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Rossini: La Pietra Del Paragone / Spinosi, Ensemble Mateus

Rossini / Spinosi / Beziat / Prina / Holloway
Release Date: 11/20/2007 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5089  
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  François LisChristian SennJosé Manuel ZapataSonia Prina,   ... 
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio ChorusEnsemble Matheus
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Miracles do happen, it seems. Three weeks after Rossini's La pietra del paragone received its first DVD incarnation on Opus Arte, the French Naïve label released this alternative. Remarkably, both DVDs document excellent,
Read more entertaining performances, both are extremely well filmed, both come with generous extras and both are brilliantly packaged. Yet each performance offers a different approach – musically and production-wise – so both are worthy of consideration.

Filmed in January 2007 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Pierrick Sorin and Giorgio Barberior Corsetti's production updates the action to the 1950s or 60s. But this is an opera production with a difference. The singers perform in front of a blue background and are filmed by three cameras at the front of the stage while the action is projected onto a giant screen above their heads. Small models (which are also filmed) of interior and exterior settings are wheeled on by men and women dressed in blue skin costumes so that the live action is superimposed on top of these onto the big screen above

...The young cast is absolutely brilliant. Prime amongst them is tenor José Manuel Zapata in the role of Giocondo. His voice is natural and beautiful, his intonation is mostly secure and his sense of style is impeccable. His aria 'Oh come il fosco impetuoso' is one of the vocal highlights of the performance...Sonia Prina is a splendid comedienne, making La Marchesa Clarice into a feisty character, and her true contralto voice is well suited to the difficult tessitura; Jennifer Holloway (Aspasia) and particularly Laura Giordano (Fulvia) offer strong female support; and François Lis's elegant Asdrubale is the ideal centrepiece of the varied dramatis personae. Joan Martín-Royo's Macrobio, Christian Senn's Pacuvio and Filippo Polinelli are just as superb as the rest. It has to be said that the group singing tends to be stronger than some of the arias; the singers are remarkably well co-ordinated during the tricky ensemble numbers such as the quintet in the second act...Jean-Christophe Spinosi's conducting of the period-instrument Ensemble Matheus is lively and assured...Not to be missed."

-- Dominic McHugh, MusicalCriticism.com


Gioacchino Rossini:
La Pietra del Paragone
opera buffa in two acts
Libreto by Luigi Romanelli
Direction, designs and video: Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and Pierrick Sorin
Costumes and collaboration on décor: Cristian Taraborrelli
Performed in the Rossini Foundation/Casa Ricordi edition
rec. live, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, 24, 26, 28 January 2007
Synopsis, essays, artist profiles in French and English

Bonus DVD:
interview of Jean-Christophe Spinosi
interview of Pierrick Sorin
video self-portrait of Pierrick Sorin
audio track adapted for partially-sighted people
Content of the book:
A text by Stendhal
Conversations with Jean-Christophe Spinosi and G.B Corsetti
A text by Pierrick Sorin
NTSC - Region Code = 0 (worldwide)
2 DVDs + Book 88 pages
Timing: 161:00; bonus interviews: 50:00
Subtitles in English and French

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Works on This Recording

La pietra del paragone by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  François Lis (Bass), Christian Senn (Bass Baritone), José Manuel Zapata (Tenor),
Sonia Prina (Alto), Jennifer Holloway (Soprano), Laura Giordano (Soprano),
Joan Martín-royo (Baritone), Filippo Polinelli (Bass)
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus,  Ensemble Matheus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1812; Italy 

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