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  • Monteverdi - L'Orfeo, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Boxset)
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Monteverdi - L'Orfeo, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Boxset)


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Frequently Bought Together

Monteverdi - L'Orfeo, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (Boxset) + Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine
Price for both: $114.46

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Trudeliese Schmidt, Eric Tappy, Rachel Yakar, Matti Salminen
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Classical, NTSC, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 416 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000L438ZY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,509 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This set includes 3 Monteverdi operas: L'Orfeo, L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, all staged by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle for the Zurich Opera conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Ponessa on March 11, 2007
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Before Puccini there was Mascagni. Before Ponchielli there was Verdi. Before Donizetti there was Bellini. Before Spontini there was Salieri. Before Cherubini there was Paisiello. Before Pergolesi there was Vivaldi. Before Cavalieri there was Monteverdi. And that is as far back as Italian or any other European opera goes.
This is Harnoncourt's second recording of the surviving Monteverdi opera trilogy, which was lipsynched for video by Unitel by the great director Ponnelle. Polygram released the ORFEO and the POPPEA on laserdisc in America, but ULISSE got skipped over (appearing on laserdisc only in Japan). Now at last the three will appear on DVD together in America, with the wonderful option of libretto-on-screen.
ORFEO (1607) simulates a stage production, cutting back and forth between the actor/singers on stage and the musicians in the pit. Harnoncourt himself becomes practically a character in the play. This is particularly appropriate because the theme of the libretto is the power of music to bring back the dead. The DVD competitors lack the sense of life that should result from the musical magic of Monteverdi.
ULISSE (1641) survives only in the sung score, and so there is greatest variety between not only stage productions but also orchestral settings. Harnoncourt's account is tastefully true to the style of the other two operas, which cannot be said of all the others. Ponnelle gives a better account of the three suitors than any competing DVD. The suitors are puppets, for example, in Zurich's own revival of the Harnoncourt edition, an otherwise fine production Nature hates a vacuum, and the suitors are not really cads or clowns but tragic figures who just happen to misread the void of Ulysses' absence with terrible consequences.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Norman L. Donaldson on October 17, 2007
I agree, basically, with the review by Joseph L. Ponessa of Glendive MT USA. These operas are gorgeous! Consider, also, they were done in the relatively small opera house in Zurich, Switzerland (seating capacity 1100). Ponnelle makes it feel like a much larger venue. The settings are baroque, but this is how many of these early operas were staged. It is very effective. And the music on period instruments directed by Harnoncourt is impeccable! And, don't forget, this is a set of operas that delve into the relationships between mortals and the gods; however, in the last opera one must admit that Nero himself is the god! These operas are not about some abstract existential something or other!

L'Orfeo (Zurich, 1978)
This opera is stunning. The very best that's available on DVD. Get it and enjoy it! Next best is Jordi Savall's 2002 Barcelona production--perhaps closer to what Monteverdi would have produced but not as spectacular visually as Ponnelle's Zurich production.

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (Zurich, 1979)
Again, this opera is stunning! I put it on the same level as Hans Werner Henze's modern instrument Salzburg production of 1985. Both are my favorites. Get both and enjoy both of them--Ponnelle's for the Harnoncourt period instruments and the baroque setting, and Henze's with modern instruments and a bit more abstract setting.

L'incoronazione di Poppea (Zurich, 1979)
Again, this opera is stunning! The best on DVD! Don't bother with any of the others!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy J. Heydt on July 9, 2008
Of all the operas that Claudio Monteverdi wrote, only three survive. In the late 1970s the Zurich Opera performed all three, staged by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. They were filmed and later shown on PBS. I had all three on Betamax tape ... but no longer have a Betamax player. Finally, they have come out on DVD.

I can't praise these productions highly enough. Musically and dramatically they are at the top of the tree. Particularly memorable are the performances of Philippe Huttenlocher in ORFEO, Paul Esswood and Alexander Oliver in POPPEA, Werner Hollweg, Simon Estes, and Arley Reece in ULISSE. But the moments that I looked forward to the most, as I finally slid the DVD into my computer, were some of Ponnelle's bits of "business," as for example how each of the gods in ULISSE has his own personal group of instrumentalists who follow him about or go forth to do his bidding, or Iro's last desperate stumble down through the orchestra pit, telling all the instrumentalists how he wants to die....

It's a pity there are only three of them. However, one can also order the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, a religious work that sounds like an opera and was staged rather like one by John Eliot Gardiner.
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