To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Exceptional Tenor. Contemporary staging is a little stilted and lacks the emotional link of the traditional performance but still worth watching for the acting. Director"s updated interpretation of the soprano role modernizes by lending an unheroic slant. Would love to see this Tenor in the traditional version. Excellent portrayal of Scarpia
With the cast asembled for this production, Jonas Kaufmann as Cavadarossi, Emily Magee as Tosca, Thomas Hampson as Scarpia,Valeriy Murga as Angelotti and Guiseppe Scorsin as Sacristan it should have been spectacular. I can't fault the cast their performances were without doubt memorable, the singing absolutely beautiful. Jonas Kaufmann's performance as ever charismatic, Emily Magee a wonderful Tosca and Thomas Hampson an excellent Scarpia. However, Robert Carsen's staging managed to take this production from what should have been a five star event to something far less. Not even the most devoted opera fan could rate this a five, for the most part it is difficult to see the action there is a dark dismal set on opening which is repeated for the most part throughout the three acts, and with minimalist sets. I do question why Carsen felt it necessary to change the essence of Tosca. I am sorry to have to say that I dislike this production but what lifts it from the ordinary is Jonas Kaufmann who as always seems to inahbit the skin of the part he plays, and vocally he is magnificent as Cavadarossi; for this reason alone this DVD is a must have.
Let me start by saying the staging is poor. A priest who is a janitor and not a priest. Kaufmann has very poor, muddy Italian diction. He is way over-rated in this production. I love him in his native German. His Parsival is superb. But his Italian is awful. (It is better in more recent productions than this)
Kaufmann cannot act. Nobody can act in this production. The characters seem to be always waiting for the next line---it sort of looks like a rehearsal.
Okay, the DVD isn't awful. It is just not very good.
I purchased this performance on the merits of Jonas Kauffman, but I found Robert Carsen's concept an insurmountable and irritating obstacle. I could listen to this performance, but I can't stand watching it. Puccini's opera is so Roman and so Catholic--even if critically so--that to make no visual reference even to a church or a procession in the San Andrea del Valle act renders it senseless. Where was the "Madonna al manto" to which Tosca " diedi su gioielli"? And of course Mario's painting of Mary Magdalen has to be bare-breasted. I guess Luc Bondi set the standard at the Met. For this reason I give this DVD only three stars, and they are for the singers and orchestra. Mr. Carsen, you get a lump of coal in your stocking!