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Bellini: Norma


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Product Details

  • Actors: Daniela Dessi, Fabio Armiliato, Kate Aldrich, Antonello Ceron, Rafal Siwek
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hardy Classics DVD
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 162 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001HRJG46
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,659 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Daniela Dessi Fabbio Armiliato, Kate Aldrich, and Rafal Siwek star in this April 2008 live production of the Bellini opera with Evelino Pido conducting the Orchestra & Chorus of the Teatro Comunele di Bologna.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
Norma is the most demanding soprano role ever written.
Zeke
Elkins, Merolla and Morris are of sufficient calibre to get on the stage with La Superba without being dwarfed.
Claudia N. Davidsen
The duet "In mia man" - the direction and performances are just ridiculous, lame.
Niel Rishoi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. McNamee on March 22, 2009
Format: DVD
It was a treat to watch Caballé in the 1971 concert version of Norma, Act 1. However, it is her bonus recital from Madrid in 1979 with Zanetti at the piano that is simply ravishing. It is difficult to single out favorites, but I will choose three: Sposa, son disprezzata + Elegia eterna + Me llaman la primorosa. A priceless moment occurs during the Cherubini when MC's sheet music and stand collapse to knee-height, and she doesn't miss a beat. The singing throughout the recital is stunning, and not to be missed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Claudia N. Davidsen on September 20, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, the Norma: This is a superb concert performance of Bellini's Norma. Just remember that it was recorded in 1971, black and white, grade C camera work, only Act I, and not great sound playback. That said, this is a valuable historic musical document as well as some gorgeous music. Owning Caballe's 1974 Orange performance--which she reportedly regards as her best--I still would never do without this 1971 concert. The quality of bel canto interpretation and singing just does not happen today. The Casta Diva--which is a miracle--would make this worth having all by itself. The Norma/Adalgisa duets are stupendous! Caballe is in gorgeous form. The beautiful Elkins is fabulous, and I wish I had more of her stuff. Merolla and Morris are great additions. Very important! Elkins, Merolla and Morris are of sufficient calibre to get on the stage with La Superba without being dwarfed. So, you get a nice, well-rounded performance. You must see, as well as hear this to appreciate what happened on that stage in 1971, as well as the level of bel canto that was out there for us during that period.

Special note: Watching the chronology, the 1971 concert was probably during Caballe's pregnancy with her second child, Montserrat Marti. She once said that the unborn Montsita helped her hit the high notes. If she was referring to this, Thank you Montsita!

Second, the bonus 1979 recital: It's in color, fine sound playback, and decent camera. I agree with everything the first reviewer said. (That dad-gum music stand! Caballe, with her humor and savoir faire, reaches down, and fixes it herself.) The content of this recital is just so satisfying. If you haven't heard Caballe sing Handel and Vivaldi, you must have this. Amazing phrasing, especially in the Vivaldi. The Spanish selections are beyond description. The only thing better than hearing Caballe is hearing and seeing her. Even very ill--as she was during this concert--she is too fabulous!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Caroline Marti on August 6, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The ever divine Caballe at her very best. A wonderful Norma and an intimate recital all on one disc it is a must have not just for fans of La Superba but for anyone who wants to know what thrilling singing is all about. In her prime Caballe demonstrates why she was perhaps the greatest lyrico spinto soprano of the last century. Her effortless legato, heavenly pianissimo's, unequalled breath control and a rare musicality combine to give the listener a most thrilling experience. Buy it immediately and enjoy it forever. Brava Montserrat!!!
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Niel Rishoi on March 1, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The cast:

Norma: Daniela Dessi
Pollione: Fabio Armiliato
Adalgisa: Kate Aldrich
Oroveso: Rafal Siwek
Clotilde: Marie Luce Erard
Flavio: Antonello Ceron

Director: Federico Tiezzi
Sets: Pier Paolo Bisleri
Costumes: Giovanna Buzzi

Conductor: Evelino Pido

Bologna, April 2008

This production, while very striking, is a ponderous mishmash of styles and means. It's Dolce e Gabbana meets Classical meets Gladiator meets Minimalist meets Abstract. The contrasts, colors and shadows/light atmosphere are all very sharp, shiny and slick. The costumes are (mostly) high couture, flowing, elegant and sensual/sexy. Hunky six-pack breastplates for the male chorus. I've never seen a Norma more beautifully coiffed (knee length henna-colored cornrows - which several of the cast & chorus feature as well) and outfitted - DeMille resplendent. It's an Italian fashion pageantry show - all tableaus are like Dolce e Gabbana ads, circa 50 B.C., with some zipped-through-time anachronisms. But Pollione has an American Revolutionary War (I think or is it Civil War?) -styled outfit, with long-coat, tall boots. Every time I see him here, I think John Wilkes Booth.

There are some puzzling directorial inflictions. Why is Oroveso at the outset in a monk-styled robe, and the character made to be so enfeebled that he has chorus supers holding onto him? In other instances, direct contact amongst characters is minimal. In many cases, they're lined-up, department store-mannequin-style, symetrically, statically placed.

The performance itself is something of a throwback. Something you might have found in Italy during the 1950s, in the provinces. Solid-average in one way, but not very inspired or out of the ordinary.
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