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Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Jennifer Larimore, Bruce Ford, Simone Alamo, and Alessandro Corbelli star in this 1998 Opera national de Paris production of the Rossini opera conducted by Bruno Campanella.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Larmore, Bruce Ford, Simone Alaimo, Alessandro Corbelli, Bruno Campanella
  • Directors: Andrei Serban, André Flédérick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00361DR5K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By DDD VINE VOICE on August 4, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was my second Italiana, the first being the performance from Germany with Doris Soffel. The production (originating in Zurich) is stylish, conventional and effective. Vocally the only flaw is the Mustafa, a singer more at home with Alberich. In the performance under consideration that is hardly the case with the wonderful Simone Alaimo. Jennifer Larimore is a glamorous Isabella, vocally agile, witty and quite delightful. Bruce Ford is an experienced Rossinian, looks good and act well, but he really is not at home with the coluratura and his top tends to tighten up and overall the voice is uneven.

The production is a mix of whimsy, the silly, the extraneous and occasionally awful. Serban, the director had some good ideas but apparently when they hire someone with his reputation isn't there anyone who can question the antics that he requires of the singers? It isn't truly awful (Dario Fo can take that credit on the new Italian from Pesaro; at least is can boast the superb Lindoro of Maxim Mironov who leaves all the rest in the dust) but one does wonder how a production can veer from being witty and delightful to highly questionable. It isn't a deal breaker for someone considering this DVD, and I would hate to hand the prize for direction to Michael Hampe (the Soffel DVD) inasmuch as he is working on a stage probably no larger than the Teatro Verdi, but he certainly trumps Fo who surely doesn't much more space in Pesaro.

It's obvious I have three performances and enjoy all three, but alas to attain the "ideal" I have to indulge in cast shifting, a fantasy that opera lovers have to do all the time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ealovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1998 production of Rossini's lively comic opera from the Paris Opera House was a bit overwhelming at first, although I grew to love it. Sight gags abound--the flamingoes, the gorilla, the floating size 420 Double-Z breast-balloons, the dancing pizza, the Italian cheerleading squad, and Taddeo flapping his flippers and blowing his stupid whistle.

Taddeo was a sight gag all by himself. I blame his over-the-top schlock on the French love affair with Jerry Lewis. Before their infatuation with the American comedian, the French were famous for having produced one of the most elegant civilizations in history. And after...?

Well, take the visuals during the overture on this DVD. They begin elegantly with a tour of the beautiful, Second-Empire Palais Garnier, which used to house the Paris Opera, and end up panning a cardboard pin-up of Jennifer Larmore sliding down a pole while dressed in a scanty sailor costume.

Actually, I loved some of the schlock: the pirates with their enormous tattooed latex biceps, white singlets, and cami pants; the eunuchs with their fleshy body molds--all tummies, breasts, and bums; the gangster pappatacis complete with snap-brim fedoras and shiny revolvers. The all-male chorus had more costume changes than Jennifer Larmore.

And speaking of American mezzo, Jennifer Larmore, she was a clever, beautiful, impetuous Isabella. Her resounding "Pensa alla patria" with the chorus of Italian slaves (dressed in skimpy red, white, and green track suits) was a true showstopper. Her lustrous voice, with a sexy duskiness in the lower register is perfect for this Rossinian jeu d'esprit.

Bruce Ford was a cheerful Lindoro with a roving eye.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Theron Stimmel on May 21, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1998 production of the Paris national Opera is a delight for the most part. L"Italiana is Rossini's first comic masterpiece. It has fun and nonstop humor along with glorious music.Bruno Campanella leads a sparkling orchestral performance-very importanat in Rossini. There is a warm,vivacious Italian snap to the whole production.Isabella is the star of the show and Jennifer Larmore has this role down pat. The mezzo must have good lower tones and Larmore produces them better than any mezzo i have heard except Tetesa Berganza. Larmore is attractive, charming and funny. The second longest role is that of the Bey of Algiers, Mustafa. He must be a pompous ass who is still lovable! Simone Alaimo is wonderful in the role. His rich bass blends beautifully in the many ensembles he sings as a partner. A real bonus in this performance is the Taddeo of Alessandro Corbelli. Taddeo is the butt of much of the humor and Corbelli really makes the most of the part. The tenor,Bruce ford sings Lindoro pretty well. Ford has a sense of the bel canto style. Lindoro does not have a lot of solo scenes compared to the tenor in say, La Cenerentola, but his first act Cavatina must get your attention and develop sympathy for Lindoro. I could imagine a great Rossinian tenor such as Juan Diego Flores as better for this role or how about Lawrence Brownlee. I see that Brownlee will soon appear on a new compact disc version of L'Italiana. In the meantime Ford will do nicely as he fits into the madcap nature of this production. There are some grotesque costumes and stage props in this production but they are not carried to utter excess. This opera is really a fun experience and this production sparkles. Although I would not surrender Marilyn Horne's wonderful Isabella from the Met on DVD, this is the production to have if you can only have one!
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