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Ermione (1995)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music | TV Movie 3 June 1995
The process of writing the verses for Ermione was entrusted to the prolific librettist Andrea Leone Tottola, known also for the work he did with Donizetti, Bellini, Pacini and Mercadante. ... See full summary »

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(libretto), (after: "Andromaque") (as Racine)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Anna Caterina Antonacci ...
Ermione (daughter of Helen of Troy)
Diana Montague ...
Andromache (widow of Hector)
Jorge Lopez-Yanez ...
Pyrrhus (son of Achilles)
Bruce Ford ...
Orestes (son of Agamemnon)
Paul Austin Kelly ...
Pylades (friend of Orestes)
Gwynne Howell ...
Phoenix (tutor to Pyrrhus)
Julie Unwin ...
Cleone (confidante of Ermione)
Lorna Windsor ...
Cefisa (confidante of Andromache)
Paul Nilon ...
Attalus (servant of Pyrrhus)
Oliver Bridge ...
Astyanax (son of Andromache)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Davis ...
Himself - Conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra ...
Themselves - Orchestra (as The London Philharmonic)
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Storyline

The process of writing the verses for Ermione was entrusted to the prolific librettist Andrea Leone Tottola, known also for the work he did with Donizetti, Bellini, Pacini and Mercadante. The subject was taken from Jean-Baptiste Racine's tragedy Andromaque (1667), in turn based on Euripides' masterpiece. Ermione was first performed at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples on 27th March 1819 with a quality cast. When first staged, Ermione was not very successful because probably Rossini moved too far away from the taste of Italian public at the time. Ermione was completely forgotten until 1977 when it was revived in concert form in Siena. In Ermione Rossini steps away from some of the stylistic features of belcanto and lays the foundations for some of the masterpieces of his maturity: there is clearly more continuity between the various closed pieces, the function of the chorus is strengthened, three-part arias are replaced by two-part ones, and we can find a more vigorous vocal expression ...

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Plot Keywords:

opera | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

3 June 1995 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ermioni  »

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User Reviews

 
A stellar production
24 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

At the moment, this production of Ermione is the only one on DVD at the moment. That is a shame, because while Ermione is not one of Rossini's best it really has some really ingenious music especially in the ensembles, so whilst it is not a favourite it does deserve more recognition. This production more than does it justice, there are some bits with Pyrrhus that come across as vague but nothing too drastic. The production values are more modern than the ones of Rossini productions I am more used to, but they still have lushness and a sense of vividity. The staging does at least have elegance and coherency and that's what matters, incomprehensible or static staging would have let things down considerably I think. The orchestral playing is stylish and lyrical, and Andrew Davies' tempos keeps things going very nicely. The performances are excellent though Diana Montague does lack intensity at times in her stage presence despite her superb singing and while Jorge Lopez-Yanez has the stage presence, the looks, the voice and most of the time technique for Rossini, some of the rapid passage-work could have done with more excitement. Bruce Ford however is wonderful, his performance is as vivid and as vocally virile as it was in Mozart's Mitridate, Re Di Ponto. Paul Austin Kelly is attractive and sings wonderfully, his voice and technique are right at home in Rossini and in Bel Canto generally. Anna Caterina Antonacci is the one that is most impressive, she sinks her teeth into the role and takes full command of it and the stage, scary and tragic at the same time. Her singing is agile and has both edge and beauty of tone. In conclusion, stellar in so many ways. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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