L’Elisir d’amore | Don Pasquale | Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali (Viva la Mamma)

bac607-coffret-donizetti3dvd

Gaetano Donizetti Box-Set

Three masterpieces by Donizetti in a limited edition box set : internationally acclaimed productions from the Paris Opera, Scala di Milano and Grand Théâtre de Genève by Laurent Pelly (L’Elisir d’amore), Daniel Slater (Don Pasquale) et Antonio Albanese (Viva la mamma).

L’ELISIR D’AMORE

The plot is simple but effective: a shy, naive young peasant buys a love philtre from a quack – all he gets, in fact, is a flask of wine – in order to win the heart of the girl he is in love with; in the end, and with no help from the philtre, she will realise that she loves him too. Add to this a sparkling musical language and marvellously inspired melodies – including the legendary “Una Furtiva Lagrima” – and you have the authentic masterpiece Donizetti turned out in just two weeks. Transposing the plot to the Italy of the 1950s, director Laurent Pelly (La Fille du Régiment in London and New York, with Natalie Dessay) offers us an absolute jewel, beautifully crafted and shot through with poetry.

American Heidi Grant Murphy sings Adina, accompanied by tenor Paul Groves as Nemorino. “Doctor” Dulcamara is masterfully played by the up-front Ambrogio Maestri and Laurent Naouri’s Belcore is delightfully repulsive. Appointed music director of the English National Opera in 2006, young British conductor Edward Gardner conducts the Paris Opera Orchestra.

DON PASQUALE

Doctor Malatesta, a family friend, introduces him to his sister, Sofronia: submissive, virtuous and hardworking, she seems to be just what Don Pasquale wants. Alas, after the wedding, the new wife turns into an insufferable shrew – and a flighty spendthrift into the bargain. An ageing buffoon A comic masterpiece, Don Pasquale stands out as the final flowering of the Neapolitan opera buffa from which Donizetti borrowed his characters: the old fool, the saucy soubrette, the “Dr Headache” who always chips in at the wrong moment, and the thwarted lovers who finally have their way. Yet here the composer also adds in all his elegance and subtlety, giving his main character a depth reminiscent of the novels of Balzac. In collusion with Ernesto and Malatesta, Norina, in disguise, has decided to teach the old fool a lesson; but after two acts of torture inflicted by his termagant of a bride, Don Pasquale, scorned and stripped of his illusions, provokes not laughter but emotion. Here the role is played by baritone Simone Alaimo, that master of Italian lightness, with Patrizia Ciofi as the mischievous Norina.

When he composed his opera in 1843, Donizetti, then aged forty-six, was in dire personal straits: ill and soon to become paralysed, he had lost his wife, parents and three of his children to a cholera epidemic. How he found the strength to write this wittily exhilarating gem is the great mystery of a work that remains enormously popular on stages around the world.

LE CONVENIENZE ED INCONVENIENZE TEATRALI (VIVA LA MAMMA)

The “Scala Academy Project” has chosen an opera by Donizetti never before performed on the Scala stage. Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Viva la mamma !) is a dramma giocoso which premiered in Naples in 1827. Italian actor, director and writer Antonio Albanese, a true master of wit and satire, made his debut as opera director. The Orchestra is conducted by Marco Guidarini.

Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali was inspired by two comedies written by Antonio Simone Sografi between 1794 and 1816. It follows the theatrical tradition of Goldoni, Gozzi and Metastasio, and subjects the bad habits of the operatic world to biting and sardonic criticism. The opera pokes fun at the “rights, either real or presumed, that each opera artist assumes to possess and which leads them to not liking particular operas or dances, irritating the public, ruining impresarios and ridiculing virtuosos”.

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Donizetti Box-Set [DVD]

L’ELISIR D’AMORE

Stage direction and costumes : Laurent Pelly

Adina : Heidi Grant Murphy
Nemorino : Paul Groves
Belcore : Laurent Naouri
Dulcamara : Ambrogio Maestri
Giannetta : Aleksandra Zamojska

Orchestre et Chœurs de l’Opéra de Paris

Conductor : Edward Gardner

Sets : Chantal Thomas
Lighting design : Joël Adam

HD recording : Opéra national de Paris (Opéra Bastille) | 2006
TV direction : Denis Caïozzi

DON PASQUALE

Stage direction : Daniel Slater

Don Pasquale : Simone Alaimo
Dr. Malatesta : Marzio Giossi
Ernesto : Norman Shankle
Norina : Patrizia Ciofi
Notaro : Romaric Braun

Chorus of the Grand Théâtre de Genève
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Conductor : Evelino Pidò

HD recording : Grand Théâtre de Genève | 2007
TV direction : Don Kent

LE CONVENIENZE ED INCONVENIENZE TEATRALI

Stage direction : Antonio Albanese

Daria : Jessica Pratt
Procolo : Simon Bailey
Biscroma : Christian Senn
Agata : Vincenzo Taormina
Luigia : Aurora Tirotta
Guglielmo : Leonardo Cortellazzi
Pippetto : Asude Karayavuz

Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia del Teatro alla Scala

Conductor : Marco Guidarini

HD recording : Teatro alla Scala (Milan) | 2009
TV direction : Andy Sommer

technical informations

Release date : 08 April 2014
Distribution : Naxos Distribution

3 DVD [BOX-SET]
Reference
: BAC607
Barcode : 3760115306073
Running time : 374 min.
L’Elisir d’amore : 133 min.
Don Pasquale : 127 min.
Le Convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali : 114 min.
Subtitles : FR / ENG / GER / SPA
Image : Color, 16/9, NTSC
Sound : PCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Region code : 0