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Verdi:Macbeth (2008)

 NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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DVD 2-Disc Version $34.08  
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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Dubbed: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Naxos of America
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EKGUQS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,425 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In reviewing the Barcelona Opera DVD in which Maria Guleghina also appears as Lady Macbeth, I've already expressed my view (not shared by everyone here) that "Macbeth" is one of Verdi's underappreciated operas. Forgive me if I quote what I said there rather than rewrite it: "Verdi took great source material and used it to compose an opera with choruses that range from spooky (the witches) to weary and heartbreaking (the people of Scotland); arias for Lady Macbeth with vocal leaps and pyrotechnics that are Mozartian in difficulty; a great marital spat duet in which Lady M's diabolical hold over her husband is revealed; a final aria for the title character that garners sympathy for him, cold-blooded murderer though he is. The score is taut; not a wasted note."

As in her Barcelona Opera performance, Guleghina's intensity and utter commitment to the role go a long way to make up for her vocal difficulties. She struggles with the coloratura requirements of the role and is sometimes sloppy in her execution of the music, allowing her fiery acting to interfere with her singing. Verdi said he didn't want a Lady Macbeth with a beautiful voice, but that didn't mean he wanted one without discipline. (Listen to a Callas CD of Lady Macbeth's arias to hear that perfect combination of "ugliness" and discipline that Verdi was looking for in Lady M's voice.) But despite Guleghina's vocal shortcomings, hers is a Lady Macbeth that will be seared in your memory long after the opera is over; such is the power of her stage presence.

Zeljko Lucic does a fine job as Macbeth, although his performance is not as good as that of Carlos Alvarez in the Barcelona Opera production. Alvarez has a deeply mature, burnished baritone voice and creates a more nuanced Macbeth.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars eccentric production, excellent preformance April 17, 2009
Format:DVD
The main reason to acquire this DVD is for the superb orchestral conducting and the excellent singing. James Levine, one of the finest Verdi conductors active today, paces the performance perfectly and illustrates many of the felicities of the composer's scoring of this attractive earlyish work.

Maria Gughelina is in excellent voice as Lady Macbeth, though I sympathize with the fact that she has to sing some difficult passages lying down. She also is lumbered with some dreadful frocks. Macbeth is well sung although there is some strain in the high notes.

The updated production is eccentric and tends to loose focus in the later acts. It does not however detract too much and the viewer gets a good idea of what Verdi is aiming at.

The sound and picture quality are very good. Warmly recommended with minor reservations.
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43 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Verdi's weirdest opera August 17, 2008
Format:DVD
For the record, I'm writing this review without having watched the actual DVD, which hasn't been released yet and which I don't plan to buy, I'm basing it solely on having seen the HDTV broadcast at a local cineplex several months ago. Under those circumstances, perhaps I have no right to write a review in the first place, and I'm sure some readers will write comments telling me this. So be it. I'm not reviewing the DVD, I'm reviewing the production and the opera, which are the same as what I saw in the theater. Even though I am a huge fan of Verdi, and the Met, and James Levine, I found this performance to be nonessential viewing.

I admit, Macbeth is far from being my favorite Verdi opera. The main reason, Verdi wrote this during his early period, while he was still adhering to many of the elements of bel canto style(at the same time reshaping them into his own unique sound, sure, but at this point he hadn't quite achieved a total transition). Well, bel canto, a rigidly structured, florid, and, let's face it, occasionally shallow style of music is a poor match for vintage Bard, particularly his darkest play. I'm convinced that if Verdi had waited a few more years and written an opera of Macbeth around the time of Luisa Miller, Stiffelio and Rigoletto, he would have given us a great opera. If he'd waited even longer and done it near the end of his middle period, or even in his late period, he might have produced his greatest masterpiece. There is evidence to support this. He actually did revive the opera around the time of La Forza del Destino, and it is the revised version that is generally performed nowadays.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth June 7, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Magnificent production. Thrilling in e very way. Great singing on the part of all. Lady Macbeth is especially outstanding in th eopening aria and the sleep walking scene
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling April 17, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Thrilling production, singing, acting. Highly recommended, especially for those who consider this a "lesser" Verdi opera. Fascinating performances by all leads.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but high quality December 21, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I do not really like modern settings for operas, but the cast and characters in this production are superb and the sound is wonderful.
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