Ambrogio Maestri - DVD video

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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (DVD)

Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (DVD)


Leoncavallo:

Pagliacci

Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Alessio Arduini (Silvio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe)

Mascagni:

Cavalleria Rusticana

Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), Stefania Toczyska (Mamma Lucia)


Staatskapelle Dresden, Sachsischer Staatsopernchor, Christian Thielemann

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

As comparably short operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are often billed together, but seldom is the lead tenor making his double role-debut as Turiddu and Canio on the same evening. At the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival Jonas Kaufmann did just that - to rapturous praise. Universally hailed as a coup for Kaufmann, the plaudits were also showered on Philipp Stölzl for his innovative compartmentalized staging which included live video projections while referencing the era of black-and-white movies.

“We have plenty of the thrilling, untrammelled and ringing sound that the tenor is capable of at his best...Happily, Kaufmann’s outstanding central performances are well matched, both musically and scenically...on his own terms, Stölzl creates a drama of real intensity...Thielemann is always aware of the drama and the beauties of the playing are many.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“Rather than heart-on-sleeve slancio, [Thielemann] gives the music plenty of space, as well as elegance and delicacy when required...Stölzl’s innovative use of split staging and close-ups of characters who are ‘off-stage’ always enhances the main action rather than being a distraction from it...If this Cav is all monochrome and claustrophobic, Pag is a riot of colour and energy.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 18th March 2016

“one of the most gripping accounts of these two operas I’ve encountered...Thielemann is a surprise entry into the world of verismo. He wrings every bit of blood and thunder out of each score...The great tenor is in superb voice and acts up a storm...[Monastyrska] sings magnificently, her huge voice invariably right-on.” Classics Today

“The German tenor ticks all the verismo boxes, entirely credible as an actor...He sings with southern passion...In both operas, the staging gives us intimate vignettes and a strong sense of continuity...The rest of the casting is very strong...Thielemann brings full-on passion and breadth to these scores, drawing full-blooded and full-toned playing from the Staatskapelle Dresden.” classicalsource.com

“Stölzl’s compartmentalised staging works well, solving problems inherent in the Salzburg stage...Vocally the stars are Kaufmann and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska. The former is in superb voice, every word clear, top notes ringing...Monastyrska creates a sympathetic Santuzza, her possessiveness making it clear why Turiddù strays.” Limelight Magazine, 19th August 2016

Presto Disc of the Week

18th March 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Winner

GGramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - May 2016

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Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff


Ambrogio Maestri (Sir John Falstaff), Fiorenza Cedolins (Mrs. Alice Ford), Stephanie Houtzeel (Mrs. Meg Page), Massimo Cavalletti (Ford), Eleonora Buratto (Nannetta), Javier Camarena (Fenton), Elisabeth Kulman (Mrs. Quickly), Luca Casalin (Dottore Cajus), Gianluca Sorrentino (Bardolfo), Davide Fersini (Pistola)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Zubin Mehta

This surprising and imaginative staging thought up by the Italian director Damiano Michieletto moves the action of Verdi's late, great masterpiece from a fictitious London to that special care home, the Casa Verdi, a place rich in memories of great days past and impressions of a real-time present. The characters of the comedy appear as shadows of the past and now the drama, increasingly a mixture of dream and reality, can commence.

"Ambrogio Maestri seems a tailor-made Falstaff. A giant of a man in real life, he is the ideal eponymous hero and the most sought after Falstaff singer of his time. His physique is just right for the part, as are his powerful voice, flair for drama and feeling for the Verdi style." New York Times

"Damiano Michieletto is bursting with ideas when it comes to combining illusion and reality." Tagesspiegel

Picture format: NTSC - 16:9

Sound format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 120 mins

Language: Italian

Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese

German FSK: 0

Worldwide Available

“The singers are all steeped in their roles, but would put their experience to better effect in a more traditional performance. Maestri remains a classic interpreter of the role; he savours his words, but is constricted in his acting, thanks to the non-demands of Damiano Michieletto's direction.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2015 ***

“Maestri is a familiar Falstaff and performs with customary gusto, but Fiorenza Cedolins sounds a little soupy and scoopy as Alice. Javier Camarena and Eleonora Buratto are charming as Nannetta and Fenton...Kulman's Mrs Quickly is refreshing for not being the battleaxe we often see in the role...There's no shortage of classy playing from the pit.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015

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Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff


Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Angela Meade (Alice Ford), Franco Vassallo (Ford), Lisette Oropesa (Nannetta), Paolo Fanale (Fenton), Stephanie Blythe (Mistress Quickly), Jennifer Johnson Cano (Meg Page), Keith Jameson (Bardolfo), Christian Van Horn (Pistola)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, James Levine (conductor) & Robert Carsen (director)

Verdi's brilliant final masterpiece Falstaff, in its first new Met production in 50 years -- and conducted by Met Music Director James Levine in his first new production since his return to his podium at the Met.

“When it comes to theatrical flair, captivating costumes, stage antics and imagination, there are not many shows on Broadway to rival the Met’s new Falstaff”.

This visual feast, served up by director Robert Carsen, is a “thoughtful, affecting and hilarious staging that updates the action from the time of Henry IV to England in the 1950s” (New York Times).

James Levine conducts Verdi’s final masterpiece with “affectionate energy” while Ambrogio Maestri, heading a stellar cast, projects “towering bravado and rare baritonal fervour in the title role” (Financial Times).

“The whole thing is a riot from start to finish, led by the irrepressible Ambrogio Maestri - surely the world's leading fat knight...His baritone is rich and resonant, and he invests the role with humour and touching resignation...the sense of ensemble is lively under James Levine's shrewd direction.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

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Verdi: Aida

Verdi: Aida


Hui He (Aida), Fabio Sartori (Radamès), Giovanna Casolla (Amneris), Ambrogio Maestri (Amonasro), Adrian Sampetrean (Ramfis), Roberto Tagliavini (The King)

Orchestra, chorus, ballet of the Verona Arena, Omer Meir Wellber

Since 1913 operatic performances have been given in the Arena of Verona in Summer, with more than 17,000 spectators enjoying the show every evening. 'Aida' is the most popular opera of Verona Festival, the only one performed every year. 'Aida', the masterpiece which gave life to the Opera Festival in the Arena 100 years ago, was presented in two different versions: a revival of the 1913, that was launched with Zenatello singing; and a new one from Catalan theatre group La Fura des Baus.

La Fura opened the Centenary Festival: this version of 'Aida' was completely wacky: fire, inflatable sculptures, an aluminium pyramid assembled by crane, acrobats, mechanical camels, men in orange boiler suits with scarab beetle heads riding bumper cars, flooding the stage to make a lake inhabited by dancers dressed as crocodiles, solar panels… Under the night sky, it was a visual feast. This 'Aida' with its spectacular scenic techniques and technology, was directed by Carlus Padrissa and Àlex Ollé; choreography by Valentina Carrasco; set design Roland Olbeter; costume designer, Chu Uroz. The lighting is the work of Arena veteran, Paolo Mazzon. For Maestro Omer Meir Wellber this was his first time on the podium of the amphitheatre.

“Ramfis and the King boom away convincingly. The orchestra and chorus sound good and, technically speaking, BelAir have done a brilliant job of capturing the surround sound, using all six speakers very impressively indeed.” MusicWeb International, 8th January 2015

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Verdi: Aida

Verdi: Aida

Recorded live at Arena di Verona, June 2012


Hui He (Aida), Marco Berti (Radames), Andrea Ulbrich (Amneris), Ambrogio Maestri (Amonasro), Roberto Tagliavini (The King), Antonella Trevisan (High Priestess) & Antonello Ceron (A messenger)

Orchestra, Chorus and Corps de Ballet of the Arena di Verona, Daniel Oren (conductor) & Gianfranco De Bosio (director)

The grand scale and magnificent acoustics of the Roman arena in Verona are ideally suited to the pageantry of Verdi's Egyptian opera, presented here in a staging that is true to the original 1913 production, framed by obelisks and sphinxes and filled with chorus and dancers. Chinese soprano Hui He has won international acclaim for her portrayal of the eponymous slave girl whose forbidden love for the war hero Radamés (Marco Berti, the experienced Verdi tenor) brings death to them both.

Filmed in the 2000 year-old Roman amphitheatre at Verona with 20,000 seats – the ideal backdrop for this epic production.

Filmed in 3D & High Definition in 2012.

Gianfranco De Bosio has revived the original 1913 production.

Conducted by Daniel Oren, Maestro of the Arena for 30 years.

Extra features: Cast gallery.

Running time: 150 minutes

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/JP

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“[Hui He] is quite magnificent, her silvery-toned soprano soaring above the orchestra. Add her involved and expressive acting and excellent vocal characterisation to a smooth legato line and I was bowled over...[Ulbrich] has the vocal heft and bite to come over in the large Verona Arena whilst her committed acting was also welcome.” MusicWeb International, 13th November 2013

“It's straightforward, recalling Edwardian toy theatre...And the spectacle isn't overdone...Ulbrich is a fiery Amneris. But it's the Ethiopians who carry the day, with Maestri's thundering Amonasro and, above all, Chinese soprano Hui He's Aida, vocally strong and passionate and commanding a decent mezza voce.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 ***

“Hui He is one of the world's Aidas of choice, and there's no denying that she's got what it takes...Berti, similarly, has a true Verdi tenor as Radames...Ulbrich is an impressive Amneris without a well-placed top couple of notes...Maestri, who looks as if he could stomp the Egyptians to death if he wanted to, sings and acts a monumental Amonasro.” International Record Review, February 2014

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Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff

Teatro Farnese/Verdi Festival Parma, October 2011


Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Luca Salsi (Ford), Antonio Gandia (Fenton), Svetla Vassileva (Alice Ford), Romina Tomasoni (Mistress Quickly), Daniela Pini (Meg Page), Barbara Bargnesi (Nannetta), Luca Casalin (Dr. Cajus), Patrizio Saudelli (Bardolfo), Mattia Denti (Pistole)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma, Andrea Battistoni

Staged by Stephen Medcalf

C Major approaches the end of its Tutto Verdi project with a production of Verdi’s Falstaff.

The cast includes Ambrogio Maestri – a recent performer at Teatro all a Scala, Metropolitan Opera New York, Opera de Paris, Covent Garden and Vienna State Opera - alongside Svetla Vassileva and Luca Salsi.

PICTURE: 16:9, HD

SOUND: DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM STEREO

RUNNING TIME: TOTAL: 142 MINUTES (OPERA: 131 MINUTES, BONUS: 11 MINUTES)

SUBTITLES: ITALIAN (ORIGINAL LANGUAGE), ENGLISH, GERMAN, FRENCH, SPANISH, CHINESE, KOREAN, JAPANESE BONUS: ENGLISH, ITALIAN

AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE

“Medcalf's Falstaff...makes use of Ambrogio Maestri's Falstaff (terrific diction)...Svetla Vassileva's Alice (as glamorous as she is witty) or Romina Tomasoni's amusingly British Quickly.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2014

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Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff

from Zurich Opera House


Ambrogio Maestri (Falstaff), Barbara Frittoli (Alice Ford), Meg Page (Judith Schmid), Mistress Quickly (Yvonne Naef), Massimo Cavalletti (Ford), Eva Liebau (Nannetta), Javier Camarena (Fenton), Peter Straka (Dr. Cajus), Martin Zysset (Bardolfo), Davide Fersini (Pistola)

Orchester der Oper Zürich & Chor der Oper Zürich, Daniele Gatti

Staged by Sven-Eric Bechtolf

Daniele Gatti, currently Music Director of the Orchestre National de France and Zurich Opera will conduct Verdi’s Falstaff at the Royal Opera House in May with Ambrogio Maestri in the leading rôle.

Features a great cast: Ambrogio Maestri is one of the finest Falstaffs of our time. The Italian baritone brings a powerful, versatile voice to his role, but also brings his character a hilarious buffo quality. Daniele Gatti, one of the most acclaimed opera conductors working today, leads a stunning cast of singers including Barbara Fritolli as Alice Ford.

Genuinely warm italianita in all of the music-making, combined with a boisterous production by stage director Sven-Eric Bechtolf, turns Verdi’s commedia lirica into a fireworks display of high spirits as well as what the Neue Zürcher Zeitung called “musically and dramaturgically a feast of life and of love of life.”

Running Time Total: 126 minutes

DVD: DTS 5.0, PCM Stereo

Subtitles Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean

“the conductor starts apparently quite steadily. But this lack of a certain flick and bounce is compensated for by the focus of Daniele Gatti...places on Verdi's radically forward-looking orchestration...The cast, led by a secure Maestri, can boast a lovable Nannetta in Liebau and further clever variations on Quickly's eccentricity from Naef.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012

“As usual in a good Falstaff, the heroes are the conductor and the protagonist. Daniele Gatti never lets pacing drag, he's alive to every nuance onstage...and the bounciness of his reading is never too heavily or obviously applied...Maestri's voice ideally suits the role - an attractively timbred, well-focused, wide-ranging baritone, with sufficient power and variety of colour. He works the text in detail, frequently risking a genuinely intimate delivery.” International Record Review, October 2012

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Verdi: Aida

Verdi: Aida

Live Recording from The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Firenze 2011


Hui He (Aida), Marco Berti (Radamès), Luciana D’Intino (Amneris), Ambrogio Maestri (Amonasro), Roberto Tagliavini (Il Re), Giacomo Prestia (Ramfis)

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Zubin Mehta (conductor) & Ferzan Ozpetek (stage director)

Set Design by DANTE FERRETTI

Zubin Mehta conducts Aida, Verdi’s most spectacular and over-the-top opera, in a new production from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Starring Marco Berti, Luciana D’Intino and Hui He. Verdi’s Aida is one of the most popular operas of all time. It premiered at the Cairo Opera House on Christmas Eve, 1871, and was an immediate commercial success. The plot of Aida is filled with political intrigue, love, betrayal, passion, and vengeance, and has captivated audiences for generations. What piqued general curiosity about this new production of Aida was undoubtedly the operatic debut of Ferzan Ozpetek, a Turkish auteur who, after settling in Italy as a student, has become one of the most prominent directors of Italian cinema in the last decade, directing acclaimed films as “La finestra di fronte” (Facing Windows) and “Mine Vaganti” (Loose Cannons).

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), GB, DE, FR, ES, JP, Korean

Running Time: 151 mins

FSK: 0

“Vocally, there are strengths and weaknesses. Lucaina D'Intino's Amneris operates on the grandest scale, fired by energy and passion. Marco Berti's Radamès is solid but stiff...Ambrogio Maestri's Amonasro is powerful but rough-hewn. There's an excellent Ramfis from Giacomo Prestia...[He's] acting is on the same level as the rest of the cast, but her singing of this demanding role is less accomplished” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 **

“Mehta realizes the differing aspects of the score, from the intimate to the more spectacular outbursts, drawing the necessary colours from the Florence orchestra and building climaxes in rousing manner...[Hui He] should win a sympathetic response for Aida's plight...Luciana D'Intino pulls out all the stops, with much use made of chest-voice, as possibly/probably the most interesting player in the opera.” International Record Review, March 2012

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Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore

Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore


Heidi Grant Murphy (Adina), Ambrogio Maestri (Dulcamara), Laurent Naouri (Belcore, Paul Groves (Nemorino) & Aleksandra Zamojska (Giannetta)

Orchestre et Choeurs de l'Opéra de Paris, Edward Gardner

L'elisir d'amore : opera in two acts by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Felice Romani after Eugène Scribe's libretto for Auber's Le philtre (1831), premièred at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan on May 12, 1832 and one of the most frequently performed of all Donizetti's operas.

"Edward Gardner conducted with outstanding imagination and authority" The Times, 12th August 2008, BBC Proms 2008

"This concert performance was the jewel in the crown of the Barbican's Mostly Mozart Festival, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Edward Gardner, the most demanding and perceptive of musical stage-managers." The Times [Clemenza di Tito, the Barbican, July 2008]

“…Laurent Pelly's staging is efficient and both narrative and characterisation are ably charted. The best performance comes from conductor Edward Gardner, who cuts a spirited dash through the sparkling score.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ***

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Verdi: Nabucco

Verdi: Nabucco


Ambrogio Maestri, Andrea Gruber, Paata Burchuladze

Coro del Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, Daniel Oren, stage direction by Paolo Panizza

Recording Date: 2004
Place of recording: Teatro Municipale di Piacenza
Running Time: 130 min
Picture Format: 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Language: I
Menu Languages NTSC: D, F, GB, JP, SP
Subtitle Languages NTSC: D, F, GB, I, JP, SP

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