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  • Great Moments in Opera from The Ed Sullivan Show (2pc) [VHS]
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Great Moments in Opera from The Ed Sullivan Show (2pc) [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Eileen Farrell, Marilyn Horne, Dorothy Kirsten
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004ZEQL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Many of the great names in the history of opera have appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing the arias that made them famous. Now available is the complete collection of these historic performances by opera legends including Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, BEverly Sills, Robert Merrill, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Richard Tucker, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, Lily Pons, Jan Peerce, Marilyn Horne, Dorothy Kirsten and Eileen Farrell. 120 Mins.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
And you CAN hear the difference.
CO772ER@HKG
Farrell sings Pace pace mio dio (Forza) with commitment and passion, but an overly arty visual concept proves rather distracting.
Amazon Customer
Also, there is more in the vaults and other great DVDs from this iconoclastic showman: Ed Sullivan.
R. Olsavicky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2001
Format: DVD
Memories of Ed's "really big shooooe" may summon up images of Topo Giggio and Senor Wences, but Sullivan was primarily known for presenting the best talent from the New York stage, including night club, Broadway, and opera. This DVD gives us 2 hours of headliners primarily from the Met performing arias and duets from roles that they performed in New York. Most of these selections seem to be from the 60's (no dates are identified), and a few seem to be from the 50's. Almost all are performed concert-style (without sets and costumes).
Some of the most compelling segments are Callas' Vissi d'arte (Tosca) and Lily Pons' Gavotte (Mignon), two of the few selections filmed with costumes and sets. Callas' dramatic gifts are legendary, and Pons proves to be dramatically effective in her own way, singing and moving with ease and charm. Even at this late point in her career, she generates a lot of excitement. Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne trill together in Mira o Norma, and Sutherland solos in Sempre libera (Traviata) and Quando rapita (Lucia). A young Beverly Sills brings her considerable coloratura skills to O luce di quest' anima (Linda di Chamounix). Richard Tucker gives a moving rendition of Vesti la giubba (Pagliacci), and Anna Moffo is captivating in Il regimento (Daugher of the Regiment) and La Ballatella (Pagliacci).
Roberta Peters and Robert Merrill seem to have been frequent guests, and they certainly know how to connect with Sullivan's audience. Peters sings arias from The Barber of Seville, Traviata, Lakme, and Gounod's Romeo and Juilet, and Merrill sings arias and duets from The Barber of Seville, Forza, Traviata, and a medley of arias from Aida, Traviata, and Carmen. I was somewhat disappointed with Dorothy Kirsten, a long-time favorite of mine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2003
Format: DVD
How can anyone give this awesome collection of performances only 2 stars???? Everyone on here give wonderful performances that have me jumping and shouting brava/bravo/bravi continually! Everyone is in his/her prime (exception for Peerce and Pons but even they are in superb voice). This has become my favorite opera DVD of this sort, with "Great Stars of Opera" my next favorite.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2003
Format: DVD
Ok, so Callas isn't that great, and you may not like Sutherland (neither do I), but that's no reason to give this SUPERB collection only two stars (equivalent to a "D", poor). The rest of the selections showcase superstars at the peak of their powers, with the exception of Lily Pons, who was past her prime (but was in really, really good voice for her age). Leontyne Price sang a thrilling and heartfelt Vissi D'arte. I love looking at her mouth and tongue when she sings hehe. Roberta Peters, in my opinion, was one of the top 3 performers of this DVD. She sang a joyful, bouncy Una Voce Poco Fa, complete with high F at the end; an excellent "Waltz" from Romeo and Juliet, truly one the best renditions I've EVER heard (lyrically sweet but full of swagger); and a great bell song from Lakme (Peters in her prime had an extraordinary top range). My personal favorite is Beverly Sills' O luce di quest'anima. Now THAT is what coloratura fireworks are! Lots of fast notes, and abounding high notes! Sills had exceptional coloratura ability that exceeded EVERY other coloratura soprano I've heard, including Sutherland, Gruberova, Jo, Anderson, etc. In her prime, her fioritura was unmatchable and she had easy high F's.
Birgit Nilsson was always in peak vocal condition and sang a more lyrical Pace Pace, which I don't mind at all. It's actually kind of nice. And of course, singing her signature Vissi D'arte, it's always pure perfection! No one can toss off such a ringing B flat like that! Eileen Farrel, an underrated and highly underappreciated soprano, gets to show off her stuff and sings two arias extremely well. She had the perfect spinto voice for Un Bel Di, and what a thrilling B flat at the end! And it looks so effortless too! She just opens her mouth and there it is!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Porter on August 21, 2004
Format: DVD
The DVD, Great Moments in Opera, features famous opera singers singing arias that made them famous. It is broken up into two volumes, and some singers are featured more than once. All in all, there are selections from many different operas, although they are all Italian. Because of this, the Italian singer Franco Corelli was the most natural with singing this kind of opera, and even sung a traditional Italian song called "Tu Lo Sai."

The aria "Un bel di" from Madame Butterfly by Puccini was performed twice. The first performance, by Dorothy Kirsten, was taken from an older film, but it featured an appropriate stage set, a Japanese bridge over a pond. The second, by Eileen Farrell, although being filmed more recently, had a background that was composed of butterflies on sticks in order that the viewer be aware that Madame Butterfly was singing. Both singers were very good.

The singer Birgit Nilsson was shown twice. She was definitely an accomplished bel canto singer as was Franco Corelli. She was able to achieve clear tonality even in the high registers.

Robert Merrill was shown a few times, and at the end of the DVD, he sung three duets from Verdi operas. In one aria he sang incredibly quickly, a very difficult task.

An interesting selection previewed Eileen Farrell singing a Verdi aria. It was interesting because she was positioned out in the middle of some ancient Roman or Grecian ruins with a pianist to accompany her instead of on a stage with an orchestra background.

The duet `Mira, O Norma" from Norma was performed by Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne. Although both singers were sopranos, they were able to achieve clarity and variety in their singing. They definitely matched each other's voices perfectly.
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