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Puccini - La Rondine / Bellezza, Carteri, Rovero, Gismondo

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Mar 27, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

HCD 4026 Rosanna Carteri, Giuseppe Valdengo, Giuseppe Gismondo, Ornella Rovero. Orchestra & Chorus of the Theater of San Carlo Naples, Vincenzo Bellezza conductor. Subtitles in English, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese. Live performance 1958, B&W, 107 min., All regions.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Rosanna Carteri, Giuseppe Gismondo, Giuseppe Valdengo, Ornella Rovero, Vincenzo Bellezza
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Hardy Classic
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O78KYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. Bernard on May 17, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of this opera. I was lucky enough to be introduced to it by a first rate cast from NYCO back in 1985 with a fantastic conductor (Alessandro Siciliani) and fell in love with it immediately (being a singer myself, I even indulged my young self by buying the $75 score!)

A bit of an overview if you don't know much about this opera:

(Spoilers Ahead!!!!!)

It is the story of a Parisian courtesan (Magda) who tries to give true love a 2nd chance (I know this sounds a bit like Traviata but I think this story is a bit more contemporary) and falls in love with a young student (Ruggero) only to come to the decision herself that even though she can be his lover, she cannot be the wife and mother that he and his family expect. Even though no one dies (as happens so often in opera) it is nonetheless a very touching story that has a tragedy of everyday life we can all relate to: the choices we make, dictate the life we lead.

I have heard many recordings (Gheorghiu, Moffo, TeKanawa and the above mentioned telecast with Elizabeth Knighton) and find that usually the weakest link is the conductor. Not so in this video. The conducting is ably handled by Vincenzo Belleza. His tempos allow the lead, Rosanna Carteri to make something special of her Magda - and ultimately this opera doesn't work if you don't sympathize with her character. Magda's character is easy to relate to because the underlying thing is that she is seeking happiness and love- just like the rest of us.

THE GOOD: I found out about Rosanna Carteri from another Hardy Classic DVD of Otello with Mario del Monaco. While her singing in the Otello was lovely and her visage equally enchanting- in this production of La Rondine you can see what a fine singing actress she is.
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I love this opera, and this DVD is charming, if somewhat dated. But it was filmed, live, over 50 years ago, and so it's much like other films from that era. The recorded-live bloopers (bicycle tips over, wine glass crashes to the floor) only add to the charm. And the costumes are perfect (especially the swallow hat).
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I bought this DVD because it is the only one available for this opera and I was considering going to see it at the Met this year. As noted by earlier reviewers the picture is iffy -- faded black and white, but the sound is wonderful. It is remastered with both dolby 5.1 and DTS available on the disk. I watched this DVD twice it was so enchanting. They call it a problem opera but frankly it is so lovely it should be performed more often.
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Yes it's black and white but I grew up with b&w TV's so this doesn't bother me. It is played and sung beautifully. Carteri was always underrated and sings as well as any Magda who sang the role. Gismondo was another lyric tenor in the shadow of Corelli and others, who never really achieved major status but he sings very well. I would listen to him any day over a lot of high-larynxed squakers. Bellezza does a marvelous job and there is a lot of old fashioned portamento in the strings. Pity that was abandoned in favor of a lifeless string sound from the orchestra we mostly hear now.
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Fine product. Arrived quickly.
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