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Puccini - Edgar

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Mar 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

First performed in 1889, Edgar was Puccini's second opera. The libretto is a medievalist phantasmagoria dealing with a Flemish knight torn between love for virtuous Fidelia and erotic enslavement to Tigrana. Dario Balzanelli, Montserrat Marti, Halla Margret, Andrea Rola, Giovanni Tarasconi, Coro e Orchestra Filarmonica Mediterranea, Tamas Pal, directed by Enrico Castiglione. Sung in Italian.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Montserrat Marti, Dario Balzanelli, Halla Margret, Andrea Rola, Giovanni Tarasconi
  • Directors: Enrico Castiglione
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MMLPFK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,910 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Festival Euro Mediterraneo provides a very satisfying traditional staging of Puccini's Edgar. The star of this performance is Montserrat Marti, the daughter of Montserrat Caballe, who provides a lovely riveting performance as the heroine. It is a shame she was not cast as the lead soprano in the same company's performance of Le Villi. Halla Margret is far better cast here as the villain than she was as the heroine in Le Villi. Her dark vibrato is somewhat in better control than the wide wobble she provided in Villi and the tonal quality fits the character far better. Her acting style is over the top and reminiscent of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. The tenor listed on the DVD box is Dario Balzanelli. In the first act, his voice is somewhat covered but emergings into a bright ringing spinto in acts two and three. The baritone, listed as Andrea Rola, is also quite moving. I reference the listings on the box, since with the exception of Marti, the singers are unfamiliar. On the Le Villi box soprano Marti was incorrectly listed in the baritone role of Guglielmo. The chorus is consistently good in this performance and the orchestral accompaniment basically solid. A good value particularly in the absence of competition.
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The same team that brought us Puccini's Le Villi now brings us his second opera, Edgar. Once again it features a soprano who will make cats flee. She sings not just one note but those surrounding it as well. These tone clusters are further enhanced by a fierce vibrato. (Think Florence Foster Jenkins.) In addition she is a terrible actress of the Look-Ma-I'm-Acting school. The other voices are no great shakes either (pardon the pun). The opera is wisely performed without an intermission which prohibits the audience from leaving. Perhaps one day there will be a good performance of Edgar on DVD. Until then stick with the CD with Scotto, Bergonzi, and Killebrew.
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In my title to this critique, I emphasize that "Edgar" is Puccini's second opera so that as I or anyone else approaches it, we should not expect to see or hear the polish in his later classics, e.g., "La Boheme". At least, I was willing to appreciate this DVD performance for what it pretended to be and suffered no disappointment. As I viewed it, I kept thinking that this is what it must have been like when Puccini was trying to make a name for himself and not yet realized his later fame. You would not expect an opera company of the caliber of The Met or La Scala to mount this opera, but a smaller or local company would give this work a chance, and whether intentionally or not, the production featured on this Kultur DVD gives one the sense that he (she) is part of the audience in such a hometown theatre taking a chance on the relatively unknown composer. So, I evaluate this particular production along those lines; if this had been the original production over a 100 years ago, I would have said that "this guy Puccini has a future in opera; the work is not brilliant but shows a lot of promise." The cast? Let me say this: if you take in a Broadway show in New York, you expect the best acting and singing. If you go to a hometown dinner-theatre, all you ask for is that the performers do an adequate job. The singers in this production can make a handsome living in whatever is the equivalent of off-Broadway and dinner-theatre in the opera world. I did have to chuckle at the over-the-top histrionics of Halla Margret, one of the two sopranos in the cast; the other one, Montserrat Marti, is good but definitely not in the same league with her famous mom (Caballe).Read more ›
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Halla Margret gives the only positive performance. The others are wooden, but she makes her role and the whole story believable (or as close as you can get in opera!). This is a morality play where the churchgoers are immoral. Edgar twice barbarously dumps his lover, Tigrana, who loves him and gave him pleasure. Edgar prefers Fidelia, who's presented as a parasitic socialite. Everyone else is too busy being judgmental to be moral. The town drives out Tigrana for being sexually active and for singing sympathy for a lamb attacked by a vulture. The town shows its own morals by its love of violence, first against Tigrana, then in battle. Good music and mostly firelit scenes along the way.
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I think 'Opera Lover' must have a family member in the cast. This looks and sounds like a high-school production of the opera--painful singing (except for a few moments from Martí), ludicrous acting--and what about those wigs!
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