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  • Donizetti - Anna Bolena / Bonynge, Sutherland, Morris, Canadian Opera Company
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Donizetti - Anna Bolena / Bonynge, Sutherland, Morris, Canadian Opera Company


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Donizetti - Anna Bolena / Bonynge, Sutherland, Morris, Canadian Opera Company + Donizetti - Lucrezia Borgia / Bonynge, Sutherland, Kraus, Royal Opera + Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor / Joan Sutherland, Alfredo Kraus, Pablo Elvira, Paul Plishka, Richard Bonynge, Metropolitan Opera
Price for all three: $78.19

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Sutherland, James Morris, Judith Forst, Michael Myers, Janet Stubbs
  • Writers: Felice Romani
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2001
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AAEX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,148 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Donizetti - Anna Bolena / Bonynge, Sutherland, Morris, Canadian Opera Company" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

157 minute DVD starring Joan Sutherland in one of her greatest triumphs, portraying Anne Boleyn, opposite the formidable Henry VIII of bass james Morris in this 1984 production by the Canadian Opera Company.

Amazon.com

It would have been better, of course, if this 1984 production of Donizetti's Anna Bolena, or at least its title role, had been filmed 20 years earlier, when Joan Sutherland's voice was in its spectacular prime. But like her Canadian Opera Norma, dating from 1981, this is a better-late-than-never documentation of one of the most remarkable voices of the 20th century.

Lotfi Mansouri spared no effort or expense in making this production special. He personally directed the staging, and handpicked an outstanding cast (right down to the very young and then-unknown Ben Heppner in the small role of Hervey). The visual elements--sets, costumes, and camera work--are also handled with great care, and Sutherland's positive response to this dedication can be sensed in her performance as the unfortunate wife of King Henry VIII. James Morris is best-known as a Wagnerian singer--perhaps the leading Wotan of our time--but he is equally at home in many of the villainous roles that are the fate of bass- baritones (Iago, Scarpia, Don Giovanni). In this sinister tale of an innocent woman ruthlessly destroyed, he shows a surprising knack for the bel canto style. Judith Forst is also excellent in the role of Jane Seymour. --Joe McLellan

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Basic scenario of a vision, a way of telling the story, a provocation.
Ali Hassan AYACHE
On May 22, 1984 Joan Sutherland gave her very first performance as Donizetti's Anna Bolena in Toronto.
Scott Holmes
Her coloratura, runs, trills, everything...are still clean, tasteful, absolutely beautiful!
Stephen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Scott Holmes on April 27, 2001
Format: DVD
On May 22, 1984 Joan Sutherland gave her very first performance as Donizetti's Anna Bolena in Toronto. Two performances later, on May 28, the performance was televised with the premiere cast and quite a premiere cast it was: James Morris as Henry VIII, Judith Forst as Jane Seymour, Michael Myers as Percy and in the small role of Hervey, the as yet unknown Ben Heppner. Pirate videos have been floating around for years of this performance but what a treat it is to see this mint copy looking as if it were being telecast today! Sumptuous costumes and appropriately stern sets along with excellent camera work help the singers to bring their characters vividly to life. Even though Sutherland was definitely in her later years, there is plenty of voice left to cope with the many vocal as well as dramatic challenges of this role. It is also a great opportunity to see James Morris as Henry -- a role he rarely performed and never recorded. The role offers no vocal difficulties that Morris cannot master and he is visually the antithesis of the overweight letcher we expect Henry VIII to be. Richard Bonynge conducts with sensitivity and style, bringing a "rightness" to this performance which many modern day bel canto performances rarely deliver. As with VAI's Norma -- subtitles are permanent and not optional but this is a small drawback which can be easily overlooked and indeed a plus for those who are hearing this opera for the first time. This DVD comes highly recommended not only as an aural but a visual treat as well. Many thanks to VAI for releasing its recent DVD's (Great Opera Stars on the Bell Telephone Hour and NORMA) -- keep them coming!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By L. Mitnick on February 16, 2005
Format: DVD
In a perfect world, there would have been a video "Anna Bolena" with Maria Callas, but with that out of the question, I find this Sutherland version quite good. True --- her voice is not what it would have been ten years earlier ------ but it's still an impressive instrument quite capable of commanding the role. Secondly, she sounds considerably better here than she does on the London studio recording of 1987 (recorded three years after this performance). The supporting cast here is excellent, the orchestra plays well for Bonynge, and the picture is pretty good. I'm a great Callas admirer, but I truly find Sutherland's contribution to the art of bel canto to be as basic and fundamental as was Callas'. This is an excellent "Anna Bolena" , and if there are those who have a problem with Sutherland's downward transposition of the final scene by a whole step, they should simply give this performance a pass. Personally, I'm glad that Sutherland took this role into her repertoire, even at this late stage of her career. Is there any soprano out there today who could duplicate her accomplishment? If so, where are they??
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Opera fan on June 17, 2001
Format: DVD
This Anna Bolena recording does not have the best audio or visual quality that we really desire.However, it is an extremely important document and shows why Dame Joan was still "La Stupenda" at age close to 60 !It is ashame that the Met refused to mount this opera for Sutherland during her raving success around the world-a great lost for New Yorker!This is a must for any opera lover---------including fans of Dame Joan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on March 28, 2005
Format: DVD
After obtaining a copy of Sutherland's DVD performance of Lucrezia Borgia (I gorgeous rendition-a must!) I just had to get this Anna Bolena. Of course there's a four year difference between performances, and I heard so many rumours and opinions regarding the decline in voice, and yes, inevitably you can notice the difference. But as far as I'm concerned she can still surprise today's singers who are in their prime. Her coloratura, runs, trills, everything...are still clean, tasteful, absolutely beautiful! Whats more, her Jane Seymour, Judith Frost, is fantastic, first in her scena duet with Henry, then with Anna Bolena herself in Act 3 scene 1. The costumes, sets great!

Now the disappointments-a simply miscast Henry-James Morris. He sounds as if he were choking in some of the emballishments. Yes, he can sing Wagner, I've heard him, but certainly NOT bel canto! Others in the cast are more than adequate. Also the sound is pathetic!!! I can understand if its mono sound but sometimes the voices are too far back, the orchestra sounds muchy in places. I disappointment after the top quality of Lucrezia Borgia.

Still, a DVD I would not want to be without!!!

Bravo!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By DANIEL G. MADIGAN on April 17, 2001
Format: DVD
This Anna Bolena originates from Toronto, Canada, 1985, and it has a spectacular Joan Sutherland for the title role, along with James Morris as Enrico, and Judith Forst as Giovanna. Bonynge conducts with wonderful Donizetti style(Italiainate), and the rest of the principles are excellent. Buy it and enjoy. A few cuts, but check out B Sills' recording for the complete(near?) of this fabulouis opera!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ali Hassan AYACHE on June 7, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gaetano Donizetti was a composer at full speed. Operas flowed one after the other, contained in your resume more than 70. The style has always remained, but when it came Belcanto, Donizetti dominated, was unbeatable. Anne Boleyn is one of the three operas he made about the Tudor queens. His last performance was given in 1881 in Livorno. Was forgotten, languishing in the archives until you get to a Greek or American talent, never to know her nationality. Maria Callas Anna Bolena unearths, with Giulietta Simionatto and direction of Luchino Visconti makes a memorable show at Scala in 1957. After her, the great dramatic sopranos realized the potential of opera, who does not want to be cheered by the final scene. Leyla Gencer, Beverly Sills, Renata Scotto, Joan Sutherland and Dimitra Theodossiou interpreted the complex character, over the decades.
There are two commercial versions available on video. The earliest was recorded in Canada in 1984 with Joan Sutherland, James Morris and Judith Forst. Baton of Richard Bonynge and Ben Heppner in early career, playing the role of Hervey.
Portrait of its time, this assembly is tradition squared. Costumes loaded, little or no scenic interpretation. Everyone Paradita, beautiful singing. Everything in its place, the light is a constant shadow. The direction is limited to tell a story, transcribes what is in the libretto faithfully and nothing more. The highlights for the voices, all the soloists are of feedback. Sutherland has great agility of a coloratura soprano, her timbre like, though his diction is weak. Baritone James Moris are legitimate, not those that currently exist, has those serious and bulky caracteríticos full of singers of the past. Judith has Fosrt voice thick, enormous.
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Wrong set of reviews!
Amazing. How did that get so messed up?
Sep 13, 2010 by JMB1014 |  See all 2 posts
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