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Puccini;Giacomo Gianni Schicci [Import]


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Amazon.com: 22 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Simply Wonderful! July 31 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This Glyndebourne production of 'Gianni Schicchi' is a success of the highest kind. Sets, costumes, especially the almost choreographed stage action, the marvelous playing of the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski (a conductor I am growing to admire more and more) and particularly the marvelous singing actors portraying all ten major characters in this Falstaff-inspired ensemble opera are all simply wonderful. The big numbers - Rinuccio's 'Firenze è come un albero fiorito' sung by tenor Massimo Giordano and Lauretta's 'O mio babbino caro' sung by soprano Sally Matthews - are woven into the fabric of the action rather than being staged as numbers per se. And they are sung beautifully. But most important is the fabulous ensemble work that includes such Glyndebourne stalwarts as Felicity Palmer and Marie McLaughlin as Zita and La Ciesca, and the other singers are just as good.

This production was given just a year ago - in July 2004 - and was part of an oddly appropriate double bill. The other opera, Rachmaninov's 'The Miserly Knight' (sometimes called 'The Covetous Knight') was not only composed in roughly the same time period (early 20th century) but has greed as a common theme. I will be reviewing the just-released DVD of that release a shortly. But if it's anything like this production it will be a winner.

This is easily the best overall production of 'Gianni Schicchi' I've ever seen and I recommend it enthusiastically.

TT=74 minutes; includes extras: interviews with stage director Annabel Arden, conductor Jurowski, baritone Alessandro Corbelli (the wonderful Schicchi); a narrated and illustrated synopsis; a gallery of pictures of the cast. Sound: Stereo or DTS surround sound (and the sound is quite good). Subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.

Scott Morrison
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely required viewing Oct. 24 2006
By Frank Elliott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I suppose you shoppers for "the next opera to add to my collection" noticed all the five star ratings for this production? I add another five stars. It is one of those operas that gets played again and again. The one you would select to play for your guests who heretofore have avoided opera, always saying the cliche, " I like all kinds of music , except opera and _ _ _ " This mind set is from the fifties, when all there seemed to be were audio vinyl albums ( back when records were indeed albums of 4 records or more ). "Get with it, people; we have a new invention called television, with subtitles"...actually big improvements over old television sets now, both in clarity of picture and magnificent sound.

This is precisely what is drawing unprecedented attention to opera - which can be/shoud be one of the most sensually stimulating experiences one can have outside of the bedroom.

Puccini here deals with one of the most compelling studies in flawed human behaviour in man's history...the business of gut wrenching envy and lust and skulduggerous, years -long- scheming over who gets what in the inheritance. I personally have seen horrible examples of it in my own family more than once! I bet you have too. We can all act like goody two shoes in church on Sunday, til it comes to the inheritance, then we turn sinister !

Whole families no longer speak to each other decades after the reading of the will. For this reason I personally wish everyone was required to see this mirror of human failing, and in so doing stand some chinaman's chance of saving ourselves from ruin. The astounding thing is how it is accomplished with such soaring, triumphant music , tension building recitative, and guffawing, jaw dropping humor. A beyond superlative cast and directing was/is a great help. My hat is off to the director who so subtly choreographed the action for the entire performance without there ever being glimpsed the slightest overacting. Wonderful set, and wonderful singing. I am certain none of you will ever forget, nor will ever stop comparing Sally Mathews'portrayal of the adorable Lauretta - nor will her hauntingly beautiful "O mio bambino caro" ever leave your mind. Wow! Sung with such spine tingling beauty and great passion, without a trace of "overdone'. Magnificent!

The cast is so very superb. I wish I could go on about each one; albeit, I single out Allesandro Corbelli for now, who carried the title role in a way that NO one will ever be able to match it! Allesandro's performance has caused me to seek him out wherever I can find him in other operas. He appears in Rossini's "La Scala di Seta", the Silk Ladder , as a mere blue collar worker in the opulent mason of the romantic triangle sitcom...yet, honestly, without Allesandro, the entire show would have collapsed of its own schmaltziness. He saved that production...yet barely gets the applause at the end.

This little one act Buffo might seem a trifle and not one to take seriously as an addition to your collection; yet I assure you that you will make a serious mistake NOT to have this one. Moreover, I would wager that you would not part with it either! This is a real treasure.

Glyndbourne, whose casting has not always been stellar, nor directing for that matter.... would do well to reassemble this design and direction team/orchestra, set designer,cast, etc. This one rings the bell.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
OUTSTANDING!! June 22 2005
By T. C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Gianni Schicchi is the third and final part of Il trittico, Puccini's trilogy of one-act operas. It is a masterpiece of Italian comedy.

The performance on the new DVD is sheer delight from every point of view. It was filmed live at the Glyndebourne Opera House in 2004. The director Annabel Arden adapted the plot from the Middle Ages to somewhere in the 19th centaury. Sets and costumed are beautiful, and Arden is doing an inspired job, full of surprises.

Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra with excellent results. Puccini brilliant orchestration is heard with great transparency due to the excellence of the recorded sound (True Surround Sound).

The singers are all excellent. The extremely funny Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role; Massimo Giordano and Sally Matthews are the young lovers with fresh voices. Felicity Palmer, Marie McLaughlin and Luigi Roni are some of the relatives.

Opus Arte should get a very high mark for the technical quality and presentation. Picture is crystal clear and the sound is warm and brilliant. Highly recommended!!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Aug. 1 2005
By Dr. J. J. Kregarman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I could not agree more with the previous reviewers. The production, singing, and acting are magnificent and the sound is equal to super-audio!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a real operatic bargain Nov. 8 2008
By John Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Gianni Schicchi and the Dark Knight are at first sight an unlikely couple but the booklet explains why they have been linked. Schicchi is now a very popular black comedy but the knight's tale is really grim. The music however is pure Rachmaninov and well worth repeat listening. Both operas are very well staged and the Opus Arte presentation is excellent apart from the cover art. One would hardly know the Miserly Knight was included! This is silly as what appears to be a one opera disc is so much more attractive when one discovers it combines the previous two DVD release in a superb blu ray disc. Get it! A wonderful Christmas disc to match the joy of Schicchi, with the Knight more in tune with current economic times!


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