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Giuseppe Verdi: Luisa Miller [Teatro Regio di Parma] Blu-ray Review

verdi-luisa-miller-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: LPCM 2.0, dts-HD Master Audio 5.0
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Running Time: 157 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: C Major
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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:4/5]


Of the four operas that Verdi based on Schiller dramas, the others being Giovanna d’Arco, I Masnadieri, and Don Carlo, Luisa Miller was a product of the incredibly fertile period between 1842 and 1851.  This opera is one of the dark domestic dramas for which the composer became renowned. This 2007 Teatro Regio di Parma production continues the Tutto Verdi series that will conclude this year with all of the Verdi works being recorded with high definition videography.

Rodolfo (tenor Marcelo Alvarez), son of Count Walter (bass Giorgio Surian), attends a birthday party for Luisa (soprano Fiorenza Cedolins), using a false identity. Luisa’s father, Miller (baritone Leo Nucci) has already refused her hand to his steward, Wurm (bass Raalf Siwek).  Meanwhile the Count has chosen his niece Federica von Ostheim (mezzo-soprano Francesca Franci) for his son but Rodolfo is already in love with Luisa. Although Miller tries to interfere, Rodolfo has convinced Luisa that his love is real. The Count appears and insults Luisa. Her father responds but gets tossed into prison for his efforts. Wurm convinces Luisa that her father’s freedom can be obtained by writing a letter professing her love for the steward. This plan also pleases the Count since Wurm helped him to get his title by murdering his predecessor. He advises his son to marry Federica immediately. Luisa, despondent, writes a suicide note to Rodolfo. Before she can carry out her intentions, Miller tries to convince her to go away with him. Rodolfo surreptitiously puts poison in a drink that he and Luisa share. Luisa confesses to the plot and dies as Rodolfo stabs Wurm before he, too, succumbs to the poison.

This a well-conceived production thanks to director Denis Krief and is blessed with a great cast. The legendary baritone Nucci is in much better voice than in some of the other Parma productions while Alvarez and Cedolins acquit themselves handsomely. The real hero of this performance is maestro Donato Renzetti who gets the every last ounce out of his Parmese forces.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]


In spite of rather stark and discordant staging, the 19th century wardrobe looks pretty authentic, and the video crew under Andrea Dorigo provides camera work with a lot of intense closeups and excellent detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Either my BD was defective or there was simply no information to be gained in the surround channels of the DTS-HD Master Audio surround version. This made the 2-channel alternative, heard in matrixed mode, a more vibrant alternative.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]


As expected, the Tutto Verdi project gives us a 10-minute synopsis/background piece on this opera that will be welcome to newcomers. Trailers from other Tutto Verdi series operas are also included.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

This is one of Verdi’s most enigmatic operas with a series of ups and downs over the last century and a half. Luisa Miller places as many demands on its lead singers as nearly any work in the maestro’s catalog. The problems that a performance of this work must overcome are its rather sketchy plot and the lack of showstoppers except for Rodolfo’s aria “quando le sere al placido.” I have a Deutsche Grammophon DVD from the 1980’s with none less than Placido Domingo, Renata Scotto, Sherrill Milnes, James Morris and James Levine that puts this current one in the vocal shade. That aside, from the standpoint of video and audio properties, this BD is made superior by 21st century technology. For the completists among us, I would recommend both. Otherwise a purchase would need to follow the old Miller light beer saying: “great taste, less filling.”

Additional Screen Captures

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[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B0094AH3AW[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Luisa Miller (Teatro Regio di Parma) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Luisa Miller [Teatro Regio di Parma] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0094AH3AW[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B0094AH3AW[/amazon-product]

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BestBuy.com:
Luisa Miller (Teatro Regio di Parma) - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Luisa Miller [Teatro Regio di Parma] on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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