7.2 C
New York
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Advertisement

Giuseppe Verdi: La Forza del Destino [Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino] Blu-ray Review

verdi-la-forza-del-destino-blu-ray-cover

 

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

 

The Performance

[Rating:3.5/5]

title

Giuseppe Verdi went back to one of his favorite playwrights, German dramatist Friedrich Schiller for La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) which is set in Spain, also one of Verdi’s favorite terrains for some of his darkest operas. The current Blu-ray is a reissue of a 2009 TDK release and originates from a 2007 Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino production staged by Nicholas Joel with sets by Ezio Frigerio, and costumes by Franca Squarciapino

The plot is inexorably driven by circumstances beyond the control of its three principals, Don Alvaro (tenor Marcello Giordani), last of a line of Inca royalty, his lover Leonora (soprano Violeta Urmana), and her brother Don Carlo (baritone Carlo Guelfi). At the very beginning, Alvaro accidentally kills Leonora’s father, the Marchese di Calatrava (Duccio Dal Monte) and the couple is forced to flee, pursued by a vengeful Carlo. The lovers become separated and Leonora, disguised as a man, is almost caught by Carlo, now disguised as a student in the village of Hornachuelos. The gyspy woman Preziosilla (mezzo-soprano Julia Gertseva) sees through Carlo’s disguise in time to tip off Leonora. Hopeless that she will ever see Alvaro again, Leonora seeks refuge in a hermit’s cave protected by Padre Guardiano (bass Roberto Scandiuzzi). Later Alvaro and Carlo, now army officers, meet when the former saves the latter from bandits.  Eventually Alvaro’s identity is revealed and Carlo attacks him only to be warded off by their fellow soldiers. Years pass, and the trio meet again at the monastery in Hornachuelos where Alvaro has taken holy orders. Carlo again attacks Alvaro, but, instead, is fatally wounded. When Leonora, disguised as a hermit comes to give him last rites, the dying Carlo stabs his sister to death.

There is much magnificent music here and maestro Zubin Mehta’s knowing hand milks this score for everything that is worth, keeping its pulse alive and well. We are given a pretty strong cast of veteran Verdians from the top to bottom of the stave, with particular notice to Urmana’s force-of-nature soprano voice required of her role.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

duo

Compared to other Forzas that I have seen, this one has pretty sparse staging. The costumes have been updated to the 19th century (about a century later than the original play) and are rather workaday. Camerawork is excellent and mixes in discreet close-ups with stage panoramas. This is literally a dark opera, but the lighting is sufficient to bring out the good colors, the few times we see them.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

carlo

This is a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio recording (I was only able to listen in 5.1). It is spacious with excellent coverage of the voices and the players in the pit.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

cannon

No extras are provided.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

solenne

La Forza del Destino has seen a raft of DVDs, but there has been only one other Blu-ray version that I had the pleasure of reviewing last year. That Wiener Staatsoper production, also well conducted by Zubin Mehta, has some excellent singing, led by baritone Carlos Alvarez, but its musical values are undermined by some bizarre staging and costume decisions, and less than stellar videography. Having now seen the current release for the first time in a few years, I would have to give it a very slight nod in the Forza sweepstakes. However, those who really want to see how this opera can be rendered should run to get the legendary B/W Teatro di San Carlo performance with no less than Renata Tebaldi, Franco Corelli, and Ettore Bastianini or the more recent (1978) color version from La Scala with Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, and Piero Cappuccilli, both Hardy label DVDs.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

Purchase Verdi: La Forza del Destino on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

soldiers

village

sztage

coro2

church

 marq

 

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00B5UBF2Q[/amazon-product]

Purchase Verdi: La Forza del Destino on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Advertisement

Related Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.
%d bloggers like this: