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Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (2010)

Joyce DiDonato , Juan Diego Florez , Antonio Pappano , Moshe Leiser  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Florez, Pietro Spagnoli, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Alessandro Corbelli
  • Directors: Antonio Pappano, Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgin Classics
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0039I1HN4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,003 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The cast of this Barbiere, taken from performances in July 2009
at the London s Royal Opera House, could quite simply not be
bettered today: dazzling Virgin Classics artist Joyce DiDonato
in her signature role of Rosina; Juan Diego Flórez; the world s
reigning bel canto tenor; Alessandro Corbelli, a buffo
baritone who brings subtlety and edge to the traditional comic
antics, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, who demonstrates that a
supreme interpreter of Verdi s tortured King Phillip can also
have a sense of humor. Conducting is the Royal Opera s Music
Director, Antonio Pappano, who has led many complete operas
for EMI Classics and who though born in London literally
has the Italian style in his blood.

This DVD sees Joyce DiDonato perform her role in a wheelchair
a story that has occupied international headlines. Joyce
brought literal meaning to the old theatrical motto Break a
leg. After she broke her fibula in an earlier show Joyce was
determined to finish her commitment. The good-spirited diva
was re-staged into the production to allow for the additional
challenges that come when a leading lady in a lively physical
role must wheel around the other performers.

Joyce posted the following on her blog post-performance: Well,
without a doubt, last night was one of the most memorable, exciting
nights in my life. I suppose that makes two in a row for me. I arrived
at the theater around 4:30 and was introduced to my new co-star: a
beautiful, sleek Moonlite Breezy Wheelchair.

The DVD bonus features include an interview with Joyce on her
stage accident and subsequent wheelchair performances.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Close, but no cigar" June 10, 2010
A minority report, to be sure: for a long time,directors who would stage "The Marriage of Figaro" with the utmost sensitivity have felt free to make its Beaumarchais predecessor,"The Barber of Seville" into a farrago of sight gags, pratfalls, slapstick and any other device to set the groundlings in a roar. This is particularly disappointing in the present instance because the elements for somegthing better were present in abundance: after an extraordinary reading of the overture, the curtain rises on a magical setting...and almoost immediately things begin to go downhill. Joyce DiDonato (demonstrating incredible pluck singing from a wheelchair) and Juan Diego Flores are superb singers but show little involvement in the characters they play. Ferruccio Furlanetto spends an awful lot of energy in "La calunnia" climbing all over Bartolo, bringing down the house, but missing all the real rascality of the part. Why we needed to see Berta, drunk, dismantling the piano during the storm scene to coincide with the thunderclaps is a mystery. Rossini has fallen into the hands of the Dirigenten. For a production that is a truly Mozartean pre4decessor to any "Marriage of Figaro", try the Schwetzingen production from the 1980s with Gino Quilico, Cecilia Bartoli leading a real ensemble: stylish, beautifully sung with believable characterizations and...incredibly funny.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go for the Laffs, Moshe, Go for the Laffs! November 28, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a "Barbiere" intended to be a 'laff-fest', staged, directed, and conducted for maximum slapstick commedia. If you want your "Barber of Seville" to retain any of the social indignation of Beaumarchais's revolutionary drama, you'd better look elsewhere. That insidious anti-aristocratic message needs to be present in Mozart's "Figaro" but it has always seemed extraneous to Rossini's. I truly doubt that Rossini gave a fig for Beaumarchais's edgy politics. I suspect old Gioachino would have been happily flabbergasted at this broad musical and uproarious dramatic interpretation of his most popular opera. In too many productions, Il Barbiere has become a stodgy 'sacred cow' aimed at traditionalists in the box seats. Rossini had only one use for sacred cattle: tournedos with black truffles.

Conductor Antonio Pappano exposes his buffo nature to the camera as he conducts the overture. Watching him burble and twirl, despite the suave perfection of the orchestra in this overture one has to expect hi-jinks in the opera, and one will not be disappointed. Pappano is irrepressible. Every possible 'special effect' -- quirky rubatos, grandiose grand pauses, etc. -- will be exaggerated to the point of mannerism. But it works. It's a natural extension of Rossini's own mannerism.

Likewise, every singer in this spectacular cast is irrepressible in exaggerating the both absurdity of the libretto and the comedy implicit in Rossini's music. Pietro Spagnoli is a different Figaro, not the usual sly upstart but rather a seasoned rogue with generous instincts for young lovers. Alessandro Corbelli, as Doctor Bartolo, is less the hapless old dupe of most production and more a nasty domestic tyrant, hardly a pushover for Figaro's tricks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars scintillating ensemble performance April 29, 2010
Rossini enthusiasts will be delighted with this recent Covent Garden production. The principal attraction of this set will be the involvement of Juan Diego Florez (Almaviva)and Joyce DiDonato (Rosina), two stars of the curent operatic firmament. DiDonato deftly and heroicly transports herself in a wheelchair, having fractured her fibula on the opening night. There are other attractions to this performance, firstly the uniformly satisfactory singing of the entire cast and secondly the excellent ensemble of all involved. Additionally Alessandro Corbelli's singing and acting in the part of Dr Bartolo is exceptional.

Although the stage setting is simple (and economical), with the action mainly occurring in a single room, it suits the concept of the production. The costumes are colorful. Antonio Pappano elicits sparkling playing from the Covent Garden orchestra. The filming and audio quality are very good. While I would not consider myself a particular Rossini enthusiast, I enjoyed this performance enormously and strongly commend it to potential purchasers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wheelchair" Barber of Seville on DVD January 10, 2011
By Matt B
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The "Wheelchair" Il Barbiere di Siviglia - London July 2009

At the beginning of this Virgin Classics DVD instead of seeing music director Antonio Pappano give the downbeat to commence the overture to Rossini's popular comedy, we see him onstage appearing before the curtain of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to announce that Joyce DiDonato will be performing the role of Rosina in a wheelchair! Having had an accident during opening night shortly after "Una voce poco fa", and being quite the trooper, she decided not to cancel her run of performances. Considering that the staging would have to be modified in a very short time the results are nothing short of amazing... and boy can Miss DiDonato act... and spin around in a chair... and actually use the chair as a prop to the character's advantage. Plus the girl can sing as well!

Now when librettist Cesare Sterbini has Rosina say that she has a cramp in her foot I am quite sure that he never ever expected the line not only to get a hearty laugh, but a warm round of applause as well! At any rate, DiDonato steals the show and that is not an easy feat considering that her Almaviva is the celebrated Juan Diego Florez... and it is normally his job to pilfer the limelight from the title character. In fact, the cast is strong from top to bottom with Pietro Spagnoli a robust Figaro, Alessandro Corbelli a conniving Bartolo, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as a slimy Basilo... with only the later considerably sacrificing vocal accuracy for dramatic effect. If anything he is the weak link in the cast from a purely vocal standpoint, but visually and histrionically he gives a tour de force performance. Even the Berta is quite good.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was very well done.
Published 1 month ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality
Isnt the best interpretation of the barbieri, but its beautifull and colorfull. I think that Classical Music always deserves 5 stars
Published 3 months ago by Poacherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, Wonderful!
Cannot say enough about this production! Joyce DiDonato sang it from a wheelchair after an accident during a previous performance. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dee A Coffeen
4.0 out of 5 stars problem Barber
I was happy to be able to purchase this "Barber" HOWEVER both discs had serious flaws that interfered with the opera. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Elizabeth Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Another DiDonato-Florez delight!
These two just cannot be beaten for Rossini interpretations. DiDonato's amazing stage presence and impeccable singing along with the high flying Florez make this a delight. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. L. Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Improvisation at its best!
The twist of this production is Rosina in a wheelchair. Joyce DiDonato had broken her leg during opening night, so the producers and the cast had to make some changes to... Read more
Published on May 14, 2012 by A. Lupu
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect... but no cigar
Almost all the voices are gorgeous. Especially DiDonato's, and we all applaud her for her pluck. However, Rosina should not be wheelchair bound, and so the dvd is a curiosity, for... Read more
Published on June 13, 2010 by Shimon Schieber
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Performance; Cheapskate Virgin
Singing wonderful throughout. Di Donato marvelous from top to bottom. No weakening in moving from one register to another, completely seamless. JDF owns the role. Read more
Published on May 9, 2010 by Benjamin Walter
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!
This DVD is a much watch performance, not only for the incredible talent that is displayed and the fantastic singing of Joyce DiDonato, but also because of the uniqueness of the... Read more
Published on May 3, 2010 by Zachary Rogg-Meltzer
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Topic From this Discussion
Opera sang in italian or in English?
Italian 100%
Jan 30, 2014 by Angelo Porcella |  See all 2 posts
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