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Stiffelio [Blu-ray] (2013)

3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Stiffelio [Blu-ray] + Il Trovatore [Blu-ray] + Rigoletto [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (DTS-HD High Res Audio), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0094AH39I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

When the wife of a Protestant preacher is an adulterer, problems are inevitable from the outset of Verdi's Stiffelio. Even today the finale seems astonishingly bold: superficially it deals with forgiveness and reconciliation, but the orchestral writing is in such striking contrast that Verdi appears to toll the death knell of the protagonists' marriage.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guy Montavon's superb production March 11, 2013
This opera closed the 2012 season in Parma. The dramaturgy and the musical aspects complement each other and are of a high standard. The librettist set the drama in an imaginary Protestant sect, the "assasveriani", and religious Puritanism is constantly at the foreground. Francis Calcagnini's sets and costumes create a rigid, suffocating, monastic ambiance, with tall gray walls, no windows, and few exits. The approach is minimalist but expressive, with well-integrated abstract strictness. The stage floor is covered with biblical texts in Latin. It has a lot in common with the sets Es Devlin created for the 2009 Nederlandse Opera production of I Puritani (on blu-ray), for the same dramatic reasons (the sets there were also in gloomy gray, with a rigid geometric design, covered with the Bible in Braille). Both productions also share an obsession with books. Director (and light designer) Guy Montavon placed the action in the Amish community like in the movie "The Witness" with Harrison Ford. The chorus are all dressed in black and gray, you can hardly make them out individually. Raffaele, Lina's seducer, stands out as an outsider and a villain in an orange outfit. Lina is dressed in white only in the last scene, where she is solemnly forgiven. Chorus and singers are carefully arranged on stage. Their blocking, postures and interactions are methodically prepared for pinpoint dramatic effect and psychological insight. The community is a major protagonist, with heavy emphasis on ambiance (gloomy, oppressive, and claustrophobic). Lighting too is employed methodically in the service of the drama.

You need to watch this a few times to register all the details of Guy Montavon superlative work. The effect is cumulative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult but rewrding opera served well. September 10, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is a very difficult opera to evaluate. I've see it but once a long time ago. It was in a distinguished production. This present production is also a distinguished production but it is still a difficult opera to "get into". Though I do not like most minimalist attempts at opera, Guy Montavon's lighting, stage direction together with the sets and costumes of Francesco Caleagnini served the drama well. I especially appreciated the "stones" hanging over the congregation in the pardoning scene in the last act. It and the previous act were dramatically spell binding thanks to Verdi's music. But even on the third viewing I still do not know enough of the individual characters to connect them to their actions. I understand that the play has two more long acts and with all the twists and turns in the drama we may be able to "get into" the nuances of these complex characters. I just think in its present form it does not make good "opera". We need to know more of what motivates these people. Now the music is another matter. It is gorgeous! We are a long way from Nabucco (which I dearly love). but this is a deep psychological drama on a personal level. It is not the cardboard characters in crash-bang historical {hysterical) dramatic pageantry. It takes repeated listening but Verdi has provided the major players of this drama with musical signatures that help us understand the motivations to some extent but we really need to know more about each one. Raffaele is particularly an unknown quantity and yet he is so central to the plot. He was underserved by Gabriele Mangione. The Lina and Stiffelo were well sung but there were no sparks in their performances here. Unlike the grandiose Trovatore where I've seen Yu Guanqun wow the house nothing happened. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great surprise! July 1, 2013
By Lukita
I just saw this Stiffelio production, part of my personal Verdi 2013 celebrations! What a great surprise! Small and pretty simple settings, but let's talk about the singing! Aronica sings the part beyond expectations with a dark voice sometimes which fits well for the troubled husband. Every now and then he sounded a little insecure but overall this was a superb performance! Guanqun Yu made the part looks easy with a very comfortable upper register! Fabulous! Roberto Frontali: amazing! I confess, it was the first time I heard the man but I'll will look for more! Great baritone tone, great upper notes! The chorus is spot on and gave me goose bumps in the final moments!
The orchestra sounds a bit crude at a times, but it was not distracting!
Great chance to watch this "lesser" work by Verdi!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Verdi not served right. July 8, 2013
Sorry to disagree with previous reviewers. As much as I love the new TUTTO VERDI series with many magnificent performances I've seen so far, this one unfortunately misses the mark and misses badly.
As I was watching and listening I was really wondering if indeed this was written by the great Maestro. To my ears the music just did not come together, did not gel. The action on the stage felt artificial, `operatic' in the worst sense and unable to convey this gripping drama. If you don't believe me just follow the audience reaction: there was very little applause although the Parma audience is usually very enthusiastic.

The previous reviewers talk a lot about the work itself, the stage design and the director. But this obfuscates the picture. In opera the conducting is of paramount importance and young Battistoni, talented no doubt (he has given us a very enjoyable and competent Attila), but here unfortunately he hasn't got the grip of the score. He plays the notes correctly, but conducting Verdi, especially this unusual and unconventional Verdi, requires a conductor of more maturity. In comparison I refer the reader to the Covent Garden performance with Sir Edward Downes and listen to him conduct. You'll think it's an entirely different opera! In my opinion the chief problem here is the conductor.

Now for the singers and I'll only mention where I see particular weaknesses. Sign. Mangione (Raffaele)is an unlikely lover both in looks and acting. In the first act he seems like he would rather be somewhere else. Sign. Andguladze (Yorg, the old pastor), an important role and should have gravitas, seems far too young with ridiculous beard and concentrating too much to look bent with age,his basso voice lacking the power we've been accustomed to in this series (eg.
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