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Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Teresa Berganza, Stefania Malagu, Herman Prey, Luigi Alva, and Enzo Dara star in this La Scala production of the Rossini opera conducted by Claudio Abbado.

Special Features

  • Sung in Italian with subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: Hermann Prey, Teresa Berganza, Luigi Alva, Enzo Dara, Paolo Montarsolo
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Claudio Abbado
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Subtitled, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007P0LOS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rossini - Il Barbiere di Siviglia" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono on August 27, 2003
Format: DVD
Nobody will deny that this opera is the masterpiece of Rossini. Everything in this opera reflects his genius talent and is so enjoyable from the beautiful melodious music with so many belcanto techniques to the comical story itself. I have seen this opera performed in three versions and performances, and this DVD performance is the best of all the three.
In this performance we will be enchanted by the naughty acting and delicate singing of wellknown Teresa Berganza as the mutinous Rosina, in her rich soprano voice singing perfect belcanto techniques. She is matched by the comical performance of Luigi Alva as Count Almaviva alias Lindoro in his soft light tenor voice, his belcanto singing adding to the magnificence and beauty of the music. Herman Prey in his clear baritone voice as the mischievous Figaro and wellknown Bass Baritone singer Enzo Dara contributed to the excellent performance, so that the whole opera become a continuous joy to be watched and listened to.
We also liked the beautiful and matching background scenery and the harmonious choirs.
In short there is no such performance is as magnificent and excellent in singing or acting as this DVD version.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By BLee on July 23, 2003
Format: DVD
For those who aren't too familiar with the opera singers, their attention is of course first drawn to Berganza especially at a time when Abbado was so young and had yet to become the permanent conductor of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as the successor of Karajan, a post which Abbado occupied for over ten years.
Bergonza left a very strong impression upon those who have heard her for: 1/ she sings not just from her heart but also from her soul-- in a way that excells Marian Anderson; 2/ she possesses a most powerful and yet velvet-like tone as when she sang Mozart's Figaro or La clemenza di Tito; 3/ when she sings, she really sings which is so effortless: not screaming to the notes as some modern opera singers are equating the two(!). Needless to say, her rhythm and musicality are superb.
Rossini doesn't require Berganza to sing full-throated as she did in Mozart, yet she was undoubtedly at her very prime when this was recorded and audience can't possibly be disappointed. Her acting was equally marvelous. She sort of outshone young Abbado. But she wasn't the only one, as we have such a strong teem here. The two love songs sang by the Count was most intriquing. Likewise, the dark and ringing voice of the barber or even the Doctor are all so impressing...
Abbado was not nervous at all neither was he as graceful as he has later become. Some would even say, when the Barber first sang the song figaro, the orchestra was too loud for the audience to enjoy his singing. Otherwise, the support he gave to the singers were as good as James Levine, if not better.
The acting or even the staging and director are all as good as one could expect.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alan Majeska on October 10, 2005
Format: DVD
I first viewed Jean-Pierre Ponelle's film version of Rossini's 1816 opera "The Barber of Seville" on a DG VHS tape, in 1990. I was taken with the acting, singing, sets, props, and found it thoroughly delightful. I tend to prefer orchestral, chamber music and opera excerpts to complete operas, but this held my interest, so much so that I bought the DVD in 2003.

The DVD seems to have a darker patina than the VHS tape did, but superior sound. However, this was recorded in 1972, and one cannot expect the same quality of picture and sound as DVDs made in the 1990s or more recently.

Of the singing, Teresa Berganza is wonderful as Rosina, quite possibly the best Rosina of the past several decades. She also acts wonderfully, with a comic twist where needed. Her expressions are humorous and perfectly fit her role as Dr. Bartolo's ward, determined to thwart and undermine him at every turn. The other singers: Luigi Alva, Hermann Prey, Paolo Montarsolo, Enzo Dara, Stefania Malagu - are all excellent in their roles. Sometimes the sound is congested/slightly distorted when Montarsolo or Dara hit a fortissimo note, but this was likely in the original tape master and could not be corrected. The La Scala orchestra under Claudio Abbado's direction play wonderfully, and the chorus sings heartily in the brief scenes at the beginning of Act I, and where the officers' regiment appears later in Act II. The precision between orchestra and singers is always excellent, and Abbado is not afraid of fast tempos when needed. The texture of the orchestra is light when needed, but with adequate heft when it is called for.

Jean Pierre Ponelle's film adaptation of "Barber" is very enjoyable. I also enjoyed Ponelle's version of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro", released this past summer on DG DVD.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anna Shlimovich on September 11, 2010
Format: DVD
I have arrived to this performance in Seville in Milan by following a long and sinuous road of Winterreise; the rumor had it that Hermann Prey had even better voice than Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and so I ordered this only DVD that had this cantor.

To my amazement, I found that it was also by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, and before watching it, I knew it would be excellent. However, it is just outstanding - and made in 1972 - BEFORE 1972, his famous triptych of Monteverdi cycle with Harnoncourt.

What can one say about this performance? It is just a PERFECTION. With star singers (who also sing beautifully here!) as Hermann Prey, Luigi Alva, Teresa Berganza, Enzo Dara under the baton of Claudio Abbado and directed by Ponnelle - we are fortunate indeed to have this performance immortalized. What is amazing about performances like this, is that even with an opera that everyone who loved this genre saw and heard many, many times, it still makes you smile from delight and admiration; the sprezzatura of great art never fails to impress. My personal last encounters with Il Barbiere was in 2007 in Berlin Opera Komische, where it was sung in German, to a bizarre effect (and I did not know it was the tradition of that house); and then on February 16 in La Fenice this year, it was the last day of Venetian Carnival, and the musicians appeared in their pit in various costumes and masks, and the conductor too appeared in a black long cape and in a bauta, a special hat Venetians wear during a Carnival; he crossed the partierre in such attire, descending to his place - it was so funny!

Yet musically this DVD supersedes all live performances of "Il Barbiere" that I have ever seen.
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