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Puccini: Tosca

Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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12 new from CDN$ 22.23 3 used from CDN$ 30.98

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Amazon.com: 24 reviews
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
By L. Mitnick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't understand how the previous reviewer can wax so euphorically over Pavarotti here, and then complain about Verrett's "limitations". I seriously question that judgement. Miss Verrett, who passed away just days ago, was the reason why I purchased this DVD. It's easy to understand why she has been referred to as "the black Callas". Her Tosca is electric, magnetic, extremely well sung, and magnificently executed. Her singing is consistently compelling, and her portrayal of the doomed diva is every bit as three dimensional as that of Callas. For me, SHE'S the reason to acquire this performance. Pavarotti, of course, is Pavarotti. His singing is undeniably beautiful. His stage movements, however, are downright staid, and he certainly doesn't produce the stage electricity that Verrett does. Cornell MacNeil is a resonant Scarpia, and sounds somewhat better than on his later DVD performance with Hildegarde Behrens --- but he nails down the role and plays it for all it's worth. James Conlon does a fine job with the orchestra, providing the appropriate tension and tautness, yet allowing his singers (and what singers they are!) plenty of room to make their much-appreciated effects. I heartily recommend this DVD for Verrett. How unfortunate that it has become a memorial to her greatness as an artist.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful release Dec 27 2010
By Earl G. Bean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1978 Met production of Tosca was worth the wait. One could hardly ask for three stronger principals than Verrett, Pavarotti, and MacNeil (and the young James Conlon in the pit is on fire). Granted, the picture is not always great and the sound sometimes distorts when things get loud or high pitched, but with music making like this I didn't care. Shirley Verrett is a wonder. She sings and acts beautifully and looks even better. Hers is a formidable Tosca, not to be trifled with. I was delighted to see her in this role, which was not typical for her. I believe that this was her first Tosca at the Met. Pavarotti is in his prime here. The voice is glorious...unstoppable. The real show-stealer, however, is the great Cornell MacNeil. His Scarpia is vocally opulent and drips with lust. The epitome of absolute power corrupting absolutely. The costumes and sets are traditional; a real feast for the eyes despite the limitations of video. The director is the veteran Scarpia, Tito Gobbi. The bonus material includes a rehearsal with Conlon, Verrett, and Pavarotti, a discussion on Puccini with Conlon and James Levine, and a discussion on the role of Scarpia between Tito Gobbi and MacNeil. This is a real first-rate production. Purchase and enjoy.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Product Defect Aug. 15 2011
By DW - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The reason I give this product only 3 stars is because the Bonus Features do not play; and I tried this on 2 different computers (Macs). But rather than going through the trouble of contacting the seller, etc., I simply copied the DVD and was then able to access the Bonus Features via Quicktime movie playing software. Still, for a DVD not to work in its entirety...that's pretty sad.

I'd have to give 6 stars for the music and performers, though. What a cast. What a performance. Pure perfection by all. Un-be-lievable!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Almost Perfect Jan. 12 2014
By Karen A - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As most of the other reviewers have said, this is a great cast. I bought the DVD to see Pavarotti, who is wonderful, as usual. But I was astounded at Shirley Verrett's performance. I had never seen her in a soprano role, and her voice is truly incomparable. Brava!

I have an issue with the direction, though. Who thought it necessary to try to make Verrett look 'white'? The tons of makeup needed were a waste. She is a beautiful woman without that particular makeover, and it's quite credible that a black woman could have been a singer in Rome.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Verrett is a star Tosca! Nov. 27 2010
By Douglasmagee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Verrett and MacNeil, along with the great Pavarotti in his prime, make a "golden age of singing" cast. Maestro Conlon deserves mention for his intense conducting and superior musicianship! The only drawback is that this was before the days of HD, so the picture isn't perfect.