Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Giacomo Puccini: La fanciulla del West

Barbara Daniels... Minnie
Sherrill Milnes... Jack Rance
Placido Domingo... Dick Johnson
Anthony Laciura... Nick
Julien Robbins... Ashby
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Artistic Director: James Levine

The production provides plenty of dramatic contrast while it nicely captures the Wild West setting. The whole thing works exceptionally well, and is ultimately no more silly than any number of Verdi’s operas. This is rendered all the more realistic by a cast which I cannot imagine being surpassed. Barbara Daniels may not have the big or luscious soprano voice characteristic of the great Puccini sopranos, past and present (think Tebaldi, Price, Gheorghiu), but she immerses herself so completely into the dramatic aspects of her role that any vocal shortcomings are quickly forgotten. Domingo is fantastic in a role that is quite ideal for him, lying vocally somewhere between Rodolfo and Calaf.
He is very comfortable meeting the acting requirements of the reformed bandit. Sherrill Milnes’s suave Jack Rance is just about perfect from a physical standpoint, and he refuses to let the role degenerate into a one-dimensional villain. This approach is emphasized in the powerful final scene that frames a frustrated and disappointed Rance remaining alone at center stage. The inspired choice of Leonard Slatkin as conductor appropriately emphasizes the importance of the orchestra in La fanciulla del West. His conducting is as dynamic as it is subtle, and he supports the singers superbly.
The DVD contains subtitles in multiple languages. Sonically, there are PCM stereo, DTS 5.1, and Dolby 5.1 formats. Multichannel reveals a slight increase in the sense of air and depth, but there are no directional effects in the rear speakers, even with the various rifle shots and brawls. DTS has a slight advantage in terms of clarity and presence. The bass drum is thunderous in all formats. If you have any remote interest in La fanciulla del West, you can’t go wrong here. Highly recommended.!' (arkivmusic.com)

1 Full DVD9 | NTSC | All Regions | 4:3 | DTS 5.1 | PCM Stereo | VO: italian |
7,18 GB | Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian 
Timing: 139 min
Recorded in 1992, Metropolitan Opera

1 FULL DVD: 18x400Mb

SCANS: 1x70Mb

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