Tosca

 

Special note: there are 4 images above of the same title. The 1st two images show the regular price disc. The 2nd two images are for the bargain disc that also has trailers for 47 other Arthaus titles.

Puccini Tosca opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed 2006 by Hugo de Ana at the Arena di Verona. Stars Fiorenza Cedolins (Floria Tosca), Marcelo Álvarez (Mario Cavaradossi), Ruggero Raimondi (Barone Scarpia), Marco Spotti (Cesare Angelotti), Fabio Previati (The Sacristan), Enrico Facini (Spoletta), Giuliano Pelizon (Sciarrone),  Angelo Nardinocchi (a Jailor), and Ottavia Dorrucci (A Shepherd). Daniel Oren conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona (Chorus Master Marco Faelli) and the Accademica Lirica Verona Children's Choir (Conductor Paola Facincani). Set, costumes, and lighting design by Hugo de Ana; stage design by Giuseppe De Filippi Venezia; lighting by Paolo Mazzon; costumes by Tirelli Costumi; directed for TV by Loreena Kaufmann; production supervised by Tiziano Mancini; Executive Producer was Mario Dradi. Released 2011,  disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. This is the same production as an earlier Tosca released by TDK. Grade: D

It's an article of faith with fans of HDVDs that everything benefits from high-resolution video. But there is a glaring exception: HDVD recordings usually are problematical when made of outdoor productions designed to be seen in large amphitheaters. Subject Tosca in the Arena di Verona is prosecutor's "Exhibit 1." The setting probably looked OK from 200 meters up the hillside in the dark. But up close in high-definition the stage looks like a brodingnagian scrap yard in front of a burned-out industrial plant. Humongous crude props litter the place. The costumes and make-up were designed to look rich at long distance by weak light---to the HDVD camera they look garish and cartoonish. The stage blood wouldn't scare a 3-year old. All this misery-en-scène magnifies the physical ugliness of the singers: aging Fiorenza Cedolins has turned into a frump, pudgy Marcelo Alvarez needs to check himself in at the fat clinic, and Ruggero Raimondi looks like a doorman at a Las Vegas wedding palace.

The audience looks uncomfortable fanning themselves in the heat; only the swarming insects are having fun. So what's left to say about the orchestra and the singing amidst the junkyard? Well, not too bad actually. But why would anyone spend his time with this when we have so many other Tosca choices in Blu-ray.

There are two ordering buttons below. The 1st is to order at regular price.  The 2nd lets you take advantage of the bargain disc.  Shop around and you might pick this up really cheap.

First the regular price:

Now the bargain deal: