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Donizetti: Anna Bolena

Elina Garanca    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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From the Contributor

Make no mistake, this is one of the top Opera performance and Music-overall DVD releases this year. As the amount of Anna Netrebko fans as well as the amount of attendees to her already sold-out performances as Anna Bolena at the NY MET, expect this DVD to be a hot-seller.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Momentous Opera Dec 12 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This opera was Donizetti's first success in 1830 after he had composed already thirty operas. It took the Vienna State Opera until April 2011 to premiere this opera in their house. The wait was worthwhile.

Three world-class stars dazzle the public with their artistry. Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena [Anne de Boleyn] plays the tragic second queen of Henry VIII. Her singing and acting give witness to her reputation. Unforgettable is the final scene -- her young daughter, the future Elizabeth I, arrives on stage -- when Anna, now very confused, dies before the execution.

The queen's rival Giovanna Seymour [Jane Seymour] is Elina Garanca. Her voice and acting are flawless; her stage presence is powerful.

Henry VIII is personified by Ildebrando d'Arcangelo who with his stentorian voice is giving the public a scheming, arrogant, and vicious king.

This trinity of singers with their superb voices and acting, give the performance an unprecedented top place in opera DVDs.

No money was spared on the period costumes for the main actors and the members of the chorus. The stage settings seemed to be the interiors of a windowless palace and the spacious prison cell in the Tower of London. All rooms have vertical doors that move up and slide down at ominous speeds. The stage director and set designer use just a few props: a straight-backed armchair, one divan-bed, one chair for a child. This bleakness and sparsity heighten the drama.

The supplied booklet provides the Synopsis and the sequence of acts and scenes of the opera, and a short essay about the opera's past and its present-day singers.

If you like this opera and are intrigued about Henry and his wives, you should also look at the Saint-Saens opera Henry VIII, also a fine production. In this opera Henry is getting rid of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and replaces her with Anne de Boleyn.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When cat meets dog Feb. 14 2012
By David M. Goldberg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The Canadian response to this DVD has been all over the place based on the 4 reviews published so far ---- from one star to five. However, it should be pointed out that 3 of these reviews are of the 2-disc DVD and NOT the 1-Disc Blu-Ray version to which this particular site is devoted. It is deceptive of Amazon to continue this deplorable practice despite numerous complaints over the years, and those 3 authors who do not withdraw their inappropriate reviews from this site ( they are already where they should be ----- on the regular DVD site) are simply willing accomplices in Amazon's deception. The only pseudo-valid entry is not a review at all, but two lines of literary applause that give no details of the product or the performance.
It has been pointed out that this is Donizetti's 30th of his 75 operas, written 14 years after his first, from which you might conclude that it is a work of great maturity, but in fact it came two years before his first opera to become established in the modern repertoire: L'Elisir d'Amore. Musically, it is well crafted, and provides some glorious opportunities for all of the principles to show what they can do, in dramatic ensembles of two-to-five as well as in vocally searing solo arias. The writing for the chorus and the orchestra is also quite masterly and never overwhelms the efforts of the main characters, at least in this performance superlatively conducted by Evelino Pido. The plot has been harshly dismissed by one reviewer who challenges its historical veracity. The job of opera is the realm of music, not history. I know enough of this period, thanks to Simon Shama's 'History of Britain', to be able to say that any departure from the real truth is inconsequential.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Opera Dec 2 2011
By Nicole K. TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is not intended to be a historical reenactment. It's intended to be a gorgeous opera inspired by historical events. And it is! People love the Tudors and not historicaly accurate either, not be a long shot. It's entertainment! Many operas require some leaps of the imagination. This is a beautiful production starring talents singers.
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