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Penalla - El Gato Montes

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Dec 18, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Placido Domingo returns to his musical roots in a rare staging of Manuel Penella's El Gato Montes (The Wild Cat). Verónica Villarroel portrays the peasant girl, torn by her love for the dashing bandit, sung by Justino Díaz, and heroic matador Rafael, sung by Placido Domingo. Jealous love, misplaced honor and noble revenge all form part of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera's production of El Gato Montes. In a short introduction, Domingo reminisces about performing in, and growing to love, this opera with his parents and sister during his childhood. Recorded at the Los Angeles Music Center in 1994.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Placido Domingo, Veronica Villaroel
  • Directors: Miguel Roa
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2012
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009LEL118
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,642 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Askenase on May 5, 2013
I really love "ethnic operas", by which I mean works from a specific region, written in that language, using their folk idioms, and stories and characters. In this group I include Czech opera, Polish opera (Moniuzcko), Mussorgsky, Finnish opera (recent), and the Spanish zarzuelas. The local color, language, characters, and musical language of each of these really catch my attention.

This work by Manuel Penella is certainly a fine one. I have seen it called an opera, an operetta, and a zarzuela (a Spanish form of opera with spoken dialogue, much like the French opera comique). No matter. It doesn't matter what you call it, just enjoy the pleasure of the music.

This dvd is from a performance in Los Angeles made for PBS television, and it is very good. Placido Domingo (who apparently performed one of children's roles when he was about 8), is terrific as the matador "El Macareno" (NOT the dance) in love with Solea. She loves him back.

BUT into the mix enters "El Gato Montes" (the Wildcat) who has loved Solea from childhood and is in hiding after killing a man to avenge her honor. It appears she loves him equally, despite her apparent love for the matador. Thus, the challenge is thrown down between the men, but Solea stops the duel. Montes then avers that the matador will be killed in the bullfight arena, or by himself afterwards (and this has been foretold by a gypsy fortuneteller earlier in the opera. In Act 2, Macareno is killed by a bull. The final scene is of Solea's funeral as she has died of a broken heart, and Montes pronounces that he can't live without her and has his compatriot shoot him, with him dying at the foot of her funeral bier. (The last scene really surprised me, as I was expecting a battle between the men.
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Anthing he does is superb. The true sense of Spanish color and culture was in "Gato Montes" at all times. What a wonderful zarzuela! Please, MORE ZARZUELAS!
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