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Category:    Home > Reviews > Classical Music > Opera > Comedy > Drama > Myth > Politics > Showtunes > Australian TV > Belcanto D'Amore: Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Turandot, Aida (2008 - 2012/Naxos/United Classica/C Major Blu-ray Box Set)/BP Supershow: Jill Perryman & June Bronhill Live In Australia (19

Belcanto D'Amore: Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Turandot, Aida (2008 - 2012/Naxos/United Classica/C Major Blu-ray Box Set)/BP Supershow: Jill Perryman & June Bronhill Live In Australia (1966, 1961/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)


Picture: B-/C Sound: B/C Extras: C+/D Main Programs: B/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The BP Supershow Import DVD with Jill Perryman and June Bronhill is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on DVD players that can handle the PAL DVD format and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's an interesting duo of classical releases you should know about...



We start with a new Blu-ray box called Belcanto D'Amore. It offers 5 titles, two of which we actually reviewed before. They are:


Aida (Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C Concert: B)

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/10144/Aida/Verdi+%E2%80%93+Carlo+Rizzi+(C+Major/U


Turandot (Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C+ Concert: B)

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/9307/Humperdinck%E2%80%99s+Hansel+&+Gretel/Bare


New to us are Rigoletto and La Traviata, two titles from the ambitious, extensive 100th Anniversary series in honor of Verdi we missed despite covering so many of the releases previously, as delivered so well by the Orchestra E Coro Del Teatro Regio Di Parma. They also have featurettes about the origins of the plays as supplements.


Rigoletto (Picture: C+ Sound: B- Extras: C+ Concert: B-) is here in a early HD recording (2008) that is not bad, but does not hold up as well as some of our previously reviewed performances including this gem from the Zurich Opera House and conductor Nello Santi:


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/8070/Giuseppe+Verdi+%E2%80%93+Rigoletto+(Naxos/Ar


Hard to believe we have only covered two versions of the classic in all this time. Fairing better is a work we have covered more often, La Traviata (Picture: B- Sound: B Extras: C+ Concert: B), which holds its own more so against the following versions previously covered...


Lorin Maazel version with the Teatro Scala

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/7681/Giuseppe+Verdi%E2%80%99s+La+Traviata+(Blu-ra

reissue

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/9772/Joaquin+Achucarro+%E2%80%93+Brahms+Piano


and Royal Opera House version with Renée Fleming (!) conducted by Antonio Pappano

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/10976/Alfano:+Cyrano+de+Bergerac/Placido+Domingo


That would still make for a solid box set, but then we have our first outright Madama Butterfly (Picture: C+ Sound: B Extras: C Concert: B-) show that looks (if not is) like an early HD recording with its motion blur. At least the DTS-MA 5.1 mixes on all three discs sound good (Rigoletto is simply not microphoned closely enough) are fine (PCM 2.0 Stereo is also included, but never as good in all cases) and the show itself from the Speristerio Opera Festival Macerata conducted by Daniele Callegari is trying to do the opera, yet be a bit clever and deconstructionist about it. Though smart, this never works as it might have been originally intended. Still, some will like it as an alternate version and that might appeal to those who have seen many variations of the original. Still, having this all in one box down to the original booklets is a good idea and a great catch-up set for Blu-ray collectors.



Older but no less interesting is the BP Supershow: Jill Perryman & June Bronhill Live In Australia DVD takes two episodes from two different years and pairs them rightly onto one disc. The Bronhill show is from 1961 and happens to do an Aria from La Traviata! She also delivers Richard Rogers' Spring is Here, Dvorâk's Songs My Mother Taught Me and Arthur Young's seasonal tune Christmas in the Bush with Horrie Dargie on harmonica joining Bronhill on vocals. A classy show all the way and we even get a ballet. Basil Rathbone was also on this show, but this copy is very sadly missing his footage.


Perryman's upbeat 1966 show has her celebrating her Down Under turn in Funny Girl and doing several songs from it, plus classic Cole Porter showtunes from Can-Can, Hello Dolly and The Pyjama Game. A smart combination of broadcasts, it is worth going out of your way for.


There are sadly no extras, the 1.33 X 1 black and white image is a little rough from surviving 16mm kinescopes of the original broadcast and the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound can be a little challenging, so be careful of volume switching. Otherwise, a very worthwhile release yet again from Umbrella and we hope, an increasingly long list of BP Supershows.



To order the Umbrella import DVD of the BP Supershow above, go to this link for it and many more solid music releases and more:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/p-3893-bp-supershow-jill-perryman-june-bronhill-live-in-australia.aspx?keyword=june+bronhill



- Nicholas Sheffo


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