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Handel: Partenope


Price: $24.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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$24.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Inger Dam Jensen, Andreas Scholl, Christophe Dumaux, Tuva Semmingsen, Bo Kristian Jensen
  • Directors: Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Francisco Negrin, Peter Borgwardt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002E9H3CI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A major contribution to the `Handel Year': countertenor star Andreas Scholl returns to the Decca label in a new highdefinition film of Handel's comedy Partenope, presented in Francisco Negrin's stylish with a modern-dress staging from the Royal Danish Opera. Scholl gives an outstanding performance, with several contrasting arias that collectively display his unique purity of tone, his virtuosic technique, and his sensuous lyricism. Concerto Copenhagen and conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen are unsung heroes of period-instrument performance, and they make a wonderfully spirited and polished contribution to the production.

Review

"The finest countertenor of his generation" -- Opera News

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
All the music is excellent.
K. Michael Jameson
You can view the battle scene, as well as other excerpts from this fine production, on YouTube.
Paul Van de Water
The staging is modern but very unobtrusive.
Karen Henriksen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Karen Henriksen on September 27, 2009
I went to see this opera 6 times (plus one dress rehearsal) in Copenhagen, so I was all too aware of the fact that the production was cursed. Andreas Scholl wasn't on form until the last few performances and Tuva Semmingsen missed 4½ performances out of a total of 8, due to a sore throat. Consequently, there wasn't one single performance where all 6 singers were at their best. The fact that that goes by (almost) unnoticed on this DVD is due to the editing. It also goes a long way in explaining the numerous closeups and odd angles used by the editors - they must have had to be rather creative.

The DVD captures everything that was great about this production - great singing and acting by all involved and I even spotted a few details that I had missed on all my live viewings, despite owning a great pair of binoculars. It is both moving and hilarious. The staging is modern but very unobtrusive. Concerto Copenhagen are amazing as always and it's a joy to watch Lars Ulrik Mortensen 'conduct' from behind the harpsicord.

I feared that the sound would be marred by the extensive cutting and splicing that must have taken place for the puzzle to work out, but I need not have worried.

I highly recommend this DVD - even if you're weary of baroque opera. The battle scene alone is worth the price of 'admission' and had the audience in tears of laughter for every performance. See Paul Van de Water's review for more details.

If you like this DVD, I would also like to recommend: Handel - Giulio Cesare. It was released around the same time as David McVicar's Giulio Cesare from Glyndebourne, which is hard to compete with. I own DVDs of both productions and they are most certainly not mutually exclusive.
Four of the singers from Partenope took part in the Danish Cesare production, along with the director, the conductor and orchestra).
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Paul Van de Water on September 23, 2009
Partenope wasn't a success upon its premiere in 1730. It doesn't have the drama of Giulio Cesare or Serse or the magic of Alcina or Orlando. But this sophisticated comedy has recently come into its own. Sigiswald Kuijken and La Petite Bande kicked off the revival with a path-breaking audio recording in 1979. Since 1998 it has been a staple of the repertory at the New York City Opera. This wonderful DVD from Copenhagen's Royal Theater will solidify Partenope's modern reputation.

Partenope (Inger Dam-Jensen) is the queen and legendary founder of the city of Naples (also known as Parthenope). The plot of the opera centers around the efforts of three competing suitors to win her hand. One of the suitors (Arsace, played by Andreas Scholl) has jilted a former lover (Rosmira, sung by Tuva Semmingsen), who tries to win him back and shows up in Partenope's court disguised as a foreign prince. There's not a whole lot of action (except for a battle scene, discussed below), but there's plenty of clever repartee and beautiful music.

The musical production, under the direction of Lars Ulrik Mortensen, is superb. Mortensen is known to us primarily as a harpsichordist through his recordings of Bach, Buxtehude, and other baroque masters. Here he leads the period band Concerto Copenhagen and a star-studded sextet of soloists in a virtually flawless performance.

Francisco Negrin's direction is restrained, unmannered, and highly effective. No Eurotrash here. The setting is a stylized version of Partenope's palace. Most of the characters wear modern evening dress, although Ormonte, the captain of Partenope's guard, who serves as a kind of stage manager, sports a purple suit with a fez-like hat.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Janis Cortese on November 1, 2009
Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, I'll treat the bad parts first since they are much less fun and I want to get them out of the way. :-)

As is well-known at this point by most people who'd be grabbing this thing quickly, they had a few problems during the production. :-) The rather complex sets malfunctioned a few times, and Scholl unfortunately came down with a cold before the premiere that both prevented him from being at his best until the very end, and that communicated itself rapidly throughout the cast (for reasons that will be glaringly obvious once you've seen the DVD). The editing was therefore a challenge since there was no single performance where everyone was in top form. Unfortunately, it shows in some places; there are a few significant five-to-ten-second chunks where it was obvious that they had no really good footage or had to use sound from one performance and footage from another. Other than that, the camerawork was just ... intrusive in my opinion. I tend to prefer live performances (such as the Cesare DVD) that are filmed in a more conventional three-camera sitcom style, where the mixing of close and medium shots is much less ... pushy. Editing live performances as if they were TV shows tends to make the actors look overblown and hammy since they are acting more broadly for people in faraway seats. Pull back a bit more next time, and give the performers some room.

Other than these considerations, there's also the fact that the score is not one of Haendel's best. Perhaps I should say that it was a bit more experimental for him, sort of attempting a more buffa-style opera with seria conventions. Unlike with his other operas, there were no arias that I hummed to myself after having watched the DVD.
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Handel: Partenope
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