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Verdi - Aida / Dessi, Armiliato, Fiorillo, Scandiuzzi, Palatchi, Pons, Martinez, Barcelona Opera (2008)

Juan Pons , Daniele Dessi , José Antonio Gutiérrez  |  NR |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juan Pons, Daniele Dessi, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Fabio Armiliato
  • Directors: José Antonio Gutiérrez
  • Format: Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Croatian, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KF6FA8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,346 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Daniela Dessì, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Fabio Armiliato, Juan Pons and Roberto Scandiuzzi lead the cast in the renowned period production filmed in 2003 against the historic paper trompe-l'oeil sets painted between 1936-45 by Josep Mestres Cabanes, the last representative of the old Catalan school of scenography.

Sung in Italian, with English, French, German, Spanish and Catalan subtitles

Il Re: Stefano Palatchi
Amneris: Elisabetta Fiorillo
Aida: Daniela Dessì
Radamès: Fabio Armiliato
Ramfis: Roberto Scandiuzzi Amonasro Juan Pons
Messaggero: Josep Fadó
Sacerdotessa: Ana Nebot

Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Conductor: Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez
Stage Director: José Antonio Gutiérrez
Set Designer: Josep Mestres Cabanes (1936-1945)
Restoration by Jordi Castells
Costume Designer: Franca Squarciapino
Choreography: Ramon Oller (Companyia Metros)
Lighting: Albert Faura


Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
(4)
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Readers might wonder why virtually all my reviews are 5-star. It is because usually I don't review anything I don't like

It is not considered the done thing to criticise another reviewer's comments, but to downgrade an opera production purely on the physical attributes of the performers is trivial in the extreme, and shows little understanding of the art form. I would recommend readers to refer back to the reviews of the earlier release of this performance on Opus Arte as an import, but is now under local distribution by Kultur.

Opera, to me, is the greatest of the performing arts. At one time opera was a vehicle primarily for a singer to display his/her vocal talents. But well before Aida, it had become a combination of performing arts - orchestra, soloists who needed to both sing well and also act through their singing as well as visually, and if the drama required it, a chorus that usually needed to act; and settings, costumes, possibly a ballet, etc all contributing to carrying the story. So the performance of an opera does not just need singers who can produce a beautiful sound; they must be able to sing dramatically to contribute to all the components that combine to make the stage production the composer was aiming for.

(If physical appearance was given too much importance, we would have been denied most of the stage performances of Sutherland, and we would rarely see Madama Butterfly, as Butterfly is in her teens and it is unlikely one would find a soprano of that age who could sing the role). Enough of these general comments, let me turn to this production.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One star lost to mechanics September 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's a delicious, beautiful production, the best I've found, just above the one with children. However. It's impossible to play. There are about 6 infinitesimal dashes that are kind of colored. You've got to try and get the right color in the right dash to get the movie. If you don't (and I rarely do), you get a slow photo album of the cast, a slow series of pictures representing the scenes, your choice of stereo or surround sound (try to avoid that one!) or a documentary on how the sets were made. The only one of these you can stop and get out of is the docu, the rest just keep going. And for some sadistic reason the opera is unnecessarily (as so many are) on two discs, lying on top of each other in the box. Which means at act 3 you juggle and struggle and pray (if you still go in for that sort of thing) to get one disc on or off the player and hold the other without dropping and ruining one or both.

Radames is ugly as sin but sings like a butch angel. Amneris looks old enough to be his mother and sings with a vibrato just short of Callas. Aida is young, beautiful and sings like a dream. The sets (which everyone is at great and constant pains to point out) are very beautiful. They are certainly nicer to look at than the lock-down or the clinical green rats' maze in the last 2 Maria Stuardas I was unfortunate enough to buy.

Except the children's one (another of Zeffirelli's "brain" children), I have at last found an Aida I like. It took long ($$$$) enough!

Note: Excuse the unfunny sarcasm. Amneris is a bit younger than all that, shines in the last act. Unlike the Domingo (which I sold for about $2 - a bargain), the director did not buy out every vegetable market in the county to parade (to what purpose?
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hear, no see March 23, 2010
By Colston
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are content with closing your eyes and listen, it would be 3 star. If you insist on watching, it is zero star. Ooops, I mean one star.

The whole dvd is far too dark. Save your money for the dvd with Kate Aldrich. You will know why, when you watch her. That dvd is zero risk.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The great attraction of this DVD is that it's not as 1950's Hollywood-epic style "kitschy" as some of the other productions available. It's an incredible opportunity to see the opera played against the painted paper flats created by a great Catalan artist more than sixty years ago, lovingly restored. The music is conducted well, and the triumphal march, in particular, comes off very well. Although most productions highlight the spectacular aspects, this one unusually and correctly stresses the more intimate human drama. Irritating details are relatively few - the tiger-skin sported by Aida's father, Amanasro, is one (an Ethiopian chief in tiger-skin in the time of the Pharoahs? perhaps a tiger was especially imported?).

But oh the roles of Aida and Amneris! After seeing this opera it's possible to understand why the first presentation of Verdi's Traviata was laughed off the stage because the soprano was too fat to be credible.

Neither of the two actresses here is even somewhat attractive, or of an age to make their parts plausible. It stretches the imagination too much to consider this Aida a woman with whom a triumphant young general could fall in love, let alone for whom he would abandon his country. The acting of both the female leads is so stilted/monochromatic, as well, that it becomes boring. Radames, on the other hand, looks slightly crazed most of the time - perhaps this is just over-acting. This wouldn't matter if it were to be heard as an opera on CD, rather than watched on DVD.
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