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Catalogue No: OALS3004D
Shop Product Code: 2098343
CLASSIC RECORDINGS FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT OPERA HOUSES
Puccini’s Wild West opera has the California gold rush as its dramatic backdrop for a story in which Minnie, the only woman in a mining camp, gambles on her one chance of happiness. Lorin Maazel conducts a fine cast in Jonathan Miller’s 1991 production of the compelling and evocative opera, which Puccini himself considered his best work.
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Mara Zampieri, Juan Pons, Placido Domingo, Sergio Bertocchi, Luigi Roni, Antonio Salvadori
Orchestra & Chorus of La Scala / Lorin Maazel
Stage Director Jonathan Miller
‘Domingo is in great form. …the music-making is first-rate.‘
‘Proof that if you take Puccini’s western drama seriously, it offers rewards aplenty...Way out west: Plácido Domingo and Mara Zampieri in chaps and superb voice.
Recorded live by RAI for Italian television in January 1991, this DVD of La Fanciulla del West presents the atmospheric production that Jonathan Miller directed for the La Scala with sets by Stefanos Lazaridis and costumes by Sue Blanc. With a strong cast and with Lorin Maazel proving a warmer, more idiomatic Puccinian here than he generally was in his studio recordings for Sony, it makes a welcome issue.
Miller’s production takes the melodrama seriously, with realistic sets and period costumes…Maazel’s direction makes one marvel afresh at the imagination and colour in this score, distinct from other Puccini operas in its obsession with the whole-tone scale. The end of Act1 for example, with Minnie’s sigh over an unresolved chord, must have taken early listeners completely by surprise.
Plácido Domingo is in superb voice, and rightly wins ovations for each of his big solos, Juan Pons, too, is wonderfully firm and dark of tone as Jack Rance…Mara Zampieri as Minnie sings with clear focus…A strong performance. Among the others Marco Chingari as the minstrel Jake Wallace in the great melody near the beginning, Luigi Roni as the Wells Fargo agent Ashby, and Sergio Berrocchi as Nick, all rise splendidly to their brief moments of glory. Not only is the documentation fuller than usual in DVD booklets, with a facsimile of the oper-house’s cast-list on the back, it also contains a complete libretto and translation.’
'La fanciulla del West is one of those infrequently performed operas that repays repeated hearing, so any production is welcome. There is the usual Miller attention to detail and lots of good work going on in the comprimario roles. Domingo is again Dick Johnson…Juan Pons bestrides the stage as Sheriff Rance, and Maria Zampieri is a sympathetic Minnie.'
‘The Fanciulla del West offers a large contingent of good Italian comprimarii, a marvellous leading lady – Mara Zampieri…shirks none of the role’s mighty challenges – competent support from Placido Domingo and Juan Pons.’
BBC Music Magazine
‘You may think you don't know Puccini's cowboy opera, "The Girl of the Golden West," but if you've ever hummed "Music of the Night," you've been quoting Puccini as much as "Phantom" composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
It's a superb score -- well worth cribbing from and highlighted by a gorgeous tenor aria of love and despair, "Ch'ella mi creda libero." To Puccini the American West was as exotic as "Madame Butterfly's" Japan or "Turandot's" China, and only our own familiarity with the territory makes the "Girl's" libretto a bit ludicrous.
Lorin Maazel's total control of the musical element and Placido Domingo's smooth vocalization of the hero make a strong case for this work, staged by Jonathan Miller. In the title part, Mara Zampieri is a dumpling of a barmaid with spunk. . .’
CAT NO: OA LS3004 D
FORMAT: All Formats
REGIONS: All Regions
PICTURE FORMAT: 4:3
LENGTH: 144 MINS
SOUND: DOLBY SURROUND
NO OF DISCS: 1
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