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Verdi - Il Corsaro / Bruson, Michailov, Sburlati, Damato, Palumbo, Parma Opera

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jun 28, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

From Teatro Regio di Parma, Italy. Duration: 107 minutes.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Renato Bruson, Zvetan Michailov, Michela Sburlati
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Import, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Dynamic Italy
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2005
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009SCVJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,454 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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This is the opera Verdi wrote and then decided he never wanted to hear it again. Too bad, because it does have some memorable moments. It's the story that's forgetable so just turn off the subtitles and enjoy some vintage Verdi sung by a mostly terrific cast surrounded by colorful sets.

I had the opportunity to see this opera in Sarasota, Florida a couple of years ago which has the dubious distinction of having the worst behaved audience in the country. Above the din of candy wrappers being continuouly opened and the constant talking, I managed to hear this work for the first time. I went in without any expectations and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. I never dreamed this would appear on DVD, but here we have an excellent performance. Michela Sburlati and Adriana Damato are in spendid form except the costume designer of Damata should be shot. Her outfit exposes her middle section which should defiinitly not be seen in public.

Renato Bruson, who's had a distinguished career, should perhaps think retirement. His phrasing, breath control and wobble are taking a toll on his vocal resources. Tenor Zvetan Michailov keeps getting better as the performance moves along. Conductor Palumbo keeps the Parma orchestra moving along at a rapid pace but still allowing breathing space and support for the singers. Don't hesitate to buy this DVD. I'm sure it will be a long time, if ever, we get another production of this interesting work. To my knowledge, it's not represented on CD so the DVD will have to suffice.
2 Comments 23 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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'Il Corsaro' premiered in Trieste in 1848 has never enjoyed a very good reputation. It failed at its premiere and never had a good press with the critics. Furthermore as Verdi composed it simply to fulfil a contract from which he wished to extricate himself he took very little interest in its fate,not even bothering to attend the premiere. He did however write to the principals singing at the premiere giving instructions as to how it should be sung. When these directions are obeyed the opera turns out to be rather better than the critics would have one believe.'Il Corsaro has an interesting semi-autobiographical aspect to it with Corrado representing Verdi, Medora his late first wife Margherita Barezzi and Gulnara his future second wife Giuseppina Strepponi. The opera's prelude is beautiful and well scored.Indeed the orchestration has a new refinement which shows that Verdi benefited from his long sojourn in Paris in 1847 and 1848. In Act I Corrado's cavatina Medora's romanza and their love duet are worthy of note. In Act II Gulnara's cavatina the duet fore Seid and Corrado and the concerted finale are vintage Verdi and in Act III the only weak number is the cabaletta to Seid's aria. Particularly admirable in Act III are the prison scena and duet for Corrado and Gulnara and the final trio for Corrado Medora and Gulnara. In this production from Parma Renato Palumbo conducts conducts the Piece as though he believes in it and is admirably seconded by his cast. In the audio recordings of the opera the Medoras (Katia Riciarelli and Jessye Norman) tended to overshadow the by no means negligible Gulnaras (Angeles Gulin and Montserrat Caballe) In this performance Adriana D'Amato establishes herself clearly as the prima donna assoluta singing looking and acting well.Read more ›
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I've had an LP recording of Cosaro for many years and have always enjoyed it; the advantage of it is that you can emagine for yourself the sets and costumes. Seeing it on DVD for the first time I was appaled at how bad it really is. Mr. Novak, in his review, has said everything I was going to say. He does miss one point Damata's costume should have included a rather large ruby in her navel which would possibly have deminished the impact. Mr. Bruson's performance is not up to the standards of the rest of the cast, pity. Everything considered this is a very good performance of Verdi's worst opera and it is more enjoyable with the sub-titles OFF.
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