Giuseppe Verdi: Aida (Liceu) (Opus Arte DVD)

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Catalogue No: OA0894D
Shop Product Code: 2137124
Aida (Liceu) (Opus Arte DVD)

Status: Usually despatched within 14 days

Department: DVDs - Save up to 15% - Classical DVDs

Publisher: Select Music

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Filmed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Daniela Dessì, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Fabio Armiliato, Juan Pons and Roberto Scandiuzzi lead the cast in the renowned period production filmed in 2003 against the historic paper trompe-l'oeil sets painted between 1936-45 by Josep Mestres Cabanes, the last representative of the old Catalan school of scenography. Mestres Cabanes worked on his Aida vision for eight years. The opulent staging he created in 1945 is here in every detail. The seven magnificent sets he painted for Aida in 1945 have been subtly and painstakingly restored by Jordi Castells and his team - revealing the palaces, temples and surroundings of Memphis and Thebes which the set designer had wanted to evoke in his historical yet also fantasy-like vision.

These fascinating sets are not just realistic - but also magical in the theatrical sense. Mestres Cabanes loved the theatre which he had been exploring for over a quarter of a century. His sets are dramatic and visceral, conceived for stage action, conveying the dynamic tensions proper to each part of the work – intimate, epic, severe, sensual, troubled and tragic.

Stefano Palatchi, Elisabetta Fiorillo, Daniela Dessì, Fabio Armiliato, Roberto Scandiuzzi, Juan Pons, Josep Fado, Ana Nebot
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu / Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez
Stage Director Jose Antonio Gutierrez


Scenographer Josep Mestres Cabanes at the Liceu
Illustrated synopsis
Cast and Set Galleries

'The new release from Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu is a very successful piece of theatrical archaeology, for last year’s production there was given in the magnificent sets designed by Josep Mestres Cabanes for the house’s famous 1945 production. Very little survived the theatre’s disastrous 1994 fire, but Cabanes’s sets were salvaged and have been painstakingly restored. José Antonio Gutierrez’s production is, by definition, ultra-traditional, but everything looks beautiful thanks to Cabanes’s feeling for colour - ochres and blues dominate - and perspective.
Cabanes was the last representative of the Catalan school of scenography, and he achieved breathtaking atmosphere through trompe-l’oeil effects painted on paper. It’s for his designs that this DVD is really worth having, though they house a fine performance under the secure baton of Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez. Daniela Dessì is strong if occasionally strident in the title role, and Elisabetta Fiorillo is a commanding Amneris. Fabio Armiliato delivers the goods as Radames.'
BBC Music Magazine

‘This production is strongest on the visual side, thanks to the breathtaking sets of Josef Mestres Cabanes. They took nearly a decade to complete (1936-45); working on paper rather than cloth, Cabanes and his associates painted essentially in trompe-l’oeil style with a detail and finish quite comparable to what we have previously seen in photos of legendary La Scala productions of the same era. The restoration of these designs, clearly a labour of love on the part of the Gran Teatre del Liceu technical staff, is well documented in a ten-minute mini-documentary that fills out the DVD and in a very informative article included in Opus Arte’s booklet.’
International Record Review

‘The best reason for seeing this performance is the loving restoration of sets designed by the Spanish painter Josep Mestres Cabanes for a staging in 1945. The dedication to the originals pays off in spades, offering a traditional view of the settings that are at once grand and imaginative. Their wealth of detail, astonishing sense of perspective and fine colouring house an equally convincing production by José Antonio Gutiérrez, who gets the responses of his principals right and directs the Triumphal scene with aplomb. The whole is not just for traditionalists but for all who value carefully thought-through design and production values faithful to the original scenario. The lighting is sensitive and excellent dancing is provided by Companyia Metros. …the pleasure of hearing native singers delivering the text as to the manner born. They have the timbres that have, until recently, been associated with their roles. Daniela Dessì…phrases and shades her part with exemplary musicality and often ravishing pianissmi. Fabio Armiliato, a spinto of the old school offers the real thing in terms of tone…, most notably in the final scene which he and Dessì make deeply moving.
Elisabetta Fiorillo is an Amneris of the old school, delivering her music with upfront, gallery-hunting histrionics. She brings down the house at the end of the first scene of Act 4. It ain’t subtle, but it’s mightily effective. Roberto Scandiuzzi…exudes authority and implacable bigotry as Ramfis.’
The Gramophone

CAT NO: OA 0894 D
FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
RELEASED: 01/06/2004

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