Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Vincenzo Bellini, Luciano Acocella, Italian International Orchestra|
Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Listen to Samples
See it only for Ciofi....
Smorgy | Southern California, USA | 07/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1830 La Scala version is quite different from the original Venice version. Seems much of Giulietta's music has been transposed down, Romeo's is transposed up, and Lorenzo is now a tenor instead of a bass (and a priest instead of a doctor! A weird move considering this libretto was NOT based on the Shakespeare play).
Anyhow... The staging is minimalistic and looks to be modernized to the early 19th Century Italy. I don't care for the enemies to be threatening each other for 10 minutes at a time with rifles and pistols instead of swords... It just looks silly, you know. But what's really bad is the stage direction, which is way TOO STATIC!
Patrizia Ciofi is wonderful as Giulietta, though has a huskier voice than her supposedly male lover. She sings wonderfully and successfully defeats the static stage direction with her innate expressiveness. The same can't be said for Clara Polito, who is a soprano Romeo (yeah, it's weird hearing these 2 voices together in their duets... seems like they should switch their gender assignation. Romeo sounds a lot more feminine than Giulietta!).
Polito has a nicely imposing voice with a top-spin and a rather prominent quick vibrato. It's a shame she doesn't like to sing less loud than mezzo forte (there isn't even a piano to be heard all opera long, let alone a pianissimo). It's only loud or louder with this one. On the acting front, her characterization is rather defeated by the lack of stage direction. Should really face the audience when Romeo is musing, and the co-stars when Romeo is addressing them, instead of the other way around, imo.
The boys all sing fine, and I'm even impressed by voice of the Tebaldo of Danilo Formaggia, though would still prefer Ramon Vargas (who has a much smoother legato).
Maestro Luciano Acocella lead the orchestra at a nicely brisk pace and supports the voices well.
It's an OK show for me. It's interesting to get to hear a different version of this opera than what I'm used to, but I like the original version A LOT more... Keeping my fingers crossed that a studio had taped a performance of this opera starring Vesselina Kasarova for commercial release."