Saturday, January 12, 2013

Questo è un nodo avviluppato

Last week I was all a-twitter (heh heh heh--get it?) about the Norwegian Opera's La Boheme, because it was so lovely and I know and adore the Musetta from that production, Jennifer Rowley.  This week it's all about M. Ponnelle's movie version of La Cenerentola, starring Frederica von Stade and Francisco Araiza, people I can only dream of knowing personally.  This was another Christmas gift I just now got to view.

The 1981 movie is based on a 1973 La Scala production by M. Ponnelle and Mr. Claudio Abbado.  I don't intend to go into great detail about everything I like about the movie (and there was a lot) or anything I didn't like (there were very few things).  The most important things that I liked?  Ms. von Stade and Mr. Araiza, of course.  Both great singers at great times in their careers, and there seemed to be a great chemistry between them.  I loved the acting of everyone, especially Paolo Montarsolo as Don Magnifico. He knew just how much to mug for the camera without overdoing it.  Too much.  I especially loved how the chorus was given wonderfully choreographed moves to do in unison while at the same time they were able to react as individuals.

Here is a clip from the movie--the sextet I name in the title of this post.  What a joy, a balm for my bel canto heart, to watch and listen to numerous performances of this section.

Following is a totally different staging and design of the same sextet, from Barcelona, 2008:

2010 at the Met, with Lawrence Brownlee and Elina Garança:

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