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  • Halévy: Clari
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Halévy: Clari


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Product Details

  • Actors: Cecilia Bartoli, John Osborne, Olivier Widmer, Carlos Chausson, Adam Fischer
  • Directors: Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier, Felix Breisach
  • Writers: Jacques Fromental Halévy, Pietro Giannone
  • Producers: Opernhaus Zürich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Italian, German, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0040ZK8LW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,634 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Cecilia Bartoli recreates the 1828 triumph of the legendary Maria Malibran - original star and dedicatee of Halévy's "tragi-comedy", Clari. Tracing the love of a callow country-girl for a duplicitous Duke, this hugely entertaining and first-ever modern production of Clari proved the overwhelming hit of the Zurich Opera season. Zurich Opera's own period-instrument orchestra, La Scintilla, under Adam Fischer, contribute a thoroughly researched, stylistically and historically well-informed accompaniment, yet without neglecting the liveliness and spirit of Italian opera.

This world premiere recording on DVD will undoubtedly help Clari reclaim a position on the world's operatic stages. Thus, orchestra, conductor and cast continue their collaboration on the "Romantic Revolution", in which Cecilia Bartoli sheds a new light on the performance practice and interpretative style of bel canto opera. The opera features many spectacular arias (created for Maria Malibran), in addition to which Cecilia Bartoli adds Rossini's "Willow Song" from Otello and a previously unknown showpiece from Halévy's other Italian opera TheTempest. Maria Malibran was Cecilia Bartoli's inspiration for the Maria project a few years ago - a project that has gone on to ship more than 300,000 copies worldwide.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Lupu VINE VOICE on December 11, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the first revival of this Italian opera by the French composer Halevy. The plot is not particularly interesting, typical country girl falls in love with high society Duke who has no interest in marrying her. But... she stands on her feet and the Duke finally falls in love with her. This theme can be set in any era, old and modern. The producers decided to set it up around the 60s. On the other hand the orchestra plays with instruments of the early 19 century. Don't be surprised then if the sound seems flatter than what we expect in modern recordings. Old instruments in a modern era settings, seems a little bet incongruent to me. Despite it, the opera flows well. The humor inserted in many scenes is refreshing and allows the plot to gain some attraction. The music is Bel-Canto, and Bartoli couldn't be better. It is a real pleasure to listen to her. The rest of the cast is good. Halevy wrote very nice music for the chorus, and it shows. The choreography is very interesting and adds a lot to the general enjoyment of the production. I doubt this opera will be produced many more times so, if you are interested in watching and listening to an opera from the sidelines, you should have this DVD. You will enjoy it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Schulman on December 18, 2010
Format: DVD
Cecilia Bartoli discovered this understandably forgotten opera while researching, recording & touring a recital program based on the repertoire of her illustrious mezzo predecessor, Maria Malibran. This Italian-style (& language) bel-canto opera by the young Halevy was written for & premiered by Malibran, & I can only assume that back in 1828 it was treated with considerably more seriousness than in this rather campy, semi-comic production, updated for no apparent reason to the mid-20th century.

In principle I'm strongly opposed to the current nonsense of operatic updatings (read Eurotrash). I recently attended a truly ghastly Eurotrashy production of Aida by the Canadian Opera Company, updated to present-day Egypt, in which Aida in housemaid garb sweeps floors for the daughter of Egypt's President! But given Clari's flimsy libretto & equally flimsy music, I was much less appalled than usual. That's thanks to Cecilia Bartoli's wonderful vocal acrobatics & high-spirited theatrics (often bordering on shameless mugging) as the naive country girl seduced by the promise of marriage from a rather sleazy aristocrat who has no intention of marrying beneath his station. Of course, the cad eventually succumbs to the very substantial (& very zaftig) charms of Bartoli as the opera's title character. It's a lot of fun watching & listening to her, even if the pleasantly predictable music is as eminently forgettable as this opera has been for the better part of 2 centuries.

The performance includes 1 unforgettable piece of music - the Willow Song from Rossini's Otello, interpolated into the opera at an appropriate juncture in the plot, which according to the booklet notes had been done by Malibran herself when she performed this opera. Bartoli sings it beautifully, of course.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Denes on January 10, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So, if you like them, here is one for you! Halevy's first opera, written for the famous singer Maria Malibran, and here sang by the wonderful belcanto-artist, the 42 years old Cecilia Bartoli, turned out to be a mixed blessing for the opera lovers. As lately happens, the directors of the opera at Zurich tried to again outdo themselves and in the process reduced the overall value of the performance.
This semi-serial opera written for the 20 years old Malibran is a mix of serious and humorous [but not farcical] actions on the stage with Rossini-like music [long belcanto arias, thunderstorms, etc.]. In the second act even an original Rossini dramatic concert-aria [from his Otello] was included. Unfortunately for the audience, most of the actions, including that beautiful Rossini piece, were ruined by the blaring colors of the scenery and by the gross mis-directions, driving the singers into farcical acting. For example, that Rossini aria was sang by Bartoli dressed in a hospital-gown, while she semiconsciously wandered about in a hospital waiting-room.[The directors thought of making it more funny by having an old man with a walker coming out of the well-marked toilet during the scene]. I had to close my eyes to be able to enjoy Bartoli's fantastic bel-canto. [What a shame!] I hate to use the oft-said expression for those outlandish misdirections, but yes, it was done in the true Eurotrash style.
You probably will not see this opera renewed again by other houses, so if you are an admirer of Miss Bartoli, as I am, you will only have this chance to see it, and then wish, like I did, that a more sane staging was provided for such a worthwile project.
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What a change from Halevy's "La Juive". This is not a great opera but if you are a great admirer of Cecilia Bartoli, don't miss it. She is definitely worth the price of admission.

I also felt that the action was kept as light and with as much humor as possible, without degenerating into slapstick. It is definitely totally enjoyable and if you don't expect a major masterwork, I'm sure you'll find your time and money well spent.
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