Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Nino Rota, Elio Boncompagni, Theatre La Monnaie Royal Opera Orchesta|
Rota: Il cappello di paglia di Firenze
Listen to Samples
Apparently better seen than heard
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 08/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have not heard nor seen the cast performance recorded for this CD.
However, I have seen the opera as played on stage and hypothesize that, like most farces, it must be seen as well as heard. While not something one would take seriously that is the point of it; it is a pointless comedy. The music well sustains the mood of pure fun with no symbolic meaning worth thinking about, with no significance which must be grasped. If you can't see the prospective father-in-law reacting to his tight rented shoes you are not in tune with the music. While the production is not up to the level achieved by Chaplin, Keaton or Lloyd, the same principle applies here as in the music designed to accompany their pantomime: the music is wedded to the image. Given the many films scored by the composer, this is only to be expected.
To summarize, my simple point is that hearing the recording can allow a judgment of the music and singing as things in themselves, but allows no judgment about the opera created by composer, librettists or cast."
Not the way to hear this...
someoneelse | 02/25/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I will first admit that I am a fan of the composers. When I picked up this recording, I expected to like the music. It was not the case. I suspended judgement of the opera but I can see where the other reviewers are coming from. You simply cannot hear anything good from this recording. Perhaps if you're a fan of the cast, or a die hard Rota completist, otherwise I'd ignore this. I've since heard the superior recording. The version of Il cappello di paglia di Firenze on CD you should be seeking out has gone out of print. It was recorded in 1975, released through BMG Ricordi, conducted by the composer, and the recording brings out all the flare and character of the music, which is vitally missing from this 'bootleg' recording.
Meanwhile, there are excellent recordings of other Rota operas: I Due Timidi, La notte di un Nevrastenico, La Visita Meravigliosa and Lo Scoiattolo in gamba available, some of which are issued on the La Bottega Discantica label. I highly recommend them to fans of the composer."
The benefit of the doubt
Armindo | Greece | 12/28/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone thinking of investing in this recording must come prepared otherwise they'll be very dissapointed like the previous reviewer. It's very far from the operatic masterpieces of Verdi, Bellini etc. but I don't think Rota wanted it to sound like them anyway. I'm not saying I enjoyed it because without libretto (or at least score), this recording is useless to the casual opera collector who doesn't speak Italian fluently.
However, the first reason I would give it another chance if it ever happened to be played in theatre near me is that the audience seems to be enjoying what's happening on stage, I hear a lot of laughters particularly when the baritones and basses get on stage. And I've often liked an opera so much more in theatre than on records so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. Secondly, it's Rota's most popular opera and it's been staged a number of times, most notably at La Scala in a 1998 production with Juan Diego Florez.
The cast here features verisimo specialist Magda Olivero, promising young Mariella Devia in the soubrette role of Elena, Edoardo Gimenez in your usual mighty-mouse comic tenor role of Fadinard and an impressive Federico Davia among others. There isn't much for them to sing in terms of arias so be prepared for lots of chatting. For a more musical Rota opera, you might want to try Napoli Milionaria. Otherwise wait for a theatre production or simply play some Bellini..."