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Bellini: Beatrice di Tenda [Teatro Massimo Bellini] Blu-ray Review

bellini-beatrice-di-tenda-blu-ray-cover

 

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(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

 

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]

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A composer with a very brief career, dying before he reached the age 40, Vincenzo Bellini had a unique ability to probe the emotional depths of the human voice which he did in Norma, I Puritani, and La Somnambula. Beatrice di Tenda is a less frequently performed work that takes its origin from history.

Beatrice (Dimitra Theodossiou), a widow, marries Duke Filippo (Michele Kalmandi), a union that is both unfortunate and potentially lethal.  As the opera opens, Filippo is already planning a life without Beatrice. He is pursuing Agnese (Jose Maria Del Monaco) who is in love with Orombello (Alejandro Roy) who, in turn, is secretly in love with Beatrice.  At every opportunity, we are exposed to Beatrice and Filippo’s unhappy marriage. Later Orombello and Beatrice are discovered in compromising situation that leads to their arrest and trial.

The trial scene that threatens both Beatrice and Orombello results in additional torture for the latter. As matters become worse and the castle is besieged by the followers of Beatrice’s late husband, Filippo signs her death warrant.

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This 2010 production from Catania benefits from superb A/V recording and a strong cast that receives idiomatic conducting from Antonio Pirolli. The singers clearly understand the bel canto style and deliver the goods. Soprano Theodossiou (who seems to be everywhere these days) is at the top of her game for this one.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

harp

The minimalist staging, courtesy of Henning Hermann Brockhaus, works quite well and the videographers do a superb job of covering the stage. Because so much of the drama is involved in the characters rather than the set, the rather bare stage does not become an impediment in the realization of this opera.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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The DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound gives a good recreation of the singing on stage. The orchestra is clearly heard and well balanced against the vocal proceedings. The PCM version is also quite decent.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

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Nothing here.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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A Blu-ray premiere, this release gives us Bellini at his best with great vocalism from the principals. Soprano Theodossiou has given us uneven performances in the past but this one is possibly the best that I have seen to date. Her supporting cast is quite strong and with the musical direction provided, we get to hear some great bel canto singing as it was meant to be heard. Granted, there are some strange staging ideas but these are trumped by the strong vocalism of this production. With excellent recording values, this Beatrice di Tenda receives a strong recommendation and will delight bel canto enthusiasts as well as those new to this operatic style.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

Purchase on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

dance

beatrice1

stage

duo

 

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00C2RANM4[/amazon-product]

Purchase on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

 

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