Puccini is one of my favourite opera composers, Verdi being my favourite. Tosca, La Boheme, Manon Lescaut, Turandot and Madame I have known for a long time, Il Trittico and La Fanciulla del West are two of those operatic treasures that I discovered only recently.
This 1983 production of Il Trittico is a mostly solid production, on the other hand it is slightly disappointing as well. This has no bearing whatsoever on the music or the story, they're fantastic. Nulla Silenzio and O Mio Babbino Caro especially are very difficult to get out of your head after first hearing, and I love the compact and dark atmosphere of the melodrama Il Tabarro, the confrontation between Suor Angelica and her "aunt from hell" is amazing musical drama and Gianni Schicchi is one of those infectious deft farces.
Brian Large's video direction is assured too, as are the costumes and the conducting and orchestra playing are no problem either. And there are some great performances here, the standouts being Sylvia Sass as Giorgietta, Juan Pons as Gianni Schicchi and especially Piero Cappuccilli as Mechele.
My disappointments come from the picture quality, which is disappointingly grainy, and some of the sets feel rather old-fashioned, this is particularly true in Suor Angelica. Of all the performances, I was a little disappointed in Rosalind Plowright in Suor Angelica. The performance actually itself is fine, she does sing beautifully and acts very well, it was more her vocal sound, I personally would've liked a more ethereal touch.
Overall it is solid but I felt it could have been a little more. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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