VERDI: Macbeth
Giuseppe Altomare (Macbeth). Giorgio Giseppini (Banquo). Dimitra Teodossiou (Lad Macbeth). Valerie Sepe (Lady-in-waiting). Dario Di Vietri (Macduff). Ernesto Petti (Malcolm). Radi Pintillie (Doctor). chorus and Orchestra of Piemonte Schola Cantorum San Gregorio Magno/Giseppe Sabbatini, cond.
DYNAMIC DVD TT: 158 min.

VERDI: Otello
Johan Botha (Otello)(. Renée Fleming (Desdemona). Faulk Struckman (Iago). Michael Fabiano (Cassio). Eduardo Valdes (Roderigo). René Tatum (Emelia). Metropolitan Opera Corus and Orch/Semyon Bychkov, cond.
DECCA DVD TT: 157 min.


This site has mentioned several videos of Verdi's Macbeth, three of which are superb presentations of this masterpiece: one from Bologna with Riccardo Chailly conducting, Leo Nucci in the title role and Shirley Verrett as Lady Macbeth ((RE VIEW).. another was from the Met with James Levine, Zeljka Lucic and Maria Gueghena (REVIEW), and another from the Royal Opera conducted by Antonio Pappano with Simon Keenyside and Luidmyla Monastursiska (REVIEW). All are superior to this new version from Teatro Carlo Coccia, Novaro Pctpber 2013/. Directed by Dario Argento with sets and lighting b AngeloLinzalata, they have uexceptionalgiven us a bleak set. Costumes by Elena Bianchini are updated but not overly so. add little to the proceedings. The singing is unexceptional. The: weakest singer is Dimitra Teodossious whose voice is uneven, forced and often unpleasant. She improves as the opera progresses, but at the end of the Sleepingwalking Scene she attempts the final D flat with disastrous results. The remainder of the cast is quite good, and audio is equally find. However, this version simply cannot compete with the others mentioned. The audience is quite enthusiastic—I cannot imagine why.

Verdi's Otello has countless recordings including videos. It is a challenge for all, and the 1947 broadcast conducted by Arturo Toscanini (with Ramon Vinay in the title role) is considered ideal, in spite of rather primitive sound. And on video there are many great performances including in particular those by Mario Del Monaco with Tullio Serafin conducting (REVIEW), Jon Vickers with Karajan (REVIEW), Plácido Domingo from the Met with James Levine (REVIEW), and Jon Vickers fro the Met also with Levine (REVIEW). This latest Otello from the Met was an HD telecast, a performance October 27, 2012. Johan Botha's voice is large enough for this demanding role, but his sound is strained. A large man, he is a wooden actor and makes little of the final scene. Renée Fleming is the Desdemona as she was two decades earlier in the Domingo Met performance; she still is excellent in the role, and Falk Struckmann impresses as Ia go. Semyon Bychkov's conducting is excellent, but a performance of Otello with a disappointing tenor is not competitive. Riccardo Mutu had the same problem at Salzburg in 2008 when Aleksandrs Antonenlp was featured (RESUME). Video and audio are excellent on this new version, and as a "bonus" we have backstage with the two principals.

This "Tango" DVD is rather odd as it doesn't include much dancing. It focuses on the " golden age" of he tango, the 1920s and 1930s when the exotic dance was performed in El Palacio in Buenos Aires and over the years it has remained a meeting place for those who love the Tango. This DVD was filmed in Café de los Maestros with various superb orchestras and ensembles playing tangos. A narrator speaks about the tango and those who perform it. It is obvious the orchestras are masters with a real feel for the music—but then it's over (this DVD is but an hour). It is a mystery whyt DVD doesn't include more actual dancing—it is beautiful to watch, but we don't have the opportunity.

R.E.B. (June 2015).