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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.
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 McLellanSee all Editorial Reviews
Sutherland is pure magic when it comes to vocalisation. But acting was never her forte and she does more posturing than acting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lee Wright
There are three definitive Annas: Callas, Sutherland, Sills, Of the three, only Sutherland was filmed in the role. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alfredo R. Villanueva
EXCELLENT Sutherland! Rather than being 'slightly' past her vocal prime, as so many reviewers relish pointing out ... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Brent Peterson
Though I was scepticle, I must agree with previous reviewers that after seeing/hearing this DVD of a favorite opera, "Anna Bolena", Ms Sutherland was still "La Stupenda". Read morePublished on July 30, 2010 by Dr. John W. Rippon
Dame Joan Sutherland first essayed the role of Anna Bolena in Canada 1984, of which this release captures. Read morePublished on March 10, 2007 by Niel Rishoi
I've only watched/listened to the 1st 2 acts and the 1st scene of the 3rd (because I can't use my DVD player right now), and after listening (dozens of times) to the glorious 1984... Read morePublished on May 23, 2005 by Joseph Hart
I bought this in the hope of a good video of my favourite Donizetti-opera. And Sutherland was famous for ANYTHING belcanto... But here she's too old and it was too late. Read morePublished on January 12, 2004 by Emma de Soleil
Opera is the most satisfying of all the arts. It brings the best of all worlds together- acting, drama, singing, orchestral music and even dance in the case of some operas, Gaetano... Read morePublished on July 30, 2003
I think this a very authentic production of the opera, from staging to customes. A delight for opera purists.
For the casting, Joan is still amazing at her age. Read more