for three hours. The Bologna DVD has the better production, if at times laughable. Their production looks like the hanging gardens of Babylon. There couldn't have been a potted plant left in Bologna that wasn't on that stage! They also have curtains opening and closing for no apparent reason. The downside in this DVD is the weak cast including Dunn, Luchetti, Giaioti and Nucci with Conductor Chailly failing to inspire his singers. Susan Dunn is down right boring. She looks like she doesn't want to be there and promising herself she will never sing this roll again. I hope she kept her promise. I've seen this artist in other operas and she was first rate. Vespri simply wasn't a fit for her. The best overall production is still the Met's which unfortunately is not available on DVD. I have the laser disc (remember them?) copy which is still my top pick whenever I need a Vespri fix."