Monday, July 18, 2016

La fanciulla del West (1982)

La fanciulla del West – Italian title
To hryso koritsi tis Dysis – Greek title

A 1982 British television production [British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Covent Garden
Video Productions (London)]
Producer: Piero Faggioni
Director: John Vernon
Story: David Belasco
Screenplay: Guelfo Civinini, Carlo Zarigarini (Carlo Zangarini)
Cinematography: [color]
Music: Giacomo Puccini
Running time: 139 minutes

Dick Johnson – Plácido Domingo
Minnie – Carol Neblett
Jack Rance – Silvano Carroli
Nick – Francis Egerton
Ashby – Robert Lloyd
Jack Wallace – Gwynne Howell
Sonora – John Rawnsley
Trini – John Dobson
Bello – Tom McDonnell
Happy – Ian Caddy
Joe – Robin Leggate
Larkens – Roderick Earle
Harry – Paul Crook
Sid – Norman Welsby
Billy Jackrabbit – Paul Hudson
Wowkle – Jean Bailey
José Castro – Joh n Gibbs
Pony Express Rider – Handel Owen

This 1982 production of "La fanciulla del West" is a bit of a mixed bag, an old-fashioned, no frills production, conducted and directed moderately well. Neblett, singing a signature role, is a bit melodramatic at times, and hits some of her high notes by force of sheer will. Although not particularly pretty sound. Domingo, on the other hand, is magnificent. Dashing in appearance, passionate and sexy, he sings gloriously throughout. That said, I'm enjoying it very much, and can see myself happily pulling it out whenever I need a comforting Puccini/Domingo fix. This is a favorite opera of mine, and I'm not at all unhappy with the purchase. ~ David Cady


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