Let me repeat the headline - this is an all-region disc, NOT Region B/2 only. It does no good to notify Amazon of the error because they rarely make any needed changes.
I wish I could have rated this higher but some of the singing is a major problem. Tsymbalyuk is fine in the limited role of Timur. Agresta is reasonably good as Liu but I would have much preferred a softer portrayal and a voice that was more luxurious. She sounded great when I heard singing Lady Macbeth in Brussels but this role requires a different sounding timbre – a quality she doesn’t seem to possess. Stemme was terrific but I’ll admit to a bias in her favor. However, she was slightly tentative when starting “In questa Reggia.” If anyone saw the original broadcast, you know she made one serious note “flub” near its end. That was fixed via an edit for this release. Overall she sounded better months later singing the role at the Metropolitan Opera. The real problem here is Antonenko as Calaf. If he hits a note at the correct pitch, he frequently wavers off of it – going back and forth. Sometimes he is just plain flat. I admit to not being a technical expert when it comes to the singing voice but it is quite clear that something is wrong here. He may be having a bad night here but this is not the only poor performance I have heard from him in recent years. His 2008 Otello from Salzburg was excellent good.
I loved the production. There is one basic set with enormous slanted inward walls with rows and rows of large spikes and a balcony across the back and along the sides. Changes were demonstrated via effective lighting. The chorus was along the balcony during most of act 2 which quite effectively forced you to focus on the two principles alone on the main stage floor. There are two downsides – here in my opinion. The Berio ending was used for the last scene which I don’t particularly like. I much prefer the usual Alfano ending. Secondly, video director(s) at LaScala have a habit of sometimes doing a complete fade out/fade in when changing camera angles. It doesn’t happen that often here (mostly the 3rd act) but it is irritating. This release was not as bad as some others I’ve seen from LaScala. I believe this is the last production Nikolaus Lehnhoff directed before passing away.
I knew all of these pros and cons but purchased this disc anyways for Stemme and the production. I would definitely not make it my only video recording, but individuals should definitely consider purchasing it if you can get a good price. The Stemme and the visuals are worth it.
- Format: DVD
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English, Korean, French, Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Universal Vertrieb
- Run Time: 134 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B01N6B6ZON