The great Italian opera composer recalls his eventful life on his deathbed: his childhood in Busseto, his studies in Milan, his first opera "Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio", the death of ...
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The great Italian opera composer recalls his eventful life on his deathbed: his childhood in Busseto, his studies in Milan, his first opera "Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio", the death of his wife and his children killed by smallpox. Written by
Salvatore Santangelo <email@example.com>
The life and work of the great Italian operatic composer Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901) is depicted in this 1953 film, made in Italy. Pierre Cressy portrays the composer with intensity and feeling, while Gaby Andre his second wife with tenderness and pathos. A host of fine singers adorn operatic excerpts, including Tenor Mario del Monaco in a startling death scene from "Otello" and Tito Gobbi in a dramatic moment from "Rigoletto." Throughout the film there are elaborately staged scenes from "Nabucco," "Il Trovatore," "La Forza del Destino," "Aida," and "Falstaff." A rare look at the domestic and love life of this composer is afforded, within the usual dramatic license given such biopics. Alas, the direction of Raffaello Matarazzo lacks imagination, and his camera remains stationary and lifeless in both dramatic and in the operatic re-creation scenes. The lighting of his scenes is often flat and dull, and and the musical excerpts are not well blended into the story; in fact, several scenes end abruptly and clumsily, as though the editor didn't take the time to polish the cuts. The end effect is a film for a hard-core opera lovers, but not for the general public. It is a shame so much potential talent and effort was wasted on a below-par presentation. Verdi deserves better, and one looks forward to a more successful presentation to one of the world's greatest composers.
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