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Dresdner Musikfestspiele 2000 - George Frideric Handel: Xerxes (Serse) - Dramma per musica (2000)

| Music, Comedy, Romance | TV Movie




Credited cast:
Paula Rasmussen ...
Xerxes (Serse), King of Persia
Ann Hallenberg ...
Arsamene, his brother
Patricia Bardon ...
Amastre, Princess, betrothed to Xerxes
Marcello Lippi ...
Ariodate, Commander of Xerxes's army
Isabel Bayrakdarian ...
Romilda, his daughter
Sandrine Piau ...
Atalanta, his second daughter
Matteo Peirone ...
Elviro, Servant to Arsamene
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christophe Rousset ...
Himself - Conductor


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opera | live performance | See All (2) »


Music | Comedy | Romance





Also Known As:

Serse  »

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Serse, Opera in three acts
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Libretto after "Xerse" by Nicolo Minato, revised by Silvio Stampiglia
Performed by Paula Rasmussen, Ann Hallenberg, Patricia Bardon, Marcello Lippi,
Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sandrine Piau, Matteo Peirone with Les Talens Lyriques
Coducted by Christophe Rousset
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User Reviews

A beautiful baroque showcase
20 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Xerxes is not an absolute personal favourite but it is a funny and moving opera and is one of Handel's best. This production is just beautiful with very little wrong, the ENO production is also great and a little more ideal visually but for me this was slightly superior. It is well shot and the picture and sound quality are excellent. On a visual level, the colours are dark, with a lot of black, white and grey with some other muted colours at times, but it does look very nice and the less is more approach is apt here. The sets and costumes are attractive also, and the contrasting lighting is equally clever. The staging is funny and witty as well as intelligent and poignant, I for one didn't find myself bored for a second. There is very little complaint to be had about the musical values either, the orchestra give the music its style and depth and the conducting is flexible for the singers while giving a tautness to how things are paced. Of the performers the weak link is Isabel Bayrakdarian, who still has many moments of charm and beautiful tone but can sound unsteady and underpowered. But when the weak link is still good a vast majority of the time that is testament to how good the performances here are. Paula Rasmussen and Ann Hallenberg stood out. Especially Rasmussen, who in her comic moments is laugh-out-loud-funny and in her dramatic ones deeply affecting, also convincing in Xerxes' narcissism and will to be a tyrant. Her rich yet stylistically flexible voice makes you sit up and listen and you can't let go. Hallenberg's voice is big yet bell-like in quality and she's a commanding actress, shining in particular in her duet with Rasmussen and Non So,Se Sia La Sperme. Sadrine Piau sings the vocal acrobatics of her role as if they come easy to her, and she is always believable in characterisation whether she's singing or not. Marcello Lippi gives a very warm and thoughtful performance and you can hear it in his voice, while Matteo Peirone's silky tone is just as appealing and he is funny too. Patricia Bardon doesn't really convince as a man(whereas Rasmussen and Hallenberg did) but her fruity voice and fervent acting more than make up for things. Overall, beautiful and if you want to be introduced to Handel or Xerxes this production will serve very well. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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