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  • Verdi - I Vespri Siciliani / Merritt, Studer, Furlanetto, Zancanaro, Musinu, Banditelli, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera
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Verdi - I Vespri Siciliani / Merritt, Studer, Furlanetto, Zancanaro, Musinu, Banditelli, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera

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Verdi - I Vespri Siciliani / Merritt, Studer, Furlanetto, Zancanaro, Musinu, Banditelli, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera + Verdi - Attila / Ramey, Studer, Zancanaro, Kaludov, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera + Verdi - Giovanna d'Arco / Susan Dunn, Vincenzo La Scola, Renato Bruson, Pietro Spagnoli, Riccardo Chailly, Bologna Opera
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Editorial Reviews

Verdi’s 1855 Paris opera which followed Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata is treated to a performance of blazing energy and intimate refinement with a superb cast which includes Cheryl Studer and Chris Merritt. The rarely-seen third act ballet is included complete, with the internationally-acclaimed dancers Carla Fracci and Wayne Eagling. This is the eighth release in the La Scala Collection. The DVD includes a wonderful 28 page booklet with the full libretto. Picture Format: 4:3 • Subtitles: GB • Sound Format: Dolby Stereo


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Cheryl Studer, Chris Merritt, Giorgio Zancanaro, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Muti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 211 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00030EQXY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,043 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Comer on December 19, 2004
Verified Purchase
I've been living in Asia for many years and I somehow missed hearing of Cheryl Studer. A few years back a friend played a cut from this DVD for me- Studer's singing of "Merce, diletti amiche," and I was hooked. What incredible singing- the voice radiant, the coloratura nearly flawless, the diction clear and clean.(Compare her singing with the very strange sounds that Martina Arroyo made in this aria in the 1974 recording with Levine). Studer's singing throughout just makes you glad to be alive.

Muti's conducting is also another reason to treasure this disc.The music is so beautiful and he approaches the score with delicacy and energy at the same time.The ballet is wonderful evidence of how fine his conducting is. Some have complained that this dance episode is too long but I can't hear it often enough.

For me Chris Merritt is the one fly in the ointment. I find his singing dry and colorless; but, at the same time, you sense that he is giving his all for Muti and this gorgeous music.(Domingo for Levine, in his early prime, is golden voiced). The rest of the cast and the staging are very fine.

I'm not a judge of sound but the transfer sounds great to me (better than the EMI disc). And it is very reasonably priced. Not to be missed, especially by Verdi lovers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By birdwalker on April 2, 2012
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I first saw this DVD years ago at the home of a friend. As I wasn't impressed with it then, I can't imagine why I bought it now. Perhaps because Studer is one of the few sopranos who can make it through the difficult bits, perhaps because I saw the names Eagling and Fracci in the ballet credits and my friend had fast-forwarded through the ballet. Oh, well, it hasn't been a total disappointment -- but anyone who saw the Glyndebourne Giulio Cesare as his/her introduction to opera will be traumatized by the "stand and deliver" acting in this production.

La Scala productions in DVD are never my first choice. I'll buy them in CD, of course, but visually they are usually disappointing, even the 21st century ones. In this production, just about every everyone has his/her eyes glued to the conductor (Muti). This is especially true of the chorus: if you've seen the old b&w Tebaldi/Corelli Forza, and remember the chorus of monks in the oath scene, you'll get the idea: it's embarrassing. In the third act ball scene for example, the Vespri chorus members, singing about the glorious, joyful festivities, are all lined up in a bunch, facing forward, expressionless. When done with that part, they turn as one and exit. Even watching the conductor, their phenomenally difficult unaccompanied bits are ragged; (perhaps they're supposed to be -- I've never heard them any other way...)

Neither Studer nor Merritt look the part of young adults -- I think Arrigo is supposed to be a teen-ager as per libretto. Merritt must have been chosen for the part because he has the D above staff in Act V. Imagine, choosing a tenor for one note.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on September 23, 2011
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This old (1990) and thoroughly old-fashioned production truly is Verdi as Verdi should be done. The orchestra in black, elegant Riccardo Muti in white tie and satin lapels, traditional sets, almost no milling around on stage by the chorus, no hint of nudity, no singers lying on the floor or leaning into the walls for their arias, huge voices and gorgeous costumes ... Or perhaps it should be gorgeous voices and huge costumes, to accommodate the lovers Arrigo and Elena ... singers standing stage front, feet planted foursquare, arms extended to expand the rib cage, projecting gorgeously even to the cheap seats in 'paradise'!

"Squillo" is a technical opera term for the 'ringing' quality of the trained voice that allow it to project over thick orchestration. You'll hear astounding squillo from all three principal male singers in this production, most thrillingly from tenor Chris Merritt (Arrigo) in the later acts. That clarion quality is less obvious in the voices of baritones and basses, but both Giorgio Zancanaro (the French Governor, Guy de Montfort) and Ferruccio Furlanetto (the rebel leader Giovanni Procida) offer conservatory-perfect demonstrations of how squillo is different from mere volume. Both of them make even their most piano asides pierce through the orchestral textures. Furlanetto is unsurpassable in his dark role as the relentless patriot. Cheryl Struder (the Duchess Elena) sings with consummate taste and lovely timbre, but she's out-matched by the three males at times, and that's the only musical weakness in this resoundingly musical production.

I Vespri Siciliani was composed first with a French libretto and staged in Paris in 1855.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maggie McQuigg on June 30, 2007
My goal in viewing/listening to opera is to keep in touch with Italian language and get in touch with Italian opera culture in preparation for an upcoming trip. Someone with rudimentary Italian (io) could easily understand (without subtitles, but following the libretto and referring to the synopsis) this production of "I Vespri Siciliani" because it had communicative staging and costuming, decent (Furlanetto) to superior (Zancanoro) acting, and numerous closeups of the interactions of the main characters. One example of make-it-accessible stagecraft: The costumes of the male Sicilian chorus were probably historically inaccurate but expressive of place and station, showing the locals in clear contrast to the occupying French. I fast-forwarded through the (overly-long, not very interesting) ballet in Act III but was otherwise fully engaged throughout. Like other La Scala productions I've seen that were filmed by RAI TV, a first-rate theatrical performance made into a top-class home viewing experience.
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Verdi - I Vespri Siciliani / Merritt, Studer, Furlanetto, Zancanaro, Musinu, Banditelli, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera
This item: Verdi - I Vespri Siciliani / Merritt, Studer, Furlanetto, Zancanaro, Musinu, Banditelli, Gavazzi, Muti, La Scala Opera
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