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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. 31 2010
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

Quick Shipping !!! New And Sealed !!! This Disc WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. A multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player is request to view it in USA/Canada. Please Review Description.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa258b348) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1e26e34) out of 5 stars Aida without the genius Oct. 15 2010
By Richard - Published on
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
HASH(0xa1e29078) out of 5 stars Interesting early Italian masterpiece given new life Dec 24 2010
By Daniel R. Coombs - Published on
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
HASH(0xa1e2915c) out of 5 stars A bit more positive than the earlier reviewer... Nov. 5 2010
By B. Cathey - Published on
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; 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
HASH(0xa1e292d0) out of 5 stars For the curious Dec 25 2010
By A. Lupu - Published on
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.
HASH(0xa1e29840) out of 5 stars It is no Aida, and it is good that be that way June 20 2011
By Domingo Warner - Published on
First of all, each opera is a world into itself,to try to compare,even when they are similar it is no good, because the only thing that matters is if they can arise emotions and feelings,if it is drama,or enjoyment, if it is a comedy.That said, I found this is the almost total opposite to Aida,musically and dramatically.First ,Cleopatra had power, seduced several men, she was free,because she was the queen, and even in her death, she could choose her way(I am talking of the opera).She reminded me of Medea,when broke the wedding of Antonio, and Dido,when she asked her death.She was a proud woman,and we could say her death had something heroic,not to be dragged to Rome as a slave.The music by Rossi is very suave,melodic,like Massenet(maybe it is the other way ,Rossi being older than Massenet) but in some parts gets dramatic.The other characters,the masculine ones,were less developed,but Diomede has a pathetic side,being in love with the Queen,he is a man of power,but it is not enought to win Cleopatra.At the end,this opera revolves around the Queen,very well sung by Dimitra Theodossiu,ably backed by the male singers,and it showed that the Verdian way it was not the only way to compose operas in that time,even when some critics have tried to make us believe that.I only hope we can get more operas of these undeservedly neglected composers,that I believe are by far worthier to those who know to hear each work for itself,and do not try to dissect and compare to others.