Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer roadies roadies roadies  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis UniOrlando Best Camping & Hiking Gear in Outdoors STEM
Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Din-din, bum-bum, cra-cra..." bling-bling!, December 30, 2007
This review is from: Rossini - L'Italiana in Algeri (DVD)
Rossini was only twenty-one years old when he composed "L'Italiana in Algeri," and this production captures all of his youthful exuberance. Marilyn Horne is a brilliant Isabella (a role she first sang in 1964), who livens up the ensembles with her own comic touches (`al dente!'). The only "L'Italiana" I like better is her 1984 Venetian performance, where she partners with Samuel Ramey as her Mustafa. A match made in coloratura heaven!

In this 1986 Metropolitan Opera version, Paolo Montarsolo is the overbearing Bey of Algiers. He sings it as a buffo role, and tends to mug and gesticulate his way through his solos (it's actually a rather difficult coloratura part if sung correctly). However, this bass comes through in the ensembles, most especially in the septet that fires off at the end of Act I. Jimmy Levine leads the orchestra, chorus, and principals in a scintillating, clockwork finale ("Din-din, bum-bum, cra-cra, tac-tac!") where Rossini takes us right to the edge of musical chaos. Fortunately, the conductor keeps his musicians in laser focus. If you were bouncing up and down in time with Jimmy throughout the lively overture, take a moment after this first act finale to pay homage to this remarkable musician.

According to Ms. Horne, in her autobiography, "The Song Continues," "...the reviews [for this production] weren't totally laudatory: for my singing, yes; for my acting, no. The `Times' said the production was `vulgar.'"

I think the `Times' was way too harsh. This Italian girl has lots of sass, bling and zip. Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's costumes and sets are gorgeous (if a bit well-travelled). Ms. Horne sings of love, patriotism, and the way to manage men, at the peak of her glorious form. I was so pleased that she sang Isabella's cavatina "Per lui chi adoro," with the cello obbligato. She doesn't just sing over the accompaniment, which she could easily do with her imposing voice. No, Ms. Horne's Isabella somehow makes love with the cello. I don't know how else to explain that beautiful sound.

The other singers were quite in spirit with this production, although I found Douglas Ahlstedt's tenor a bit dry. Allan Monk gave a finely-tuned performance in the very thankless role of Isabella's elderly suitor.

If you can only afford one DVD of Rossini's great comic opera, it has to be this one.

Some of this DVD's extras:

Interview with Marilyn Horne on Rossini

Ms. Horne sings:

"Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from "Samson & Deliliah"

Samira's scene from "The Ghosts of Versailles"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

ealovitt
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Gladwin, MI USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 108