Bellini: I Puritani (DVD)

Deutsche Grammophon
$39.99
Current Stock:
SKU:
734421
Artist:
Anna Netrebko, Eric Cutler, Franco Vassallo, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Patrick Summers

Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Although I Puritani was performed during the Metropolitan Opera's first season in 1883, it had not been seen there for decades until this production by Sandro Sequi was unveiled in 1976. It was one of the greatest triumphs for the partnership of Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti, and it is to the credit of all concerned in this recent revival that one soon forgets names from the past and enjoys what is a spirited attempt to evoke mid-19th-century style.

Although it is very much an opera for four singers – the original 'Puritani quartet' of Grisi, Rubini, Tamburini and Lablache entered into legend – this is essentially Anna Netrebko's evening.
In her tightly waisted costumes, her pale face framed by a dark wig, she succeeds in dominating the action both by her singing and by her physical presence, using sudden, jerky movements to suggest Elvira's unhinged state. At the climax of the mad scene in Act 2, she flings herself on the floor and, with her head hanging over the orchestra pit, launches the second verse of 'Vien, diletto'. She negotiates both 'Son vergin vezzosa' and 'Oh vieni al tempio' with brilliance in Act 1, and has more than enough stamina left in Act 3 to match Eric Cutler as Arturo in the vertiginous 'Vieni fra queste braccia'. If there is something missing from her singing it is the ability to invest Carlo Pepoli's verses with an edge of pathos beyond what is already there in Bellini's languid melodies.

Cutler makes a good cavalier hero, especially in the desperate plea of 'Credeasi, misera!'. As usual, the baritone and bass, Franco Vassallo and John Relyea, bring down the house with 'Suoni la tromba' at the end of Act 2. After more than 30 years, the sets and costumes by Ming Cho Lee and Peter J Hall look very handsome.
Whether you consider the production quaint or merely traditional, it is something of a relief not to have to battle with an elaborate political concept.
Patrick Summers conducts the Met forces always with consideration for the singers. The photography is excellent, and there are some intriguing glimpses of the singers backstage, including an interval feature in which Renée Fleming is the interviewer, chatting to Netrebko in her dressing-room.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2008

“…this is essentially Anna Netrebko's evening. In her tightly waisted costumes, her pale face framed by a dark wig, she succeeds in dominating the action both by her singing and by her physical presence, using sudden jerky movements to suggest Elvira's unhinged state. Patrick Summers conducts the Met forces always with consideration for the singers. The photography is excellent, and there are some intriguing glimpses of the singers backstage, including an interval feature in which Renée Fleming is the interviewer, chatting to Netrebko in her dressing-room.”

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Cast Listing:

Anna Netrebko (Elvira), Eric Cutler (Arturo), Franco Vassallo (Riccardo), John Relyea (Giorgio), Eduardo Valdes (Bruno), Valerian Ruminski (Gualtiero), Maria Zifchak (Enrichetta)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Patrick Summers

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