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Vinci: La Partenope (2013)

Sonia Prina , Maria Grazia Schiavo , Gustavo Tambascio , Marco Scalfi  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sonia Prina, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Maria Ercolano, Stefano Ferrari, Antonio Florio
  • Directors: Gustavo Tambascio, Marco Scalfi
  • Writers: Leonardo Vinci, Silvio Stampiglia
  • Producers: Auditorio V. Villegas Murcia
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: DYNAMIC
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 168 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AE48CJI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This world premiere on DVD features a superb performance presented by Antonio Florio and the cast of true Baroque Specialists such as Pino de Vittorio (en travesti). Some very comic Intermezzi has been added (as was customary in 18th century).

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Historically Informed" Staging March 5, 2013
Attention, all you who have ever fretted about "Regietheater" or ranted about "Eurotrash" in a production of an 18th C opera! This production is perhaps your dream come true, as aesthetically "authentic" in visual and theatrical values as any living audience could possibly tolerate. The costumes, it's true, are bizarre ... ludicrous in fact, with the male characters wearing ballooning skirts and feathered helmets ... but they are recognizably based on costume sketches from the archives of the French theater in the Ancien Regime. The stage machinery is patently hand-operated and the sets are charmingly pre-modern. The lighting ... well, that's blessedly electrical. The gestures, posture, facial expressions, etc. of the singers are all as stylized, affected, and ballet-like as the performers can make them, though some of the singers are plainly more consistent in maintaining their poses than others. Some of the rear-stage antics of the dancers are unlikely to have been compatible with a performance in Roma in 1724, or even in Venice in 1725, but those antics are scarcely noticed via DVD. There's good evidence that Baroque singers customarily posed stage-front and sang their arias to the audience almost as if in concert, and indeed many of the arias of this production are performed in exactly that manner. Productions of "opera seria" such as Partenope were often rendered more enjoyable for hoi polloi by the inclusion of "intermezzi" -- brief low-brow comic scenes -- before and between acts. The musical and comedic "contents" of the intermezzi that Leonardo Vinci tolerated in his serious productions of Partenope have survived in outline and are the basis of the drollery you'll see on this DVD. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musical Gem with Tongue-in-cheek Production March 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A musical gem with tongue-in-cheek production equals great fun. Even if the composer Leonard Vinci titled his opera a "Drama per Musica", Partenope is in fact an entertaining sophisticated light weight comedic experience. For the sake of history I must add that the title of the opera by Vinci when first presented at the Teatro S. Giovanni Grisostomo at carnival 1725 was "La Rosmira fedele". It was based on a Neopolitan score by Dominico Natale Sarro "Partenope" to which Vinci had contributed. (Partenope is the patron of Naples). Vinci had only a few weeks to come up with a new score for Venice so his Rosmira contains much material from Sarro; all recitatives and most orchestral work- all arias are by Vinci. The libretto by Stampiglia had been used by several composers.
The star of this presentation is the presentation. The sets are standard classic but the costumes, gestures, balletic movements and acting are all high comedy (parody?) and combined with excellent vocalization and orchestral playing by I Turchini di Antonio Florio gives us a great performance.
The composer Leonardo Vinci (1696-1730)was a brilliant comet that swept over the middle Italian operatic firmament of the early 1700s and died out too soon. His first operatic efforts started in 1719 and ended in 1730. In those eleven years he wrote and performed some 31 operas as listed in Grove's Dictionary of Opera. He became famous overnight for his new style of vocal writing he termed "dynamic periodicity" that became the standard of classic vocal style. His fame was so great that the older Handel rearranged and presented some of his works after his death and dedicated his own version of the Partenope story to him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MARVELOUS SURPRISE. March 20, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I did not know Leonardo Vinci's opus, but bought this DVD on a lark, because of his name. Was I in for a surprise! Superb production. In general, the male voices were not up to par, but the women, some of them playing trouser roles, were far suited to the florid Baroque music. Giuuseppe di Vittorio and Boria Quiza, as representatives of the Spanish Crown, stole the show, switching from flawless Spanish to equally flawless Italian. This is, after all, an opera written about the mythical founder of Naples, Partenope, at a time when the city was under Spanish rule. Baroque at its best. I am finding out that "obscure" Italian opera houses are far more adventuresome that their more well known counterparts!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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The key to appreciating this dvd is to handle it as a full theatrical experience rather than watching an opera. What do I mean by that? This entertaining performance is meant to be a full evening's show and not JUST the opera.

Taking us back in time to when this was performed (1720's), the show opens with a very funny "intermezzo" (see below), and two other intermezzos between Acts 1 and 2, and Acts 2 and 3. These were comic pieces, meant to contrast with the main opera seria work.

Here, the main opera "Partenope" is a fairly comic piece to begin with. Prior to the opera, Rosmira, betrothed of Arsace, was rejected by him as he now pursues (with others) Queen Partenope. So Rosmira, disguised as a male (this is opera remember) follows Arbace to Partenope's court where she makes life miserable for Arsace. (The original name for the libretto was "Rosmira Fidele"- Rosmira, the faithful one.)

The opera is, as I said, an unusually light opera seria. NOTE that Handel used this same libretto (with some changes, of course) in his terrific Handel: Partenope. There is no question for me that Handel's opera is far superior to Vinci's as a complete work.

HOWEVER, the arias in Vinci's opera are excellent, quite enjoyable, and previously unknown to me (and, I'm sure, everyone else, as Leonardo Vinci has virtually vanished as far as modern audiences are concerned.)

The staging is also quite comic, with odd dances, and movement of persons on the stage. The finale of the opera is NOT well handled, but I think this was the fault of the shortened libretto, and may be a little confusing. Nevertheless, it is a fun piece.
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