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Norma

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Jan 29, 2008)
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2
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Editorial Reviews

Starring Dimitra Theodossiou, Daniela Barcellona & Carlo Ventre. From the Macerata Festival, Italy, 2007. 2 DVDs. (165 min)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dimitra Theodossiou, Daniela Barcellona, Carlo Ventre, Simon Orfila, Roberta Minnucci
  • Directors: Massimo Gasparon, Paolo Arrivabeni
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, Import, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Dynamic Italy
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011Z5NHS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,639 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Norma has not fared well on dvd. The Sutherland video with the Australian Opera has a great performance from Sutherland, but a second rate supporting cast and dreadful staging, sets, and costumes. And the sound fades in and out. The Caballe video live from the Orange Festival has terrible staging and hurricane winds blowing the costumes in everyone's faces, which is quite distracting. The sound is also not very good. Caballe sings beautifully, but her acting is atrocious. The June Anderson Norma is wonderful. She sings beautifully and with great vocal power. And her acting is excellent. The staging, the sets, and the costumes are adequate. And the sound is good.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
[This review is NOT of the Dessi DVD on Hardy. Amazon has mixed-up their product page details and reviews. You might try notifying them as I have. Together we might reach a critical mass and get them to fix the problem.]

Whether or not librettist Felice Romani had Medea in the back of his mind when he wrote Norma for Vincenzo Bellini in 1831, it is obvious that there are certain similarities in plot and mood. That inevitable comparison is heightened with this outdoor production in the huge amphitheater that is Sferisterio in Macerata Italy. Filmed in gorgeous high definition, with a minimalist set that is discretely decorated with Celtic symbols as well as Buddhist, pre-Columbian, Roman and even African signs, the mood is ancient, mythic, even Jungian. The feeling of attending a Greek tragedy as an outdoor religious observance is palpable. This is opera as ancient festival and it heightens the experience greatly. There is no denying the impact this dvd makes just with its visual elements.

The performances are slower, more monumental in scope than in an indoor opera house. Perhaps the visual distances involved make this necessary. But it has the ancillary effect of heightening the outdoor ritual aspects of the performance. We might be in a Celtic grove amongst sacred trees, stealthily watching a Druidic ceremony. This Norma looks and feels big and luckily we have two hefty voices to fill the void. Dimitra Theodossiou as Norma has a large voice that manages to fill this vast theatrical space. Daniela Barcellona as Adalgisa has another big voice. Both are well equipped to sing these two problematic roles. Norma's difficulties are well known: Beverly Sills once recommended that the singer of the part wear comfortable shoes. And Norma nearly destroyed Renata Scotto's voice.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The opera performance is wonderful, but BE FOREWARNED: the Amazon Instant Video version does not come with supertitles or subtitles of any kind. That makes it hard to enjoy the performance fully if you don't understand 19th century operatic Italian. There needs to be a way to enjoy opera online out of season. But this is not it.
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