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Opera Legends: Nicolai Ghiaurov- Tribute to a Great Basso

2 customer reviews

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(Jul 20, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With Mirella Freni, Jose Carreras, Herbert Von Karajan, and Piero Cappuccilli and many more.

Nicolai Ghiaurov was an opera singer from Bulgaria who rose to become one of the predominant bass singers of the 20th Century. He performed alongside virtually all of opera's superstars, including Pavaroti, Sutherland, Domingo, Tebaldi, Milnes, Fisher-Dieskau, Corelli, Caballe, Raimondi and many more.

His triumphant career brought him to world famous stages across the globe, performing with equal aptitude in French, Russian, and Italian at opera houses from the Bolshoi Theater and Covent Gardens to La Scala and Metropolitan Opera in New York. His vast repertoire includes all the major bass roles: Faust, Don Carlos, Boris Godunov, La Forza del Destino, La Favorita, Medea, Don Giovanni, Barber of Seville & more. His performances have been conducted by such luminaries as Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti, Otto Klemperer, and Claudio Abbado, among others.

This DVD celebrates Nicolai Ghiaurov's magnificent career on the occasion of his 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert. Nicolai Ghiaurov's legacy is forever secured. His thespian acumen, booming yet refined voice, and magnetism on stage transformed him from the humble county boy into perhaps the greatest bass singer of the post World War II era.

1. Song of the Golden Calf from Faust by Charles Gounod
2. Death Scene Aria from Don Quichotte (Don Quixote) by Jules Massenet
3. Selection from La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini with Mirella Freni, Jose Carreras, and Piero Cappuccilli
4. Fiesco's Aria from Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi
5. Behind the Scenes Rehearsal with Herbert von Karajan and The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
6. Mephistopheles and Marguerite in the Cathedral Scene (with Mirella Freni) from Faust Charles Gounod
7. Behind the Scenes Rehearsal at La Scala with Mirella Freni, Claudio Abbado, and Piero Cappuccilli
8. Calumnia from The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
9. Death Scene from Boris Godunov by Boris Godunov

Nicolai Ghiaurov Biography
Instant Access to All Songs
Digital Dolby Stereo Audio
Digitally Remastered Audio & Video
DVD Recommendations


One of the leading opera singers of his day… His vocal power and striking stage presence helped gain him the kind of accolades opera usually reserves for its tenors and sopranos… remarkable vocal longevity --Anne Midgette, -New York Times

An outstanding artist. --Billboard Magazine

Pure gold. Nicolai Ghiaurov's voice is particularly splendid at full throttle… the voicing that is more splendid than the music itself. A truly thrilling encounter. --Opera Magazine

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolai Ghiaurov, Jose Carreras, Mirella Freni, Piero Cappuccilli, Herbert Von Karajan
  • Directors: Trayko Ivanov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: View Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LD9P68
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,929 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Todd Kay on September 25, 2010
Verified Purchase
Neither Amazon's product description nor the DVD's packaging was informative, and so a review of this film called for detective work. Watching it raised many questions, some of which have gone unanswered. There was a previous release, 15 years earlier, on VHS. An entry in the Internet Movie Database suggests the film was made for television in 1981 under the title "Az ne zhiveya edin zhivot." I strongly doubt that all of the performances included are from 1981. To this Ghiaurov connoisseur's ear, much of the singing sounds to have come from the 1970s. But, as will become apparent below, guessing is often all one can do.

As a documentary, this tells us little. No one addresses the camera; no interviewer puts questions to Ghiaurov or anyone else. There is no shaping narration. Nothing is date-stamped. There is *occasional* on-screen text (in English) to identify people and places, but not enough. When a caption does appear, it is often unnecessary or useless. I would have been able to recognize Mirella Freni and José Carreras without help (thanks anyway, film), but I would love to know who is responsible for the superb conducting of a complete "Il lacerato spirito" from SIMON BOCCANEGRA (the maestro is briefly seen taking his bow with the cast -- my best guess is Nello Santi, but I would not testify to it in court). In the opening moments, a chyron informs us we are looking at the Vienna Opera House, which we are, but we cut immediately to a performance not taking place there (or in *any* opera house -- it's on a set and is lip-synched). There are no optional subtitles in any language, so you are on your own as to the texts of the operas sampled, and you will need fluent Italian and Bulgarian to understand overheard conversations. The film even lacks basic structure and rhythm.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Smith on August 4, 2013
Verified Purchase
The subject, Nicolai Ghiaurov, deserves so much more and this DVD provides so little. As noted by the previous reviewer there is no narration to link the disjointed excerpts. There are no subtitles. There is no information about location and date of the performances. A drive to the MET in NYC with a side shot of Mr. Ghiaurov is unhelpful and uninteresting. Excerpts from Rhapsody in Blue are not consistent with the subject material. The images are clear, the sound reasonable. The lack of narration, the lack of any sort of discernible order or rationale for what is being shown make this an unacceptable program.
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Opera Legends: Nicolai Ghiaurov- Tribute to a Great Basso
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