Moreno Torroba: Luisa Fernanda - Teatro Real Madrid
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The singers and orchestra are all great. Purist may not like this rather minimalistic staging, but it was very handsome, all in black and white.
The DVD have subtitles in many languages including English and Spanish, and although since my young days I have known almost all the lyrics by heart (I have several recordings, LPs and CDs of it) in the second viewing I displayed the Spanish subtitles and had a great time singing along!
If you like zarzuela, you will enjoy this DVD.
But all these things don't matter; the music is simply GREAT. The "Mazurka de las Sombrillas" is one of the best things ever written and most of the arias could rival with the ones written by Puccini or Verdi.
I totally recommend this DVD and I really hope that in the future some other zarzuelas sang by people like these can be released on this format.
I just finished watching this DVD, and I confess, I am gushing. The odd thing is, I thought I would never like a minimalist set. I and many others are most often sorely disappointed by them. More than one reviewer of opera stagings has used terms like "felt shortchanged".
I am reminded of a play that I was to be in decades ago, and the doctor's wife was vying for the lead romantic, a young girl in the script, yet the doctor's wife was in her fifties. ( She, wisely, was not cast in the coveted romantic lead. ) These things happen because they have the money to support the "theatah". She also insisted that the set be minimalist. (Thankfully, she failed there as well. ) The word often heard in the same sentence with minimalist, is "daring". Yet there are a large number of opera lovers who feel it is just plain "producing on the cheap". It makes the performers feel more stiff and less real; adding to the failure of expensive performances on cheapskate, bare stages.
Yet here in this production, it works. I was surprised. What makes it work, I think, is that things happen. A square increases, or reduces in size, providing a daylight look, or a night-time, starry look, or bands of black and a band of white, or a band of golden light, or a sunny landscape all aglow with topaz light over a single lush , green tree.Read more ›
Also, there are extras on this DVD, including a synposis and interviews with the director, conductor and Placido Domingo. The interviews added to my appreciation of the zarzuela form, particularly this production of Luisa Fernanda. The director and Domingo both have close ties with this zarzuela, but Domingo's are especially poignant. His father sang the role of Vidal Hernando and his mother sang Luisa Fernanda over a thousand times! Domingo has conducted and played both Javier Moreno and Vidal Hernando. His parents toured with this production, visiting Mexico and eventually settling there. I did not see the interviews until after I watched the production, but they underscore Domingo's passionate portrayal.
All the principal players in this production were excellent. I've seen Jose Bros in other operas, but he was in great form for this production, playing Javier Moreno, the ambitious "good-for-nothing" to the hilt. Domingo was fabulous! Nancy Herrara as Luisa Fernanda captured her conflicted emotions beautifully. Mariola Canterero was provocative and playful as Duchess Carolina.
This production was great on all levels and I recommend it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The music and singing superb, as expected. However I missed the color in the clothing and traditional settings that I had seen in other versions of Luisa Fernanda.Published 14 months ago by Maria Angulo
My husband was Spaniard from Pamplona...further explanation of liking excellent performance?Published 19 months ago by Bruja
I absolutely adore this DVD! I grew up with zarzuela and, Luisa Fernanda is my favorite. Mr. Domingo chose wisely to have this great production in Madrid. Read morePublished 19 months ago by JOSE J GONZALEZ
I admit being biased. I grew up with this zarzuela in my head, since it was my mother's favorite. And I happen to think Plácido is the most consumate and accomplished... Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by Alfredo R. Villanueva
Louisa Fernanda is a classic in the zarzuela genre that infortunatelly has been called "genero chico" small genre. Read morePublished on March 14, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Even the artists are good the stage is poor. Those chairs in the stage during the whole presentation make me sick. The garments completely white are absolutely not attractivePublished on June 17, 2012 by Nazzareno
Great performance. Good video and sound quality. The background scenery sort of unconventional by leaving most of it to the viewer's imagination.Published on November 16, 2009 by Roberto A. Delmoral
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