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Giordano - Andrea Chenier / Rudel, Domingo, Tomowa-Sintov, Royal Opera Covent Garden

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most unjustly underrated Italian operas receives a production that should help correct that attitude. Andrea Chenier is based on the true story of a poet who was caught up and destroyed by the blind fury of the French Revolution. Giordano's music captures the acrid flavor of that movement, the cynicism of some of its leaders, and Chenier's integrity and tragic fate. This production's value has probably increased since Placido Domingo, the leading Chenier of his generation, has dropped the role from his repertoire.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Placido Domingo, Anna Tomowa-Sintov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DI86O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,858 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Cady VINE VOICE on March 22, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Domingo fan, and own both his "Chenier" DVDs: the Covent Garden production with Tomowa-Sintov and the Vienna Opera production with Benackova. Neither is ideal, with Domingo not at his best in one and the soprano a bust in the other. I was beginning to think that a truly great "Chenier" might not exist -- until now. This LaScala performance is nothing short of electryifying. Most of the credit has to go to Carreras, who gives one of the finest performances I have ever seen, either in or out of an opera house. Carreras' work has never really been on my radar (I know him mostly from The Three Tenors and his later career), so this interpretation was a surprise -- and a revelation. Not only is the sound incredible, but his passion and commitment to every moment are simply extraordinary. For his performance alone you should snatch up this DVD. Luckily, there are other major compensations. Marton, although a bit more Amazon than delicate young French girl, sings with equal passion and beauty, and her acting is superb. (When was the last time you saw an opera singer shed actual tears?) Cappuccilli, who gives a stunning performance on the Vienna DVD, is not quite as wonderful here. This was a few years later, and the sound was a little drier, a little more patchy. But he warms up considerably in Act 3, giving a solid, old-fashioned, powerhouse performance. The crowd goes wild, with good reason. (I do abhor his tendency, however, prevalent in the Vienna DVD as well, to milk the applause, smile at the audience and wink at the conductor. Talk about old school!) The production itself is lavish and very attractive, and it's all masterfully conducted by Riccardo Chailly. Bottom line: If you can only afford one "Chenier" on DVD, this is the one to get, no ifs, ands or buts. Sorry, Placido.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Until recently (November 2003) the only DVD edition of Andrea Chenier was a 1975 film version with Franco Corelli in the title role. This one is much better. It is an excellent live production filmed at Covent Garden in 1985. It illustrates why the Royal Opera is one of the world's leading companies.
The three principals -- Placido Domingo as Chenier, Anna Tomowa-Sintow as Maddalena de Coigny, and Giorgio Zancanaro as Carlo Gerard -- are all in the prime of their careers at the time of this filming, and handle their roles superbly. They are backed up by a solid group of supporting singers. The orchestra does justice to Giordano's rich score without ever drowning out the singers. The sets and costumes are appropriate and never distracting. In short, this is exactly what one would expect to see in a first-rate production at a first-rate opera house.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Umberto Giordano's most famous opera "Andrea Chénier" portrays the tragic fate of poet Andrea Chénier in the French Revolution. Setting the real-life figure as the lead character and with the poet singing his own verses, this verismo opera embraces the realism enthusiastically. Character Andrea Chénier is a romantic and idealistic poet, who loved his country ardently and faced his death heroically. It's a tenor's opera. You would think a lyric tenor would be most suitable for the character's poetry, if he could also bring off some great heroic moments in the big orchestration. In this 1985 production, Domingo rendered Andrea Chénier with a well-balanced poetry and heroism. He filled poet's big arias with rich lyricism, at times, intimate feelings, and yet, the big outbursts were all there. Domingo was well matched by the powerful-voiced Anna Tomawa-Sintov as Maddalena. In her dark and rounded voice, Anna Tomowa-Sintov sang the character strongly, although some delicacy and variety might make the role more interesting. Her "La mamma morta" was in no short of dramatic expressions in both the recitative-like passages and the emotional outbursts followed. Giorgio Zancanaro, who approached the revolutionary Gérard humanly, sang a wonderful "Nemico della patria", which won him a storm of applause from the audience.
The stage design of this Covent Garden production is conventional, straightforward, with a few moments quite affecting, one of them would be the haunting picture at the end of Act I, in which the shadows of the poor and the angry gradually appeared above the aristocrats who were in the center stage, singing and dancing, without the faintest idea of what was awaiting.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is going to be a long, a very long time indeed, before we see another Chenier to rival this fabulous 1985 Covent Garden performance. Domingo was in excellent voice, and he meets every vocal challenge with virile, golden tone. Even if he lacks that brilliant spinto of Corelli, he has what it takes for this formidable role. Of recent tenors none comes near. The rest of the cast is if anything, better. Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Karajan's favourite soprano is a glorious Maddalena: full voiced, warm, compelling, she is quite simply extraordinary. Baritone Giorgio Zancanaro gives a master class on how to mould a phrase in the old Italian style. His big aria is delivered with the kind of musicianship not heard since the days of Amato and Battistini.
Sound and picture are good and you would be completely insane to pass this dvd.
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