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Il Giasone [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Italian, French, German, English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Dynamic
  • Release Date: May 29 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B007GGA45M
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ef51f30) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed1345c) out of 5 stars Bawdy, Silly, Trashy---- But It Works! Dec 6 2012
By Dr. John W. Rippon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bawdy, siily, trashy and a great deal of fun. That is what is in store for you when you view Il Giasone, the "smash hit" of Francisco Cavalli. The opera opened at the Teatro Cassiano on January 5, 1648 (=1649) in Venice and soon after was being played all over the rest of Italy. It was the most oftened played opera in the 17th century and became the symbol of Venetian decadence. It was however, a milestone in the development of the opera form as it saw the final separation of the aria and the recitative. The latter served for action and commentary and the aria served for formal song and intense reflection on events that have or may happen.
A few words on history will clarify this importance. As an art form, "opera" (initially called "favola") was invented by a committee in Florence, Italy about 1600(Dafne by Peri & Corsi 1598, mostly lost was the first opera)as a means to unify drama and music. The Humanist movement of the Renaissance thought that the Greeks had used a form of sing/speech in presenting their dramas on stage (probably wrong) and at that time in Western culture sung music and choral music were polyphonic: many voices sing the same words at different times. The committee (called the Camarata) came up with one line of sung words (monody)with music accompanying it so that the listener could follow the story. In the almost fifty years that followed different schools of thought on the development of opera had arisen in the various Italian cities. For example in Rome heavy ponderous philosophical and ecclesiastical operas were favored e.g. Landi "Il Sant' Alessio". In Mantua pure beauty of voice and instrument in Monteverdi, the first great opera composer. In Venice it would take a different course. Up to this time it had also remained the entertainment of nobility and clergy playing at court for fairly small audiences. These were big productions with choruses, many musicians sometimes with much machinery and settings. Cavalli had written one of these big numbers in his first opera "Le Nozze di Teti e di Peleo" in 1639. However there was a great change afoot in Venice. This city was a Republic and was the first to open opera performances to the general public. These public theaters not only became numerous but profitable. But this public wanted comedic situations, less grandiose productions and liked a little titillation and risque dialog. Cavalli thus started writing more "popular" operas to appeal to the mass audience. He produced some forty manuscripts though not all were presented as the tastes of the audience were changing and new composers arriving.
In Il Giasone Cavalli has given us a complex story involving sexual encounters of various persons from the legend of Jason and the Argonauts. We have the affair of Jason with the queen of Lemnos, Hypsipyle who has twin sons by him and then the affair with Medea (no child murders here)queen of Colchis on the Black sea. She also has twin sons by him. The very funny plot involves which of the ladies he will marry. There are numerous other exagerated and comedic characters and the opera is best thought of as a "romp" without serious overtones. It is fun! You'll need several viewing to put it altogether.
Francesco Cavalli was born February 14 11602. His father was a musician and composer Giovanni Battista Caleti- Bruni in the Lombard town of Crema. The Venetian governor (podesta)of Crema Frederigo Cavalli saw in the boy musical talent and sponsored him to the cappella of St Marks in Venice. Later in life the boy took the name of his patron as Fransico Cavalli. At St Marks he was a pupil of the first great opera composer, Claudio Monteverdi who taught him music and composition. Cavalli was a gifted composer himself and wrote much fine church music. His fame came however from is increasing output of popular opera.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa45aa45c) out of 5 stars Jason & The Argonauts Dec 20 2012
By Angelo Diretto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For those who like (adore) Baroque scores, this one is a rare gem. The production is unusual and extremely suitable in spite of it's untraditional presentation. It works brilliantly. The singing is magnificant. The artists superb and really brought this acnient mythical piece to glowing life. Bravo. It's long; they used to do that back then. Entertainments went on and on. It was a more leasurely way of sampling all the complexities of emotional deapths sung with impossibly difficult artistry. This recording satisfys on all levels.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed813c0) out of 5 stars Gorgeously sung. Weirdly fascinating costumes. Grungy but effective staging. Aug. 8 2013
By Mary Balsorah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you are horribly offended by humorously presented sexual innuendo and behavior and displays of fake nudity, don't bother. This is one of the operas that helped earn Venetian Opera a reputation for decadence. If you expect the costuming to be properly period or consistent with itself and desire seductively beautiful sxcenery, the artistic vision of this production will irritate you. I personally adore beautiful costumes and scenery, but I still enjoyed this production enormously. have watched it more than once and have recommended it to friends and family.

My favorite music frequently falls into the Romantic or Impressionistic catagories, but this very early piece pleased me tremendously and I am crushing on the wonderful counter-tenor voices that add such an interesting edge to the vocal blend. Our Jason is a beautiful weasel with a delicious sound, Medea entices and compels with her powerful vocal and acting abilities. Any one of the principals, who also serve as the chorus, would be incredibiy thrilling to hear in person if my regional opera company (I sang in the opera chorus for many years between 1963 and 2011) were financially able to hire them.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ecf3c90) out of 5 stars Great Cavalli Performance by Counter-Tenor Christophe Dumaux Sept. 25 2012
By JohnTurandot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Superior performance from counter-tenor Christophe Dumaux. I was not too familiar with Dumaux prior to purchasing this DVD. I was very pleasantly surprised...he has an excellent vocal quality and the acting was quite good too with just the right blend of humor and drama.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ee5dba0) out of 5 stars A beautiful rairity--better listened to than watched. June 22 2013
By Robert W. Ihloff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The singing is great! The staging is distracting and unnecessarily complicated--it detracts from the singing and must have been a trial for the singers to even transverse the stage.