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Donizetti: L’Elisir d’Amore


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Editorial Reviews

When Donizetti s comedy, updated to the mid-20th century by
the Uruguayan-born director Mario Gas, was mounted at Barcelona s
magnificent Liceu opera house in 2005, Opera News wrote that:
The absolute hit of the production was . . . Rolando Villazón, a commanding,
vulnerable and hilarious Nemorino. His stage presence dominated
every scene he was in . . . [and] his lovable innocence was a joy
to behold. Villazón s perfect technique and creamy, malleable voice
conquered the audience . . . His athletic and expressive body language
midway between Cantinflas and Mr. Bean fits this role and this
production perfectly. The Mexican tenor, making his debut at the
Liceu, was called upon the encore the opera s most famous aria,
the plaintive Una furtiva lagrima . Rolando Villazón can already be seen and heard as Nemorino on
another Virgin Classics DVD, released in 2006. His partners in
that more traditionally rustic production from Vienna were Anna
Netrebko, Leo Nucci and Ildebrando d Arcangelo; here they are
Spanish soprano Maria Bayo as the wealthy and capricious Adina,
Italian baritone Bruno Praticò as Dulcamara, the pedlar of the socalled
elixir of love in fact just red wine in disguise and
French baritone Jean-Luc Chaignaud as the swaggering sergeant
Belcore.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rolando Villazon, Maria Bayo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Erato Disques
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002391RUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
14%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 7 customer reviews
It was always about the Medicine!
Mightymouse
Jean-Luc Chaignaud was a very handsome and welcome surprise as Belcore.
P. Sutherland
First, all of the principals and the chorus sing and act very well.
Mr John Haueisen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mr John Haueisen VINE VOICE on April 19, 2010
Verified Purchase
This is a recording of a live performance at the Grand Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, just a month after the Vienna State Opera performance that teamed Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko. While I still believe the Villazon/Netrebko pairing is the to-this-point definitive performance of L'Elisir d'Amore, this Barcelona performance has much to recommend it.

First, all of the principals and the chorus sing and act very well. Jean-Luc Chaignaud brings across the personality of a braggadocious, strutting sergeant, Belcore. His attitude is "Hey girls, here I am; don't miss the opportunity to be with me!" When Adina dumps him, he doesn't miss a beat as he moves on to other pretty ladies, starting with the very lovely Giannetta (Cristina Obregon).

Bruno Pratico is the lovable, rascal, Doctor Dulcmara, who can sell anything to anybody. He arrives on a motorcycle with a sidecar, consistent with the setting of a small Italian town of the 1920s or 1930s. Even as he deceives everyone, you'll find yourself enjoying him much as so many children have long delighted in the boastful "Mr. Toad" of WIND IN THE WILLOWS.

If you haven't heard Rolando Villazon, you've missed one of the greatest tenors since Caruso. To singing that rivals Pavarotti for technique, control, and quality, and Domingo for depth and passion, Rolando Villazon adds the dimension of superb stage acting. He's involved in the action at all times, and adds movements, shrugs, glances and gestures that make this a night to remember.

I'm certainly not alone in this, for the audience applause following "Una Furtiva Lagrima" simply would not subside until an encore was begun. The entire cast seemed aware that it was a performance to be remembered.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Sutherland on August 29, 2010
Rolando Villazon outdid himself in this production! He was endearing and funny, but not over the top, singing in top form, actually modulating his voice as opposed to his sometimes loud and louder. The audience loved him and he had to encore his Una Furtiva Lagrima. Maria Bayo as Adina sang wonderfully, too, although she seemed to be straining to hit her marks. This is a comment on her facial expressions--eyes squinting so much--not on her results. Jean-Luc Chaignaud was a very handsome and welcome surprise as Belcore. Christina Obregon, Giannetta, was also excellent. Bruno Pratico is not one of my favorites but he did a splendid job as Dulcamara.

This production was updated to around 1930-40s set in an Italian village square. The large chorus sang well and enhanced the show. The music was perfect. I'd rate this Villazon production higher than the one with Anna Netrebko. But Valeria Esposito is still my favorite Adina.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mightymouse on July 22, 2014
Verified Purchase
Vocal performances by Rolando Villazon and Maria Bayo was stunning as always with equal compliments to Bruno Practico (as Dulcamara) and Jean-Luc Chaignaud as the Sargent Balcore. All four principals carried the opera equally both musically and dramatically which I consider refreshing for a change. Its too often that the principal tenor or soprano gets the main billing and reviews while the supporting ensemble are ignored. More often than not, deservedly so as they often do not give noteworthy performances.It was breathtaking to see how well thought out and executed this production was done in order to portray this story as not only romantic comedy in opera form but that the REAL stars of the show was not Nemorio and Adina but that it was always about the Doctor and his patent medicine! (after all, isn't that what Donizetti named the opera: "L'Elisir d' Amore??" The Elixir of Love?) It also showscases how versatile Rolando Villazon is in performing the same opera within months of each other under two very different directorial visions. Villazon performed this same opera April 2005 under the direction of Otto Schenk with the Vienna State Opera using a more traditional Napoleonic-era rustic Italian village scenery, costuming and staging. The character interpretation of Nemorino in that bucolic backdrop was very appropriately " simpleton" and Villazon was brilliant in his comic portrayal of the naive village boy who believes that magic potions do exist and that to find it will win the heart of his beloved Adina. Anna Netrebko was perfect as the stunningly beautiful Adina; giving her character just as much of the playful innocence of a village girl as Villazon gave Nemorino's exuberance. In Schenk's interpretation it was all about the main character Nemorino.Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Rogg-Meltzer on April 15, 2010
A fabulous stage actor and a fabulous singer, Rolando Villazon steals the show as Nemorino and makes these Donizetti pieces even more memorable than they already were. With 35 tracks crammed onto one CD you are certainly getting your money's worth here. Villazon's performance is very emotive and seems to give more meaning to the words behind the music. Any fan of Donizetti or of Villazon should try and acquire a copy of this CD. Trust me; once you do you will not stop listening to it.
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Donizetti: L’Elisir d’Amore
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