Donizetti - L'Elisir d'Amore / Eschwe, Netrebko, Villazon, Wiener Staatsoper
DVD + DVD Audio
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Rolando Villazon, Anna Netrebko, and Leo Nucci star in this 2005 Vienna State Opera production directed by Otto Schenk, with Alfred Eschwe conducting.
Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore is one of the staples of the comic opera repertory. The plot hinges on whether earnest but dim-witted Nemorino will snag Adina, the flirtatious heroine. She's a tease who takes up with Belcore, an army sergeant, to make Nemorino jealous. After numerous (and humorous) plot twists that include a phony love potion, it all ends happily. Adina and Nemorino declare their love for each other, Belcore is dumped, and the fraudulent Dulcamara does a landslide business in love potions. It's all a fast-moving bundle of fun, especially with the star-filled cast of this 2005 Vienna State Opera performance.
The leads are magnificent. Rolando Villazón as Nemorino exhibits a real gift for comic acting, manipulating his rubber face into dozens of hilarious poses, flawlessly turning stock comic gestures into laugh-out-loud moments, and even juggling apples with the panache of a circus performer. More important, he uses his lyric tenor to sing the part with impressive subtlety, suggesting Nemorino's desperation while singing of his love for Adina. His big show-stopper, "Una furtuva lagrima," features melting pianissimos and a breathtaking decrescendo in its final phrase. It literally stops the show, the audience forcing a welcome encore. Netrebko's Adina is every bit as good, with deft acting and a lovely lyric soprano voice that makes you understand why she's the only girl for Nemorino. Dulcamara is Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, whose ample bass joins a stage presence that puts him at the center of his scenes. His famous duet, "Venti scudi," with Villazón, is the highlight it should be. Veteran baritone Leo Nucci is Sergeant Belcore and while his singing tends to the dry and effortful, he's convincingly sleazy, adding to the laughs. Smaller parts and the chorus are fine and conductor Alfred Eschwé efficiently keeps the music bubbling along.
Otto Schenk's production, with sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose, dates from 1980 but still looks fresh with a village square dominating the picture-postcard view of a provincial Italian village. The costumes are realistic, with predominantly pastel colors for the villagers, bright colors for Belcore and his soldiers, and relatively nondescript outfits for the others, though Netrebko can't help exuding glamour no matter what she wears. The video direction smoothly focuses on singers and the stage action, but the sound recording is overly resonant, with inconsistent dynamics and the chorus' words obscured. Still, this is the preferred L'Elisir d'Amore. --Dan Davis
- Cast gallery
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Netrebko is dazzling. She is a delight and sings this role beautifully. We're lucky to have this on DVD. The pairing of Villazon and Netrebko is perfect. She is beautiful, he is the perfect thwarted admirer. Villazon comes through with a few surprises too. The cast looks like they are having fun performing the entire opera.
Having Leo Nucci in this opera is a huge bonus. I love the man. He brings so much to every role and this is no exception.
Worth all 5 stars available.
This is a traditionally staged and traditionally costumed rendition.
Villazón’s and Netrebko’s outstanding performances only added to the quality of the presentation. Each sang and acted excellently and, as usual, their chemistry is almost magical.
This is a L’Elisir d’Amore to keep.
And Anna. She was so exceptionally lovely the year this was made. She has such a gorgeous type of voice, a heavier lyric voice that never sounds too cloying or sweet. She's perfect as the cheerfully cruel Adina.
Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is fantastic. Such a great voice, and so amusing in this role. I'm used to seeing him as Don Giovanni, and this was a treat.
Of course, Leo Nucci never disappoints, even at his advanced age.
This opera is one of my favorites, because it's light and happy, and sometimes I want them to end happily ever after, instead of with death and sadness!
I've watched it several times since purchasing, and am so glad I bought it.
Most recent customer reviews
wishes,an ingenious...Read more