12.6 C
New York
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Advertisement

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo [Alessandrini/Teatro alla Scala] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product]B004H6P2WO[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004H6P2WO[/amazon-product]

Purchase Monteverdi: L’Orfeo on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, a retelling of the mythic story of Orpheus and Eurydice, premiered in Mantua in 1607.  This 2009 La Scala performance attempts to return us to the premiere in terms of instrumentation, performing style, and setting.  Unlike its many operatic successors, L’Orfeo features deliberate stage movements, period rather than mythologic costumes, and very spare orchestration. As there are no living witnesses to this opera’s original performances, we can only speculate how true to Monteverdi’s concept this production is.  Having said that, viewers are blessed with a gorgeous production in every respect: singing, orchestral support, sound, and videography. Georg Nigl (Orfeo) is a German baritone and early music specialist who literally pours his heart out for the two hours of this edition.  He is ably supported by Italian soprano Roberta Invernizzi (Euridice,, Eco and La Musica) and mezzo-soprano Sara Mingardo (Sylvia and Speranza). The supporting roles are generally excellent as well. Rinaldo Alessandrini capably leads the much reduced forces of the Teatro alla Scala orchestra playing on period instruments. The amazing aspect of this production is the directorial work of Robert Wilson, generally regarded as an avant-garde creature of the theater, who, in his many incarnations, has done a fair bit of work for the operatic stage.  While the staging uses contemporary minimalism, this actually works quite well and draws our attention appropriately to the singers and other stage performers. The end result is a very moving music theater piece and helps us to understand why L’Orfeo is considered the very first great opera.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

As the stage action is often static and very stylized, this places greater pressure on the videographers to use camera work to create a sense of momentum. This is most ably done with discrete mix of cutaways, panoramas and close ups. There is never a sense of longueur, often a potential risk  with operas of the early baroque period where there is little stage action. The costumes appear to be quasi-Elizabethan, appropriate to the period of the work’s composition. Lighting for dramatic emphasis is effective, particularly in the scene set in Hades where Orpheus goes to bring Eurydice back from the dead.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is warm and well spread across the front speakers. Because of the small size of the orchestra, instrumental lines are unusually clear.  The singing is beyond reproach and the voices are well captured by the sound engineers.  Surround effects are limited to ambience and the audience is amazingly quiet.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

Additional materials consist of cast photos and an illustrated synopsis of the action. While many of today’s operatic BDs are short on extras, this is an instance where I would have really enjoyed director Wilson’s notions on this production as well conversations with the cast.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

There are no competing Blu-ray discs of L’Orfeo and this one raises the bar pretty high in all of the usual production values: sight, sound, and staging.  While I had planned to watch this video in  segments, once started, I could not take my eyes and ears away for a single moment. Early opera may not be every one’s cup of tea but, rest assured, this disc would be a great starting point for the uninitiated.  You get a great story, told in timeless music, with fabulous singers and musicians. Robert Wilson’s direction gets everything right and two hours elapse in the blink  of an eye. There is not a weak link in the cast and the lead, Georg Nigl is just plain fabulous. Judging from the response of the audience, they also agreed with these opinions.  So do a little time traveling, go back 400 years and see what the fuss was all about.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004H6P2WO[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B004H6P2WO[/amazon-product]

Purchase Monteverdi: L’Orfeo on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Join the Discussion on Our Forum

Advertisement

Related Articles

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

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

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.
%d bloggers like this: