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Falstaff [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, German
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • Release Date: July 26 2011
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B0054QZ8K2
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b939b88) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b79ff0c) out of 5 stars A refreshing and enjoyable alternative view of Falstaff and delivered well Nov. 8 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Thanks to the reader who has informed me of the double listing of this review - one correct and one incorrect. This is, unfortunately, quite a common experience where reviews share similar titles (Falstaff) and is beyond the control of reviewers who only upload reviews under the one correct heading.
Please be patient and understanding and not blame the reviewer! Just scroll to the reviews that interest you and just ignore this if it is in the wrong place.
Thanks, Ian Giles

Review of Falstaff with Willard White at the Aix-en-Provence festival now follows:

This performance from 2002 and made at the Aix-en Provence Festival offers an engaging alternative view of Verdi's Falstaff. The cast are fully up to the task in hand and the Orchestra de Paris is one of the audio delights to fully savour on the recording being a much better orchestra than many orchestras to be found in many reputable theatres.

The production is essentially minimalist and consists of a polished wooden floor and slatted walls that enable the members of the cast to enter and exit rapidly. This keeps the element of surprise alive but more particularly greatly aids the fast forward flow of the production. Essentially this production centres the drama on the characters and their interaction rather than allowing any form of distraction to occur via staging. In these respects the production is a success.

The central figure of Falstaff is portrayed by Willard White who brings a considerable degree of dignity to the role. There is a touch of the worldly wise about this interpretation. Elements of farce are downplayed, not least because White could never be described as fat, let alone obese. He is able to move easily and with an authority that opens the way for his reversal of fortunes relative to Ford at the conclusion of the opera. This makes for a satisfying alternative conclusion where he is believably able to lead the cast for the final cast `chorus'.

The musical values of the production are all high with all members of the cast delivering a combination of fine singing and acting. This combination is vital in such an opera as this which is essentially a group effort where dramatic and lively interaction is crucially important. There must also be a strong sense of fun and in this performance it is clear that everyone has had a good time. The cast are all experienced or have developed their careers significantly since. Very briefly the additional male members of the cast are Bardolfo, Pistola, Ford, Fenton and Cajus performed respectively by Santiago Jerico, Paolo Battaglia, Marcus Jupither, Yann Beuron and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke. The female members of the cast are Meg Page, Alice Ford, Nannetta and Mrs Quickly equally played with distinction by Charlotte Hellekant, Geraldine McGreevy, Miah Persson and Nora Gubisch.

The orchestra is the fine Orchestra de Paris and this is clearly a musical highlight too. They are well led by Enrique Mazzola who keeps an engaging forward pace throughout so that the comedy never flags.

The camera work is engaging and delivers crisp and detailed imaging of good resolution. The sound is also good and is presented in DTS 5.1, DD 5.1 and stereo options. I did not have any of the widescreen viewing problems mentioned by another reviewer when tested by playing on one Denon, two Pioneer and two Marantz players and connected to a Sony television so I am mystified by his complaints. In my opinion these values are realistic for a non-Blu-ray recording made in 2002.

This is a very engaging, enjoyable and refreshing alternative view of Falstaff which unusually plays to the strengths of the title character. The audience are clearly appreciative and it is easy to understand why. In my opinion this disc will give purchasers plenty of satisfaction provided that they are prepared to be a little flexible in their appreciation.

Judged on its own individual terms this is a refreshing and enjoyable version presenting an alternative but convincing view of Falstaff. If the description of the above production approach does not appeal then I suggest purchasers look elsewhere for their Falstaff. That will be a matter of taste rather than a quality judgement. This performance remains a fine achievement on its own justifiable terms.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b7998b8) out of 5 stars An unusual production, poorly filmed March 23 2006
By Richard J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In response to another reviewer, I must first mention that the letterboxing worked fine on my non-widescreen TV. As to the opera itself, this is an interesting production, beautifully sung, with a clever scenic design. The cast is lively and engaging, and the same can be said for much of the staging; some moments, however, are oddly static. Willard White sings the title role, and sings it well. He is a virile, attractive man, and no attempt is made to make him the fat, ridiculous figure Shakespeare created and all the other characters constantly describe. Additionally, Mr. White plays the role very somberly, thus creating a curious depression at the center of this comedy. The Jamaican-born Mr. White is the only person of color on stage, and the accompanying booklet suggests the other characters' treatment of Falstaff is racially motivated, but this idea does not register in the staging. Picture and sound quality are clear and crisp, but the choices of what to film are incomprehensible. The camera often lingers on characters who are not singing. Extended tight close-ups make it difficult to follow the action. There are many moments in this opera when two important things happen simultaneously, but the camera refuses to show us both actions (sometimes not even one). Overall, a decidedly mixed bag.
By Sérgio M Zan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Bad singers, out of tune most of the time, poor, amateurish, terrible acting. Weikl, almost no voice left, is completely miscast as Sir John and doesn't know what to do onstage. One star, but I would give none, if possible.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b760c6c) out of 5 stars For widescreen TV users only! Feb. 1 2006
By Scott Andrew Hutchins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Like every other anamorphically enhanced ArtHaus DVD I have tried to watch, this was incompetently authored so that it does not letterbox on a standard TV, producing an unwatchable, squashed image. ArtHaus used to just suck at removing digital artifacting, especially at the price they want, but then they tried anamoprhic and mucked it up for everybody else. It's not something I did wrong; my player is set to Normal: LB. They need to a) reduce their prices and b) hire someone who knows how to make anamorphically enhanced DVDs compatible with standard TVs.