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Rossi;Lauro Cleopatra [Import]

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Naxos
  • Release Date: Aug. 30 2010
  • Run Time: 115 minutes

Product Description

Dimitra Theodossiou (Cleopatra), Alessandro Liberatore (Marco Antonio), Paolo Pecchioli (Ottavio Cesare), Sebastian Catana (Diomede)... - Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana - David Crescenzi, direction - Gheorghe Iancu, chorégraphe...

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Aida without the genius Oct. 15 2010
By Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ever wonder what Verdi's colleagues operas were like. Well now we can see for ourselves. Cleopatra was premiered five years after Aida and it is obviously an attempt to be a clone. The only thing missing is the greatness of Verdi. Cleopatra is definitely on the second or even third tier of opera.
The question is why did the Sferisterio Opera choose to revive it? The answer at least from this performance is to give Dimitra Theodossious a vehicle. And this is does. She pumps out the high notes of which there are as many as in a bel canto opera with vigor. It is impressive, but there is a sharpness to them. The rest of the cast is perfectly adequate.
Rossi tells the story of Antony and Cleopatra. But he doesn't follow Shakespeare. Here Antony commits suicide in despair. Cleopatra dies not in her chambers but on stage with Octavio and the rest of the Roman and Egyptian forces. This makes for a final scene as concertante rather than the usual long solo we find in Barber or Berlioz.
Indeed this opera is filled with grand scenes throughout. Plus each of the principles gets a scena. Dimitra gets a very long ovation for her solo. And she deserves it. But the people are applauding her hair raising performance, not the music.
It is wonderful that in this world of DVDs operaholics like myself have the opportunity to witness works of which we had no idea whatever. Rossi's only claim to fame before this video was a section of the Requiem for Rossini in which he joined with the other opera composers of his day, led by Verdi. I am glad of the opportunity to savor a word such as this. But it is a once over. Cleopatra is not bad. Rossi is a more than competent composer. But it fails to connect to the heart. Its melodies do not move me. It makes Verdi's achievement all the more miraculous.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Interesting early Italian masterpiece given new life Dec 24 2010
By Daniel R. Coombs - Published on Amazon.com
The new Naxos DVD of "Cleopatra" by early 19th cen opera master, Lauro Rossi, breathes new life into a somewhat obscure gem. Rossi (1812-1885) studied in Naples with Zingarelli, who can claim Vincenzo Bellini as another, better known, student. Rossi calls his opera a melodrama in four acts. In this production, a 2008 reworking by Bernando Ticci, the description is accurate and complimentary. In this unveiling, by the Sferisterio Opera Festival in Macerata, Ticci apparently cut out the overture and trimmed down an Act IV soliloquy by the queen's minister, Diomede, to push the drama forward. The story is familiar to most. Roman commander Marcus Antonius falls in love with Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, and cannot bring himself to follow orders and conquer and pillage her country. Antonio (Antonius) is still betrothed, however, to the daughter, Ottavio Cesare, of a powerful Roman officer. Antony's failure at both true love as well as his duty to country causes him to commit suicide. Cleopatra, upon hearing this news, breaks her compulsion to counter attack Rome and kill herself with the well known asp (a form of adder) bite to the neck. This opera is more bel canto than verismo and actually does sound a bit like Bellini in several places. Credit is due strong performances in leading roles. Dmitra Theodossiou is a strong singer and brings a strength coupled with some obsession to her Cleopatra; in the absence of innocence and pity to be found in later renditions. Similarly, Alessandro Liberatore is a husky, convincing Antonio who possesses a sense of the irreparable and less machismo. Sebastien Catano as Diomede is also convincing. The Orchestra Filharmonica Marchigiana and the Coro Lirico Marchigiano "Bellini" perform very well under conductor David Crescenzi. The staging is minimalist and small, as is the Teatro Rossi (named after the composer) but the setting is quite attractive and the production values are good. This little rarity is well worth checking out for a different approach to a familiar story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A bit more positive than the earlier reviewer... Nov. 5 2010
By B. Cathey - Published on Amazon.com
I must admit that I am a bit more positive than the earlier reviewer of Rossi's CLEPOPATRA. In fact, when I saw the announcement that it would be released, I was excited. Perhaps that was based on having a fine, very well sung, copy of his earlier opera, IL DOMINO NERO, which was written more in the style of late Donizetti (it was issued by Bongiovanni). I was curious to see how, if at all, this late bel canto composer had evolved. The answer, revealed in CLEOPATRA, is: quite a lot.

CLEOPATRA may not be an opera of the first rank, certainly it's no AIDA; but...but...it stands alone well enough, offers fascinating comparisons to how the OTHER Italians were doing during the Verdi decades. Indeed, CDs of Marchetti's RUY BLAS and ROMEO E GIULIETTA, of several Gomes works (e.g., SALVATOR ROSA and I GUARANI), and operas by the Ricci brothers, Errico Petrella, early Ponchielli, and even late Pacini and Mercadante, offer broad hints and ideas. It's all grand for the dedicated opera fan..and operatic sleuth.

As for CLEOPATRA, the production is modern and a bit Spartan, but without the "Eurotrash" veneer that seems to affect so many modern European productions these days. The singing is competent throughout, with our heroine Dimitra Theodossiou doing well, if with a bit of acid in the voice. Nevetheless, she captures the expressiveness and spirit of Cleopatra nicely.

CLEOPATRA, as the earlier reviewer states, contains no show-stopping "Celeste Aida," no Grand March, no "Tomb Scene" to grab you by the throat, so to speak. No, it's not AIDA...but it does have its share of joys and pleasures.

Now, as we are searching the 19th century Italian archives, will someone please stage (and record) a modern presentation of Franco Faccio's AMLETO? In recent months I've heard several excerpts from it (one on Melba Records)and seen a delightful You Tube view of Ophelia's funeral march, apparently used during Lent in Corfu! It's all wonderful, and frankly, the opera NEEDS A RECORDING!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For the curious Dec 25 2010
By A. Lupu - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This DVD is for those opera lovers who like to learn and discover new operas and productions all the time. The opera is not well known... in fact is not known at all, except for those who decided to revive it. I am impressed by the mere fact that it was produced at all. It is a nice opera, not great. Cleopatra (and Marc Anthony) has been used by many through the years, so there are not many surprises on the subject. The music is nice with some nice arias, but not really inspiring, you keep waiting for that great aria or climax, that never comes. It is staged in a rather small opera house, it really seems like a family affair and that gives a nice flare to it. The stage is small and very well used. It is not a grandiose production, as probably the composer would have liked, but it is effective and very well done. The singers are good to very good. They did the best that can be done with the composer's material. We need to thank the new technologies that allow us to be part of a performance that is probably not going to be in an opera house near us in a foreseeable future. This DVD is for the curious and the musicologists. The sound and image qualities are very good.
By Alfredo R. Villanueva - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Thank God I do not pretend to be an opera critic. I am an opera viewer and listener, and the opportunity to watch/listen to an ignored opera from the period of Bel Canto (which it is, by the way) was to great to miss. Visually, rather sparse: a set of ever-changing stairs and costumes that do not fill the eye. Vocally, a real treat. So, someone was expecting "Aida" 60 years before it was actually written? Such comparisons are anachronic. Theodossius reminds me of Leyla Gencer. The male singers are magnificent. The music, exquisite. That's all I have to say. I am glad I have it, and thanks to Italy's regional opera houses, which keep jewels such as this one ON THE STAGE.