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Showing 1-10 of 51 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 63 reviews
on April 7, 2010
I almost didn't purchase this based on some of the negative, nit-picking reviews I've seen here at Amazon. I own many other Lucias including Anna Moffo, Sutherland, Bonfadelli, Devia, Rancatore and Ciofi. Some of these are very good. But Netrebko's performance is something else again. She is indeed a Lucia for the ages. She has youth, vivacity, presence, sparkle, charisma, visually and aurally that delights the senses. This is full blown MET spectacular. Scenery, costumes, direction, sound, everything comes together in a gorgeous, iconic production. Don't let the nit-pickers dissuade you from owning and delighting in this gem!
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on September 26, 2010
I've seen dozens of Lucias starting in the 40's with Lily Pons (still one of the most exciting) but the opera Lucia became tugid and dull; only a vehicle for a soprano that had (or thought she had) a coloratura voice. Good ones Moffo, Callas, Sills etc. and bad ones Ricciarelli, Scotto and many others who continued to sing long after their voice had gone. In most performances the other cast members were mere automatons that parked and bellowed with an arm extended. The present performance was superior to all others I've seen because it was a total theatrical experience. All the cast was involved in the drama and drama it was. This was due to the genius of Mary Zimmerman. Her concept initially turned me off when I first read about it. But when I saw it was revelation. The cast sang and acted! The tenor Piotr Beczala as Edgardo, M.Kwiecin as Enrico (what an evil!), and the Raimondo of I. Abdrazakov were all stellar in their roles. In most past performances who remembers anyone but the soprano. In this one we remember them all. No, Netrebko is not a full bel canto but she is a great actress and a fantastic singer. It was a great evening. And yes I loved the Victorian ghost story.
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on May 7, 2011
This opera is going to lie close to my heart, not least because of its story brought to life by an excellent cast and principal characters. There's much that impressed and little that didn't. Transferring the storyline from early eighteenth century to the Victorian period was in my very humble opinion, a believable move.

The setting of gloom - bare trees in a darkened landscape set the tone for the pending tragedy that would unfold. There's always drama behind the drama, so I feel I should mention here that Piottr Beczala stepped in for an "ailing" Villazon. I have never heard Villiazon, so I had no frame of reference, except to note that I hear Beczala in other operas. To step in at short notice and produce what would be a standout performance is what professionalism is about. Beczala steals the show for me.

Netrebko has a beautiful clear lilt which I liked and her "mad scene" about which so much has already been written, quite powerful. While some here may have reservations about her almost playfulness in Act 1 in the light of her mother's recent demise, her love for Edgardo places her in a situation where's she displays conflict - the vacillation between joy and sadness is palpable. The descent into madness must be gradual and the scene between Lucia and Enrico solidifies this aspect.

I must once again say that Piotr Beczala with this performance entrenched his position as one of the finest lyrical tenors today. His aria "Fra poco a me ricovero" was delivered with such powerful passion, the enthusiastic applause at the end of it was very well deserved.

Now I feel justified in having purchased this DVD.

Viva Beczala!
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on May 30, 2015
This had the potentional to be a first-rate Lucia. I thought I would be disappointed in the stand-in tenor. He, in fact, was fine, with a first-rate instrument and top notch high notes. If he were just a little prettier, he could be a big star. Maybe he will be anyway. Netrebko, on the other hand, was somewhat hoarse that night, and her coloratura work was a bit slow, though her high notes were excellent. What really ruined this production were all the ridiculous, needless changes. It takes place in the wrong century--at least a hundred years later than it should. This made all the costumes wrong. Even worse, rather than having everyone freeze at Edgardo's entrance to the wedding party, there was a photographer taking pictures with the protagonists sitting down! It made what should have been a glorious sextet very distracting. Then this absurd added bit of a ghost in the first act, and then bringing Lucia herself back as a ghost in the last scene--what in the world were they thinking? They had Lucia getting married in a RED dress, but then added a white one later, and she kills Edgardo in a white wedding dress rather than a nightgown. There were no Scottish emblems or plaids or anything else to show that they were Scottish to be found. They had both Lucia and Edgardo singing their high notes flat on their backs or sitting down. Don't they know anything about the dynamics involved in vocal technique? I wish I had taken more seriously all the negative reviews. If only Sutherland had been in better voice on the night of her 1982 Met production.... I still think it was better than this one.
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on November 23, 2009
The two Met's DVDs, 2009 by Netrebko and 1982 by Sutherland, are played back to back. Bel Canto or not, Netrebko's voice is passionate and highly credible. Her acting comes across fabulous on DVDs. Her facial expressions are well synchronized with her beautiful singing. Her Mad Scene is outstanding. In my memory, it is the best Mad Scene since another Anna half a century ago. That was Moffo. Beczala, while already an international star, could be a household name before long. I prefer Villazon and his robust voice. The Netrebko-Villazon chemistry is hard to match. Zimmerman does a superb job on the background scenaries (simple photos in Scotland), but the photographer and the injection can be done without. A strong plus is having Dessay serving as hostess. She is wonderful. I wish she sings couple short notes.

Sutherland is vocally calculating as an old pro. Lucia is more about passion and less about a canary singing contest. She is not cut out for DVDs. Her facial expression, if any, does not convey her emotions.... unlike Netrebko. Krauss is superb, as always. This is a three star DVD.
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on September 9, 2010
Lucia di Lammermoor transposed to the Victorian age, with a fully fledged verismo Russian soprano and somewhat unknown central Europe tenor and baritone? Yes, and it works!

I see no use in comparing Netrebko with belcanto specialists (on studio audio only recordings): this is on stage, on the fly, and she is beautiful, big voiced and a magnificent artist, she brings a true Lucia, perhaps without the fioritura found elsewhere, but always musical and tasty. And her Italian diction, questioned by other reviewer, is nearly perfect. She's the star of the show. Brava, Anniuska!

And, IMHO this opera is not only the soprano role: the male section is also important, and it's well served here. I'm a fan of Lord Enrico Ashton (sure Verdi was a big fan of him too), and young baritone Mariusz Kwiecien is a terrific one. Good voice, right mean attitude, perhaps a little too much spice, but powerful and believable. Also very good is young bass Abdrazakov (Raimondo), who sings not in the usual "peace everybody" way, but shows plenty of blood in his veins. Tenor Beczala is fit, musical, elegant and well behaved on stage, but he's a little short of the Italian fire the role needs. Edgardo is a desperate romantic hero (that's why Di Stefano, not a belcantist, was so good at it), and Beczala lacks that crazy determination. He's no match for Enrico, I can tell you.

Production and stage direction are new but not annoying. Perhaps the infamous photographer will spoil the sextet in Act II to some traditionalists, but to me is OK (and the guy is indeed a pro in his job). We can call it a septet from now on ;-)

This 2009 2-DVD set is technically flawless, 16:9 screen, very good sound 5.1 and DTS, subtitles in Italian, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. I can recommend it.
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on February 13, 2015
Netrebko's voice needs no critique. She's just wonderful as Mimi in the Boheme movie, but I think that most would agree that the roll really doesn't require any unusual acting ability, nor, for that matter, does it require any coloratura acrobatics. So I was surprised about her superb acting ability as Lucia, though I shouldn't have been. If Dame Sutherland, whose reputation was centered on her "Mad Scene", was still around, she'd have to move over...quickly.
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on April 11, 2014
This was a wonderful production from the MET. What I liked about this was the subtitles and acting really brought out the story. I prefer Sutherland performance and the period it was placed than this newer production. The technical production of this newer version is better than the older MET production. Netrebko gave a fantastic performance. She seems to have better diction than Sutherland, but Sutherland's mad scene is superior.
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on January 29, 2017
Excellent Lucia. Both Netrebko. and Beczala are at their best. Netrebko has a great mad scene. This is the best that I have heard her sing. Then Beczala finishes up with amazing singing. This is a must have DVD.
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on December 20, 2009
When this performance was released on DVD I was ecstatic and I couldn't wait to own it. I totally enjoyed it in the theater last year and on public television. I've already watched the dvd several times and I still enjoy every minute of it. I've read the other reviews here and I'm not sure why they sometimes so harsh. I suppose it is natural to compare performances but is it really fair? Maria Callas, Katia Ricciarelli and Joan Sutherland all sang more than 20 years ago. I have never heard any of them as Lucia. Anna Netrebko is a 21st century singer and a very good one. Here she is an excellent Lucia.

I'm not a musician or performer so I don't criticze Netrebko's pitch or lack of trills as one reviewer did. It all sounds fine to me. She sings much better than I ever will. I do agree that her words often seem garbled and she could probably use some lessons in diction but since I don't understand Italian it doesn't really matter. Thank heaven for subtitles! Overall Anna Neterbko can sing well and act and look fantastic. What more do you need in a leading lady?

When I heard that Rolando Villazon was not singing I was very disappionted. I love his voice and I was looking forward to hearing him. I had never heard of Piotr Beczala and was ready to dislike him. How unfair is that? He was amazing! Within a few lines after Edgardo's entrance in act 1, he won me over. I enjoyed every note he sang. Plus, he's a trim, young, good looking romantic lead. In opera that's a bonus; too many singers are overweight and older. I will now follow Piotr's career and, maybe, get to see him live someday if he ever comes to Minnesota. He and Anna sang well together and looked fantastic even in HD.

There has been a lot of criticism written in Amazon's reviews about Mary Zimmerman's production. I think it is fine. I like the ghosts; they make sense and do appear in the book. Updating the story to Victorian times works also. I have no problem with the addition of a photographer at the wedding. It also makes sense although I admit it did break the tension surrounding Edgardo's arrival at the wedding. The photograher is a quirk that works for me. He does not distract me from the story nor does he take away from the sextet. I also like the sets very much. The outdoor set in Act 1 looks like a desolate highland place where you would expect to see a ghost. The slightly rundown home of Act 2 is effective. I totally love the staicase in the mad scene and the cemetary at the end. Seeing Lucia as ghost interacting with Edgardo was a good touch.

Overall this was an excellent show. I have spent several evenings enjoying this production and I look forward to many more. Buy the dvd then get out the popcorn and some Kleenex while you watch it.
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