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Rossini: Zelmira (2012)

Juan Diego Florez , Kate Aldrich , Giorgio Barberio Corsetti  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juan Diego Florez, Kate Aldrich, Gregory Kunde, Alex Esposito, Roberto Abbado
  • Directors: Giorgio Barberio Corsetti
  • Writers: Gioachino Rossini
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008HC9982
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Juan Diego Florez stars in the only available DVD version of Zelmira, filmed at the celebrated Rossini Festival in the composer s home town of Pesaro

The final opera Rossini wrote for Naples is a dramatic and musical tour de force and a magnificent showcase for the bel canto superstar of our time

Recorded in high definition at the 2009 Festival, Giorgio Barberio Corsettis production places the classical tale, set during the Trojan Wars, in modern times and modern dress

Joining Juan Diego Florez are a major international cast, described as near miraculous by Opera Today and led by American mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich in the virtuosic title role

But the evening remained another distinguished triumph for Juan Diego Florez as Prince Ilo, whose arrival in his homeland, to rescue Zelmira, was marked by a dazzling tenorial display which evoked a nearly twenty-minute ovation (Opera Today)

Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too bad about the production September 30, 2012
Here's another example of excellent music undermined by idiotic direction.

First the kudos:

Juan Diego Florez dashes off the stratospheric part of the Trojan hero, Ilo, with his usual aplomb: the coloratura brilliant, the acuti accurate and the acting intelligent. And, I'll say the same of Kate Aldrich in the title role and of Marianna Pizzolata as her confidant, Emma. Ms. Aldrich is one of the finest singing actresses I've seen in a long time. Her voice is beautiful and even through the registers, the coloratura is dazzling and her emotional involvement intense. Despite my reservations about the production, the DVD is worth hearing simply for her performance. Ms Pizzolata is good throughout the opera, particularly in the first act duet (Perche mi guardi e piangi -- the loveliest number in the opera, soprano and mezzo accompanied by harp and cor anglais) -- and in her second act preghiera. Gregrory Kunde sings well and appears to relish playing the villain of the piece. I found Alex Esposito as Zelmira's father, Polidoro, the weakest link. The voice had so little presence I couldn't really form a good opinion of it. Perhaps that was due to the uncongenial surroundings of performing in a converted sports arena, although there was a mike prominently stuck on the side of his head. Maybe the mike wasn't adjusted correctly.

The orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna performed admirably under the direction of Roberto Abbado. The performance used the critical edition was that prepared by the Rossini Foundation and published by Casa Ricordi.

The DVD transfer presents a crisp picture. The sound was a bit over reverberant on my sound equipment and I had to adjust the bass accordingly.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vocally Stunning -- Staging Less So September 12, 2012
When Zelmira premiered in Naples on 16 February 1822, Rossini had three of the best singers in Italy to sing the lead roles: Isabella Colbran, Giovanni David and Andrea Nozzari. I doubt that even that legendary trio brought off the vocal excellence of this performance. While the plot has been termed "tedious and dully written" and "absurd and complicated" by Charles Osborne in "The Bel Canto Operas", as far as operas go, it isn't all that bad. Staging and camera work prove a major distraction through much of it, but to me, the sheer splendor of the vocalism trumps the troublesome staging, much as was the case with Mary Zimmerman's notorious approach to La Sonnambula at the Met.

So let me start with the singers:

Juan Diego Florez (JDF to fans) is, for me, a near force of nature. He is, I believe, the finest tenor interpreter of Rossini in the last 150 years, and one (but not the only) reason for the rebirth of interest in Rossini's opera seria. Simply put, he sings the roles that other tenors can't, since the extended range and coloratura demands are just beyond them. We have and enjoy every one of JDF's CDs and DVDs, but as we watched this disc for the first time last night, my wife and I paused and replayed several numbers, amazed at the vocal athleticism displayed. Zelmira's tenor role (Ilo) is the most vocally complex in all of Rossini, and I simply cannot imagine even the legendary Giovanni David doing as good a job as JDF does. Bravo!!

Kate Aldrich was similarly riviting; Colbran and Rossini had to be beaming in the that big opera house in the sky. I heard (and saw) her as Amneris in a TDK DVD of Aida filmed in the tiny (10 m stage)Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busetto. But that was Verdi and this is a far different kind of opera.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Performance of a Beautiful Opera October 22, 2012
Verified Purchase
I was so much in agreement with the review provided by John G. Gleeson Sr., that I haven't considered submitting my own for a while. However, it seems that a fair assertion of the production as a typical Regiatheater rubbish proves to be a turn-off for many opera lovers. There are several comments to the effect that people rather stick to audio CD than buy this set. It's wrong! Yes, the staging doesn't work, but all the performances are amazing, unparalleled vocally and fully developed and passionate dramatically. You simply have to watch Juan Diego Florez singing `Terra Amica', you won't get the whole range of emotions just by listening to him! I guarantee you would rewind and watch it over and over again in awe that such perfection can be achieved in a live performance. And Kate Aldrich was a total revelation for me too. Beauty of timbre, agility, legato line, intelligence of interpretation and she is a very good actress! I hope to see a lot more of her in bel canto roles in the future. Gregory Kunde turned out to be a much better a singer and an actor than I expected him to be, he is totally convincing as a villain. Even a supporting cast is very strong, with Marianna Pizzolata standing out, especially in her second act aria. Rossini composed one of his most beautiful scores for this opera, and orchestra under direction of Robberto Abbado sounds fantastic. So, don't pay too much attention to the staging, buy this DVD for Rossini's music and brilliant performances that bring it to life!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glorious singing ----- Silly staging! November 26, 2012
Verified Purchase
Bel canto singing is alive and well and in the contents of this magnificent recording. As expected, Juan Diego Florez delivers one of the best performances ever of some of the most difficult music in the bel canto canon. He is an absolute joy to listen to and his vocal pyrotechnics are nothing short of amazing. In addition, the other members of the cast are also masters of this style of singing. Kate Aldrich as the beleaguered daughter and wife Zelmira delivers grand fioritura even under the most taxing of circumstances. The mezzo of Marianna Pizzoloto as Emma, Zelmira's confidant, is also excellent. Her rendering of "Ciel pietoso, ciel clemente" is one of the high points of the performance. Gregory Kunde as the evil ursurper Antenore started off weakly but improved in later scenes. The rest of the cast were of high standard and accomplishment.
This opera (1822)is the last of the Naples series that had occupied Rossini since arriving at the San Carlo at the behest of the manager Barbaja in 1815. He has blossomed and matured as an opera composer in this environment having written by now a total of some thirty scores. Many of these were not only successes throughout Italy but also internationally. He is now the most famous and widely performed opera composer of the day. In this opera one can see his continued development to make the drama (the words) more important and a partner of the music in a seamless whole as truly a "drama per musica". In fact the older practice of an aria solo to reflect a state of mind followed by action recounted in recitative is greatly altered in Zelmira. There are no solo arias but duos with other characters or the chorus or trios or more. The action is going on as the singers are singing in stark contrast to the older methods of composition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding production.
I hadn’t heard this opera before and knowing it was the last one written by Rossini I was interested in hearing it because I was familiar with him as a very good composer mainly in... Read more
Published 13 months ago by A. Delaspozas
5.0 out of 5 stars What's Not to Love?
Florez's voice is unbelievable -- astounding agility and beauty of tone. He brings down the house with his opening aria, sort of like Ramey did at the Scala with Atilla's opening... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Robert Avant
3.0 out of 5 stars Great singing but horrible production
The singing is excellent and the orchestra is wonderful. The production is horrible. Distracting stage activity. Another director who will not focus on the singers. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Non è Rossini questo.. ma è Rossini davvero... ed...
"Non è Rossini questo." (Rossini is not this.) So declares mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato in an interview during the bonus section of this DVD, and ironically I had the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Matt B
5.0 out of 5 stars Rossini
Florez is my favourite tenor inthe wolrd today and I just don;t miss an opera where he sings the leading roll. Read more
Published 23 months ago by ludwig von beethoven
5.0 out of 5 stars HIPP Bel Canto! Worth the Wait!
"Bel Canto" is a fair descriptor of the predominant vocal technique of opera and oratorio from the late 17th C to the early 19th. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Giordano Bruno
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