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L' Incoronazione Di Poppea - Claudio Monteverdi / Cynthia Haymon, Brigitte Balleys

 NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: KULTUR International Films Ltd.
  • Release Date: Dec 16 2008
  • Run Time: 219 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FZQON6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,967 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

In Sir Peter Hall's Glyndebourne Festival Opera staging (from 1984) of Monteverdi's magnificent final opera about the love affair between Emperor Nero and the sultry Poppea--as Sir Peter recounts in a short introduction--the world of ancient Rome is shown through the prism of the Renaissance, when Monteverdi composed it. Sir Peter's clever conceit works because the Renaissance-era costumes seamlessly blend with the set design, which is vague enough to suggest both the ancient time of the story and what was then Monteverdi's modern era.

The performance itself has splendid touches. Maria Ewing, then at her considerable vocal and dramatic peak, makes a wonderfully silky Poppea: it's easy to see why Nero (well sung, if too obviously enacted, by Dennis Bailey) has the hots for her against all morality and common sense. Raymond Leppard conducts a freshly enervating account of Monteverdi's score, which remains one of the true glories of the Baroque era. Note: the video box states 120 minutes, but the performance actually lasts 150 minutes. --Kevin Filipski

Product Description

Almost four decades before creating his Poppea, Monteverdi wrote in the preface to his fifth book of madrigals: 'The modern composer must create his works solely on the basis of the truth', a credo to which the music of his final opera is utterly faithful. Poppea is a potent work from opera's first true creator and pioneering genius. The fact that, at the close of this highly charged dramma in musica , he allows evil to triumph over good (albeit temporarily) has frequently led to his being decried as amoral. Monteverdi's timeless masterpiece, which creates a deep involvement in performers and audiences alike, is brilliantly captured in this live recording of Pierre Audi's moving and beautifully styled production from Het Muziektheater Amsterdam in 1994. Sung in Italian with English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch subtitles.

Poppea: Cynthia Haymon Nerone: Brigitte Balleys Ottavia: Ning Liang Ottone: Michael Chance Seneca: Harry van der Kamp Drusilla: Heidi Grant Murphy Arnalta: Jean-Paul Fouchécourt Nutrice: Dominique Visse Valletto: Claron McFadden

Les Talens Lyriques Musical director: Christophe Rousset Stage director: Pierre Audi



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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best opera on DVD May 2 2004
Format:DVD
In addition to a large collection of (mostly) Baroque operas on CD, I have over 75 operas on DVD, some in more than one version, as well Monteverdi's other two operas on DVD, which are also incredible. But this recording of L'Incoronazione di Poppea takes the cake, whether in terms of the beauty of the music, the effectiveness of the staging and costumes, the quality of the acting and singing of the principals, or even the dramatic and literary intensity of the story. The video recording is a little old, so the picture is slightly grainy, but the sound quality (though only in Dolby stereo) is incomparable, the production and conducting without peer. I am quite sure I will still feel the same after viewing it ten or fifteen times, though so far I have only watched it twice. This is a must-buy for any lover of Baroque music, and it is one of the operatic masterpieces of all time. It should be included in every course in the history of opera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning production on all levels! May 8 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Maria Ewing is at her best! This production is profound, well sung and well acted. Naturally, the music and sound quality are also wonderful. Opera fans and novices alike will marvel at this Glyndebourne Festival Opera performance. See the Roman Emperor Nero and his equally amoral lover, the seductive Poppea, as they tread upon all that is Good. Even the just philosopher Seneca cannot escape their evil machinations. A must-see for classicists, historians, opera fans and anyone else who enjoys high quality theatrical performance. The brief introduction and excellent subtitles help in making this production an unforgettable opera experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Poppea is a masterpiece Oct. 19 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am not up on early opera but on hearing a radio performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo, I was wowed. I ordered "Poppea" instead, simply because Maria Ewing on the cover looked so exotic and alluring. I second everything that the first two reviewers have said. The staging is beautiful, the singing wonderful and the orchestra is superb. I can't wait to spring this one on my opera friends for whom anything before Handel is terra incognito. I just wish I could see Maria Ewing on Blue Ray.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best opera on DVD May 2 2004
By Barry D. Steben - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In addition to a large collection of (mostly) Baroque operas on CD, I have over 75 operas on DVD, some in more than one version, as well Monteverdi's other two operas on DVD, which are also incredible. But this recording of L'Incoronazione di Poppea takes the cake, whether in terms of the beauty of the music, the effectiveness of the staging and costumes, the quality of the acting and singing of the principals, or even the dramatic and literary intensity of the story. The video recording is a little old, so the picture is slightly grainy, but the sound quality (though only in Dolby stereo) is incomparable, the production and conducting without peer. I am quite sure I will still feel the same after viewing it ten or fifteen times, though so far I have only watched it twice. This is a must-buy for any lover of Baroque music, and it is one of the operatic masterpieces of all time. It should be included in every course in the history of opera.
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning production on all levels! May 8 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Maria Ewing is at her best! This production is profound, well sung and well acted. Naturally, the music and sound quality are also wonderful. Opera fans and novices alike will marvel at this Glyndebourne Festival Opera performance. See the Roman Emperor Nero and his equally amoral lover, the seductive Poppea, as they tread upon all that is Good. Even the just philosopher Seneca cannot escape their evil machinations. A must-see for classicists, historians, opera fans and anyone else who enjoys high quality theatrical performance. The brief introduction and excellent subtitles help in making this production an unforgettable opera experience.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular April 1 2006
By Peter M. LaChapelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Glyndebourne Festival Opera made this a magnificent production of L'Incoronazione di Poppea. Even if you're not an avid opera fan, you will find that both the music of Monteverdi and the staging of the opera by Glyndebourne will enthrall you. If you also happen to be interested in foreign languages, you have the added bonus of subtitles in French, German and Spanish, not to mention English. This recording is really spectacular. I've only had it a month and I'm afraid I'm going to wear it out because I keep playing certain segments over and over again. You'll be glad you purchased this one for your collection, I assure you.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan April 11 2009
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
MONTEVERDI AT SEVENTY-FOUR YEARS OF AGE BRINGS FORTH AN OPERA FULL OF YOUTH AND VITALITY!
Almost four decades before creating his Poppea, Monteverdi wrote in the preface of his fifth book of madrigals: "The modern composer must create works solely on the basis of the truth"-a credo to which the music of his final opera is utterly faithful. 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' is a potent work from opera's first true creator and pioneering genius.

Even after three centuries, the music of Monteverdi glows with the passionate genius of a musical prophet. He was far ahead of his day in his conception of music as a dramatic, expressive art and in the realization of that conception.

He spurned the dry recitativos common to the opera of the day and instead gave the singers lovely melodies to sing. Short song-like passages were also included in the orchestral score. This opera demonstrates well these traits of Monteverdi. EXAMPLE: the enchanting melody that recurs in Drusilla's song that I call her 'happy' tune because she sings it first after Ottone tells her that he desires her instead of Poppea; unfortunately not true, but for the moment she believes it. There are several tuneful melodies that become asociated with specific characters.

The entire production is well done, and the specific characters perform with vigor and vitality and mega drama. The cast includes: Cynthia Haymon (Poppea)gives an exciting portrayal in her role as the 'greedy' gal who wants to become Empress at any cost to anybody. Brigitte Balleys in a 'pants' role of Nerone does it well, but I must confess I am 'put off' by most 'pants' roles (forgive me please); Michael Chance in the role of Ottone, Poppea's rejected suitor, provides us with an excellent portrayal of the rejected and angry lover; Seneca played by the 'booming' voice of Harry van der Kamp (love that voice)is full of himself as the advisor to Nerone; a sweet-voiced Heidi Grant Murphy plays her role (Drusilla) as the dedicated follower of Ottone. Ning Liang in the role of the Empress, who is about to be discarded, is truly magnificent with her rich resonant voice, handles all of her many moods (anger, revenge, despair, hatred, bullying) with finesse. All the singers are skilled and experienced in this genre, and it shows!

Monteverdi's timeless masterpiece, which creates a deep involvement in performers and audiences alike, is brilliantly captured in this High Definition LIVE recording of Pierre Audi's moving and beautifully styled production from Amsterdam in 1994. Sung in Italian with English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch subtitles, it also includes an illustrated synopsis, cast gallery and introduction. Picture and sound par excellence.

The youth and vitality that shines forth throughout this opera is remarkable, emanating as they do from a seventy-four year old churchmen.

SUNDAY TIMES: "Amsterdam has a model opera company: fresh, controversial and accessible...this Poppea is a quality product of self-evidently world class distinction.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: THIS DVD IS NOT A GLYNDEBOURNE PRODUCTION; THIS IS THE NEDERSLANDS OPERA COMPANY. SO SEVERAL OF THESE REVIEWS DO NOT APPLY TO THIS DVD. AMAZON REALLY DOESN'T KNOW WHATS UP MOST OF THE TIME!!!!!TALK ABOUT CONFUSING THE BUYER!!!!!!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine production with several wonderful singers Jan. 24 2010
By Theodore Shulman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Maria Ewing is as beautiful and sexy as everyone says, but she is not the only attraction! Several of the supporting cast are equally fine. Now I don't have a complete cast list--there is nothing on the package saying who plays Poppea's nurse, Arnalta, but whoever she is she's an abundant, beautiful mezzo. The sopranos who sing Drusilla, the Damigella, and Amore are also wonderful, as are the supporting tenors, who play Nero's singing buddy ("Cantia-a-a-a-a-am!") and the Valetto. Best of all is Robert Lloyd, who sings Seneca with seemingly-limitless depth, and gives the character all his irritating mannerisms.

The weaknesses include Dennis Bailey's hoarse-sounding Nero, and Cynthia Clarey's thin Ottavia. Ottone is sung by a baritone rather than by the more traditional countertenor.

The sets and costumes are traditional, although the acting is unusually sexy for this period. It's not just Ewing; the flirtatious scene between the Valetto and Damigella ("Sento un certo non so che...") is quite racy.
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