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Verdi: La Battaglia Di Legnano [Blu-ray] (2013)

Iori , Linares , Cappuccio  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $35.99  
DVD 1-Disc Version $27.98  

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Verdi: La Battaglia Di Legnano [Blu-ray] + Verdi: Il Corsaro [Blu-ray] + Verdi: Luisa Miller [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Iori, Linares, Tehodossiou, Richards, Brott
  • Directors: Cappuccio
  • Format: Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • 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
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0094AH3H0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,852 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

As part of the ambitious Tutto Verdi project, the rarely peformed La battaglia di Legnano is available for the first time on Blu-Ray. The patriotic war story of La battaglia gives a taste of the real-life revolutionary ideals of the composer, as he delivers a thinly veiled exhortation to throw off the bonds of foreign rule for love of country.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(6)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Stage Director Saves Cultural Heritage of the Nation" February 5, 2013
Format:Blu-ray
There is no way to understand what is going on in this production without having the regisseur Ruggero Cappuccio explain his konzept. However, no such explanation is provided either in the introduction to the opera or in the booklet that comes with the Tutto Verdi box. The explanation was provided on four pages of the program sold to the public who attended the performances in Trieste in 2012, and here is the gist of it: the action is set in a museum warehouse. Art is what builds the cultural identity of a nation. The warehouse is a symbol of the neglect of art. The hope to fight this neglect is symbolized by restorers who touch up large paintings and statues in this museum. The museum is a metaphor of the people and the need for a restoration of our minds. (The implication is that the museum staff who work on restoring the artwork in this regie represent the regisseur who defends the cultural heritage of the nation by reinterpreting old masterpieces like this opera with his ingenious regie, thereby keeping them alive and relevant.) Emperor Federico Barbarossa, who in the opera threatens to destroy Milan, is in this konzept an alien invader who threatens to destroy art by budget cuts and vulgarity. The Battle of Legnano is the battle for the defense of the cultural identity of a people. The regisseur protests in this regie the budget cuts that threaten art, and therefore the cultural identity of the nation. The chorus is dressed in mostly modern raincoats, some in strange head gear; the protagonists in a confusion of styles from various periods. This is because the "people" who defend their cultural identity here are any people in any period. After the final curtain falls, the cast is framed immobile in a way that turns the stage into a painting. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Verdi wrote his most patriotic opera during the turbulent events of the 1848 revolutions, the first of the series of many uprisings of the Risorgimento. Unfortunately Verdi had more important things to do than taking part in the revolution as he busied himself in Paris and having a good time with Giuseppina Strepponi who soon became his mistress and much later, his second wife. The opera is quite good, chock full of rousing music aided with trumpets and horns, fine arias and even finer duets and terzettos not to mention the famous choruses and had an astounding success with Italian patriots going crazy as soon as they heard "Viva Italia!"
The production is handsomely staged with great canvases as backdrops, but I wouldn't waste my breath on any "concept" or trying to criticise it, because the main thing here is the singing and the conducting. As in all these issues in TUTTO VERDI series the singing is superlative: a great tenor who cuts a fine figure indeed as the hero and copes wonderfully with the difficult high tessitura. The lead baritone is strong yet sensitive in a many shaded performance.
Much was being said about Dimitra Theodossiou by others before me, but she is a great Verdi diva who knows how to handle her voice and certainly moves like a queen. I was also very impressed by the basso supporting roles, especially the larger than life powerhouse of the Emperor Barbarossa.
I am partial to Boris Brott, the conductor as he is from Hamilton, ON, Canada where he put classical music on the map with his tireless efforts in this blue-collar steel town. It's is no mean achievement to be invited to Italy to conduct Verdi and he does a very fine job. His tempi are well judged, his beat precise and the orchestra is superbly responsive. The overture gets a big applause.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Staging Diminishes Some Fine Singing March 14, 2013
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
To understand this opera as Verdi wanted it to be staged, one must understand what Italy was going through in 1849 and why Verdi wrote a highly patriotic opera. This was the time of risorgimento, the unification of Italy. Verdi was a staunch patriot, and the opera was intended to be a "shamelessly patriotic opera" (Berger, "Verdi With A Vengeance"). With that in mind, gentle reader, one can see from the outset, that the stage director was totally disconnected from Verdi; he wanted to use Verdi's opera in some allegorical sense to support the defense of art, as reviewer Eitan notes in his insightful analysis.

Well it may be allegorical, but it ain't Verdi, so once again, we, the viewers and, especially, the fans of Verdi are left with less than we might have experienced had Mr. Cappuccio left Verdi's opera to speak for itself, even though the maestro was speaking to a time that is past. Be that as it may, there are some very positive things about the performance that make this disc worth having.

First strength here lies in the male singers: they are all good, with special "Bravi!!" to tenor Andrew Richards whom I had not heard before, but of whom I would like to hear more. The same is true of baritone Leonardo Lopez Linares who does a dandy job with the role of Rolando. Even bass Enrico Giuseppe Lori as Frederic Barbarossa has a rich, sonorous voice, and some stage presence.

Dimitra Theodossiu is not loved by all, which must be a burden that all sopranos must endure, judging by my past experiences. I have heard her in very good form and in less than such, and while she starts well, it seems to me that she is really fatigued by the end, which is not surprising, considering the nature of this role.
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