Gioachino Rossini: Moïse et Pharaon
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Arthaus Musik has released a DVD of one of Rossini's lesser known but most spectacular operas, "MoÃ¯se et Pharaon." The La Scala Orchestra and a cast of thousands (or so) led by Riccardo Muti tell the familiar biblical story of Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt. The production, directed by Luca Ronconi, is traditional to the core, with sumptuous scenic design and elaborate costumes
Those who know Rossini only from his fizzy comic operas like "The Barber of Seville" or "La Cenerentola" will be blown away by this dramatic work. He could really write a historical spectacle. With fabulous sets, huge ensembles, a silly side love story, orgiastic dance sequences and cinematic sweep, this is Rossini gone Hollywood.
But all the spectacle in the world can't save a bad opera. Luckily, Rossini's music lives up to the grandeur of the production. Touching duets, tuneful dance numbers and rousing choruses will keep even the most casual opera fan engaged until that Red Sea parts. -Patrick Neas -- KansasCity.com - June 30, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
Nonetheless, this is not necessarily Rossinian music from the topmost drawer, however effective it may be in the theatre. I suspect that most people buying this DVD will watch it once and then rarely again. (I could, of course, be entirely wrong about this. And, that being said, I think the music in 'Moï'se' is actually a bit stronger than in 'Mos'è') Certainly, the performance is world-class.
The sonorous Russian basso, Ildar Abdrazakov, is commanding in his portrayal of Moses. The rising young Uruguayan basso, Erwin Schrott, is equally so as the Pharaoh. Barbara Frittoli makes a delectable Ana' and sings her lyrical best.Read more ›
The singers generally sing very well; there is simply not a single weak link in the cast. and the conducting is beautifully controlled by Muti.
In the title role, Abdrazakov is a capable Moses, if not truly outstanding (there is hardly any 'outstanding' aria for this character); while Ganassi is a very regal Egyptian queen and Schrott, though a tad too young, is also a competent Pharoah.
I would not fault Frittoli's Anais. The role is a bit too 'young' for her, though she sings exceedingly well.
The one really to steal the show is the then young (not yet 30) tenor Giuseppe Filianoti as the Egyptian prince.
Filianoti gives a vocally outstanding and dramatically alert performance, that really explain why today he has become one of the best tenors of his generation.
I was familiar with most of the cast from other performances, the only singer that I didn’t know was Giuseppe Filianote who played Amenophis ,I was very impressed with his powerful voice.
The music and singing were very beautiful, the duets, ensembles and chorus were wonderful. When I heard the last chorus: “Descleuux ou tu resides” I realized that I knew it and enjoyed it very much.
The ballet in Act III with Luciana Savignano (Isis), Roberto Bolle(Moise) and Desmond Richardson(Pharaon) was outstanding. Luciana showed a lot of plasticity and the other two dancers were at the same level as her.
The scenery was very good. The last scene: showing Moise and his people fleeing Egypt crossing the Red Sea followed by the Egyptians drowning in the sea was very well done.
I liked this opera and found the quality of the dvd outstanding.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
He who says Rossini, need not say anything more. Not the Barber of Seville, but sui generis great Rossini.Published 12 months ago by Dr.G.
Great music. The orchestra, Ricardo Mutti, singers and ballet are excepcionally goods. Wanderful spectacle. Rossini is Now rediscovered and that is good news.Published on November 13, 2013 by oscar reyes retana m
This was a bit ponderous, and I found I had to listen to it several times and read the libretto to really appreciate it. Definitely not easy listening.Published on April 8, 2012 by Carla Paulini
The prior reviewers have covered many aspects of this work and DVD. It is well worth watching as it has many strong points. Read morePublished on April 1, 2012 by David Smith
This is a vey interesting take on a seldom performed opera.
The singing is universally superb --- especially Filanote and Frittoli. Read more
I knew only Semiramide and Rossini comic operas,which I rated as preferable,as did Beethoven. I did not fetch more a Moses. Read morePublished on October 28, 2008 by Flavio Jose Morsch
Rossini reworked his Italian "Mose in Egitto" of 1818 into the French Grand Opera "Moise et Pharaon" in 1827 and produced a Grand operatic spectacle. Read morePublished on April 5, 2008 by Dr. John W. Rippon
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