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Verdi - Stiffelio


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Frequently Bought Together

Verdi - Stiffelio + Verdi: Il Trovatore + Verdi - Rigoletto / Luciano Pavarotti, Ingvar Wixell, Edita Gruberova, Victoria Vergara, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Riccardo Chailly
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Product Details

  • Actors: Placido Domingo, Sharon Sweet, Vladimir Chernov, Paul Plishka, James Levine
  • Directors: Brian Large
  • Writers: Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Maria Piave
  • Producers: Giancarlo del Monaco, The Metropolitan Opera
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1), Italian (DTS 5.1), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGB3EE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Verdi - Stiffelio" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Placido Domingo, Sharon Sweet, Vladimir Chernov, and Paul Plishka star in this Metropolitan Opera production of the Verdi opera conducted by James Levine.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
The resultant music is gorgeous.
G. Miller
Also, this is one of the few Verdi operas where the tenor character is the most demanding role.
C. Boerger
All in all, a very classy addition to the collections of opera on DVD.
drkhimxz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By C. Boerger on July 16, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Stiffelio is a GREAT opera. Lost for close to a century, it has been slow in making its way into the standard repertoire, but productions such as this one should further its cause as well as its reputation. This is frankly one of the best opera productions I've ever seen. Every facet is top of the line, from the orchestra to the singers to the stage production to the video direction. Prepare to be overwhelmed. And, if you've never seen or heard Stiffelio before, prepare to welcome a new opera into the canon of Verdi masterpieces.

Stiffelio, about a Protestant minister who learns that his wife has cheated on him while he was away, has a story that is closer to verismo opera than most of the other operas of that time in that it deals with regular people rather than kings and queens, gods and goddesses. Like verismo, the emotion is often pushed to a level that is melodramatic, even larger than life. Yet even those moments have the core of truth to them, because Stiffelio's characters are never less, or more, than human, defined as they are by human weakness. This is a very powerful opera, Bergmanesque(as in Ingmar) in that it deals with the conflict between the spiritual life and the earthly one. This juxtaposition is never more beautifully realized than at the end of act two, where Stiffelio has just learned of his wife's indiscretion and is prepared to kill her but is stayed by the voices of the congregation emanating from the church, singing about forgiveness. I was overpowered, and I'm not even a religious person! Then again, neither was Verdi, yet the great humanist was able to put aside his anticlericalism and create an astonishing vision of a man finding redemption through faith. This has always been a Verdian specialty, scenes where private agonies clash with public responsibilities.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Erickson on May 11, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1993 production on DVD introduced me to the greatness that is Stiffelio, now numbered among my most favorite operas. Its tunes can be as irresistible as any but this is a piece of dramatic theater in the line of Otello.
And here we have that masterful Otello, Domingo, giving us a searing portrayal of Stiffelio. Devoted to his wife, he is soon torn by doubts, then faced with the undeniable reality of her adultery. Watching him try to cope with this unalterable fact is heartbreaking, frightening. Domingo perfectly embodies the disbelief, anguish and rage. Your typical Italian character would now feel quite justified in dispatching one or more people in revenge. But no! Stiffelio, the minister, must teach Stiffelio, the man, to find forgiveness in his heart (did Otello ever countenance such a thought!). A heart that, though wounded, still loves dearly. He learns a meekness that is most touching. These latter scenes touch rare emotional depths and it is almost unbearable to witness the broken couple's struggle through the aftermath. But in the end forgiveness does rise above the tragedy. An unusual, beautiful, powerful opera.

The production, sets and filming all serve the opera perfectly. This is one the most striking DVDs I have seen. The atmosphere is sober and traditional yet there is warmth and gaiety. Décor somewhat severe yet shot through with light. Regular and orderly but comfortable, even rich. Each set is simply stunning in its beauty and appropriateness.

This is a great performance, the sum rising to be even greater than its parts. Those parts themselves being great assets- Domingo, Levine, sets, everything just right... But Chernov as Stankar almost steals the show.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By drkhimxz on October 13, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have nothing to add to the extensive main review but wish only to join with the second in expressing my own novice's enthusiastic response to this production. Whether or not this is considered major or minor Verdi, the Met proved that it is an opera that can stir deeper emotions and speak to the complexities of human responses. As pointed out by the others, Domingo, Sweet and Chernov, in the lead roles, were simply outstanding both in song and action, the supporting cast did all that could be asked of them, Levine and the Met orchestra demonstrated the success of the conductor's effort to make it among the best in the world, the video production was excellent.
A word should be said with regard to scenic design in this day of minimalism: the traditional approach here, measurably enhanced the power of the production as, it should be mentioned, did the costuming.
All in all, a very classy addition to the collections of opera on DVD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Albert H. Kleppe on September 8, 2008
Format: DVD
I invited friends over to watch Stiffelio. It was a grand experience. The singing voices were wonderful and the staging was great. There wasn't a dry eye in the room when the opera ended. Very, Very moving and I would recommend this production to any opera lover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Miller on March 18, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not everyone likes Verdi, but he's not the great maestro of opera without reason. Verdi means melody. Verdi means knowing how to grip us with recognizable emotion. This production of "Stiffelio" is a case in point. The Met has given us a sumptuous feast for eye and ear. While the story may seem a bit disjointed, even far-fetched, (its first audience was puzzled by it and let it disappear from public gaze) there is a feast here for those who love opera. The cast is well chosen. I particularly enjoyed Sharon Sweet. I was not familiar with her and found her singing expressive and pleasing to the ear. Placido Domingo delivers with his usual panache, and Levine convinces you this is an opera oppurtunity of a lifetime. If there is any fault with the opera, it's the raggedness of the story. One is never quite sure if the adulterous wife has really strayed or simply been seduced against her will. What matter. There is ample reason for regret and remorse - where would opera be without guilt to propel its action? The resultant music is gorgeous. I did wonder if the huge sets in Act I and III weren't a bit over-blown. This is hardly the setting of a country parson. I couldn't help wondering how he manages to live in a castle and preach in a church as grand as London's St. Paul's. Ignore that. Instead let this opera treat you to beautiful music, fine settings, and Verdi drama. Each time I watch it I'm glad I found this forgotten treasure. I shall return to it again, and again.
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