Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: La Fandulla del West

Magazine article Gramophone

Puccini: La Fandulla del West

Article excerpt

Puccini [DVD] [Br]  La fandulla del West  Nina Stemme sop                          Minnie Aleksandrs Antonenko ten           Dick Johnson John Lundgren bar                    Jack Ranee Niklas Bjorling Rygert ten                 Nick Michael Schmidberger bass-baritone        Ashby Ola Eliasson bar                         Sonora Male Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera / Pier Giorgio Morandi Stage director Christof Loy Video director Hannes Rossacher 

EuroArts [F] [DVD] 207 2598; [F] [Br] 207 2594 (140' * NTSC * 1080i * 16:9 * DTS-HD MA, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * O * s). Recorded live, February 2012

Stemme at home for Fanciulla filmed in Stockholm

They have a good reason for mounting a new production of La fanciulla del West at the Royal Swedish Opera, as local-girl-made-good Nina Stemme has taken on the tide-role. Christof Loy's staging provides an effective showcase for her, not least by opening with a film of Stemme in full cowboy gear riding on horseback across the prairies of the Wild West. With tongue subtly in his cheek, Loy sets the opera in the silent film era, sometimes projecting short sections of the action on the back wall, but in other respects staying true to the opera's story and characters. The filming is effective, though in close-up the singers pasty white make-up looks very odd. A more serious drawback is the very drab, utilitarian sets one reason why this performance feels so disappointingly short on romance.

It could have been confidently predicted that Stemme would make a formidable Minnie. …

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