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Bellini's romantic opera 'La sonnambula' (1831), hinges on the love and misunderstanding between Elvino and Amina (the ‘sleepwalker’ of the title). Discovered in the bedroom of Rodolfo, Amina is assumed to have been unfaithful, and Elvino cancels their wedding. But in the dramatic final scene, he witnesses Amina sleepwalking, understands her innocence, and all ends happily. Mary Zimmerman's production plays with the dual realities of a rehearsal of the opera and a performance of the opera itself.
In his latest Decca DVD release, bel canto star Juan Diego Flórez assumes the role of Elvino in Bellini’s romantic drama, playing opposite the mercurial French soprano, Natalie Dessay, in the MET’s striking, modern-dress production, screening live worldwide in March 2009.
The MET’s ‘La Sonnambula’ website reads: “Mary Zimmerman, who directed Natalie Dessay in last season’s hit new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, underlines La Sonnambula’s dual elements of sleep and wakefulness in an intriguing staging set in the present. Bellini’s hauntingly lyrical score soars as performed by Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, back from their sensational run together in La Fille du Régiment in leading opera houses around the world.”
The DVD release will benefit from the addition of the customary MET backstage and interview footage, familiar to devotees of their live worldwide cinema broadcasts.
Following Flórez's latest DVD release (Cenerentola, in October 2009), 2010 will also see a second Flórez DVD – Bellini’s ‘I Puritani’, with Nino Machaidze, from Bologna.
Filmed in High Definition Widescreen.
English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese
16:9 (anamorphic widescreen), Colour, NTSC, Region code 0 (worldwide)
LPCM Stereo & DTS 5.1 Surround (DVD)
'Backstage at the MET', presented by Deborah Voigt, featuring interviews with Dessay and Flórez
“The role of Amina holds no terrors for Natalie Dessay...you wonder how it could be sung any other way. As Elvino, Juan Diego Flórez is richer in tone than in recent performances and you feel the violence ignited by his sexual jealousy. In the pit, Evelino Pidò is everything you need”
“[The rehearsal conceit] may sound like a straight thumbs-down. But it works....almost without knowing it, one is drawn into the work itself, rejoicing in the power of song...Juan Diego Flórez has an abundance of all that is required and enjoys a well-deserved ovation after his solo in Act 2...Evelino Pidò conducts with judicious flexibility.”
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