The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 3, Episode 10

Bellini: La sonnambula (21 Mar. 2009)

TV Episode  |   |  Music
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 9 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Amina sleep-walks her way into the bedroom of a nobleman who is staying at the village inn. Enraged and humiliated, her fiancé breaks the engagement. The nobleman attests to her innocence, and Amina offers a demonstration of sleep-walking.

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Title: Bellini: La sonnambula (21 Mar 2009)

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Episode credited cast:
Natalie Dessay ...
Juan Diego Flórez ...
Michele Pertusi ...
Count Rodolfo
Jeremy Galyon ...
Jane Bunnell ...
Bernard Fitch ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Metropolitan Opera Ballet ...
Dance Captain
Carrie-Ann Matheson ...
Herself - Interviewee / Prompter
Metropolitan Opera Chorus ...
Evelino Pidò ...
Himself - Conducted by
Deborah Voigt ...
Herself - Host


Amina sleep-walks her way into the bedroom of a nobleman who is staying at the village inn. Enraged and humiliated, her fiancé breaks the engagement. The nobleman attests to her innocence, and Amina offers a demonstration of sleep-walking.

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Release Date:

21 March 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

This production mayn't be to everybody's tastes, but I for one found it a riot...
28 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I love opera, and am very fond of Bellini's music. La Sonnambula's story may be slight but the music is absolutely beautiful. This production may not be to everyone's tastes, however I personally found it a riot and imaginatively staged.

The production updates the opera to a modern setting-something that has been done with mixed results, this production is an example of this working, while the 2005 production of Don Carlos with Ramon Vargas is an example of one that doesn't-, with the set looking like a large upper story studio room with large windows and the story reading like a play within a play, however while I understand why people mayn't consider this change adding much to the opera, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of it.

Besides, the sets do look great and the costumes too. Natalie Dessay especially looks radiant and adorable. The take on the story is fresh, with many scenes managing to move me, but there is never not enough room for some touching moments too, as proved with Non Credea Mirati, where a tear can be seen glittering on Dessay's cheek.

The sets and costumes are given full advantage by some very effective night and day lighting, and the picture quality and camera work is consistently excellent. The orchestra play the beautiful score nimbly and stylistically, and the conducting as often seen with these Met productions is done with precision.

Staging is lively and wittily done. I loved the Chorus' coming and going in their civilian clothes, and as a Chorus they sing with good intonation, style and balance, while the climatic sleepwalking scene and Non Credea Mirati serve as the most effectively staged scenes of the production. Dessay walking through the audience was also a nice touch.

The performances are terrific. Natalie Dessay is not quite as wondrous vocally as it was when she was doing the likes of Olympia and Orphelie and I can see where people are coming from when people say that they feel that her interpretations are too original. That said, I loved her here as Amina, she is always such fun to watch, she looks adorable and the colouratura and technique still amazes.

Juan Diego Florez is playing a somewhat two-dimensional character in the name of Elvino, however his acting is done with total conviction, he has very good technique and he hits his notes with effortless ease. The romantic chemistry between Dessay and Florez, particularly in their duets together is most evident and added a furthermore heart-warming element to it.

The support cast also meet expectations, especially Jennifer Black who is wonderfully conniving as Lisa. That is not to dispute Michele Pertusi either as the Count, who gives his usual solid performance.

All in all, very entertaining if not for all. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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