"This Grammy winner, one of the most successful versions of Puccini's final opera, offers Nilsson's first recording of the title character, and Bjoerling's last operatic portrayal on disc, including a heroic, for-the-ages "Nessun dorma". The extraordinary orchestration, befitting a story set in ancient China, benefits from the new DSD remastering."
It's pretty simple-this boxed set contains EVERYTHING La Divina recorded in the studio, including newly-licensed and newly-remastered material! That's the first 69 CDs; the 70th CD is a CD-ROM containing the tracklists and photos. And the set comes inside a hardcover slipcase containing a color booklet packed with even more photos of this most photogenic of opera singers. As for the contents, well, again, it's EVERYTHING she did in the studio.
"This is certainly one of the most stunning productions in a house famous for stunning productions." (Newark Star-Ledger) "Behrens sang admirably in her own exciting style, with the bright tone and house-filling penetration that we have come to expect of this artist". (The New York Times) " Domingo's Cavaradossi is a gorgeous piece of singing". (New York magazine)
I am normally not a stickler for traditional settings in opera productions. Tosca ’s act II, for instance, with Scarpia and Tosca together and Cavaradossi nearby being tortured, or act III, with first Cavaradossi alone in captivity, then he and Tosca together with the firing squad, can be performed in many different settings and certainly be effective. Act I, however, is set by the librettists and composer Puccini in a church, and it must be played in a church or chapel or the like, because there are just too many references in the libretto and in the music itself to get by with anywhere else. This DVD production from the Zurich Opera House directed by Robert Carsen inanely sets the first act in the auditorium of a theater (with folding chairs no less) and starts to lose all credibility almost immediately…FANFARE: Bill White
This gripping and visually stunning film has been universally hailed as one of the most satisfying of all versions of opera on celluloid. Director Gianfranco de Bosio has given an extraordinary dimension of realism to this story of love, deception and murder by shooting it all in the original Roman location. Using diverse cinematic tricks and imaginative camerawork, this opera film is much more a visual interpretation of Puccini’s music than a theatre piece filmed in original settings.