DONIZETTI Anna Bolena Netrebko Garanca Blu-ray 0734728

. . . [On Anna Netrebko]: I am rather impressed with her debut in the role . . . What is notable on this DVD is how big her sound has become . . . [she has vocally] filled out, expanding that dark opaque timbre of hers. She floats some pretty phenomenal pianissimo notes . . . [Netrebko] cuts a pretty, carnal, and tempestuous figure on stage . . . the showdown between Anna and Giovanna is brilliant . . . Garanca is the finest Seymour I've come across, her luscious, smooth mezzo soaring above those accompaniments beautifully, and she colors and shapes a line like the great names of the past. A decent actress, too, capturing Jane's brittle mix of ambition and guilt well. Netrebko is a very fine lead . . . Elisabeth Kulman is a sweet nimble Smeaton . . . Francesco Meli has the right, bright timbre, and can sing very softly . . . the Vienna forces play exquisitely for Evelino Pidò . . . I can't think of a better bel conductor than Pidò, keeping the energy up . . . without losing detail or being too yielding to his stars. This is definitely the first choice on DVD . . . Sound is very full-bodied, and picture is good . . . [Brian Large's] video direction is logical, discreet, and trusting of singers to handle close-ups in reaction to what other characters are doing.

The pathetic is a good emotion for Anna Netrebko . . . but her sudden moments of rage are also thrilling. Her voice is strong, lovely and easy here . . . Her ornaments are elegantly inserted in the line . . . Her mad scene holds attention through its varied tantrums . . . She appears to be having the time of her life . . . Elina Garanca, as Giovanna Seymour, possesses dulcet bel canto phrasing and evenness over a wide range, and she blends her voice with Netrebko's flawlessly. As Percy, Francisco Meli has an attractive tenor . . . Elisabeth Kulman is boyishly pretty as Smeton, Dan Paul Dumitrescu effective as Anna's politician brother Rochefort. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is truly imposing as Henry VIII . . . [his bass is] a menacing presence in his duets with Anna and with Seymour . . . Evelino Pidò keeps this long and somewhat lugubrious score moving at a lively pace, the flurries of agitated strings that indicate some fresh disaster light but insistent, the bel canto lines flowing gracefully.

Man kann diese Aufnahme nur empfehlen. Sie ist nämlich noch besser als die Aufführung . . . [Brian Large]: meisterliche Bildregie . . . Die Netrebko hat so eine neue Repertoiretür souverän aufgestoßen, überrascht vor allem mit ihrer üppig dunklen Mittellage, aus der die Spitzentöne raketengleich emporschnellen. Die Garanca, ein scharf geschnittener Mezzo-Brillant, glitzert und funkelt, schwingt sich vokal oft noch über den Sopran. So wachsen sie beide, sich an der jeweils anderen messend, über sich hinaus. Dieses Donizetti-Duell will man nahe sehen. Hier kann man es.

. . . [musikalisch] lohnt sich das Dokument in jedem Fall. Nicht nur wegen Anna Netrebko, die ihrer Anna Bolena, dank dunkler und dramatischer gewordener Stimme, ein anrührend menschliches, sehr persönliches Profil zu geben weiß und einen überzeugenden Mittelweg zwischen Koloraturkunst und dramatischem Furor findet . . . eine stimmlich wie darstellerisch sensationelle Elina Garanca . . . Elisabeth Kulman ergänzt als Smeton die edle Damenriege . . . [Evelino Pidò] entlockt dem Staatsopernorchester einen überraschend kultivierten Donizetti-Sound, wie man ihn in diesem Haus bisher nur selten zu hören bekam.

. . . Ildebrando d'Arcangelo [est un] basse au timbre riche et sonore . . . Pido dirige avec goût un orchestre plein de séductions . . .