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Leonardo Vinci: La Partenope

Sonia Prina (Partenope), Maria Grazia Schiavo (Rosmira), Maria Ercolano (Arsace), Eufemia Tufano (Emilio), Stefano Ferrari (Armindo) & Charles do Santos (Ormonte)

I Turchini di Antonio Florio/Antonio Florio

Gustavo Tambascio (stage director

Dynamic 33686 DVD (2012 - 2 Video discs recorded Murcia, Spain, 2011)

Inheritor of a great name, Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730) is a composer to be reckoned with and further explored.

This is a sumptuous recreation of baroque opera, with over-the top costuming by Jesus Ruis & witty choreography by Yolanda Granados, which kept our attention through some possible longueurs (admittedly we did not watch the whole thing in a single sitting).

By the end we were hooked and ready to see it all through again; though still with little hope of sorting out the characters and grasping the ramifications of the plot ! There are additional comic Intermezzi involving burlesque in drag.

The filming is on the whole good, though from the distant camera (as if from a seat far back) some of it is rather dark - but then close ups bring out the gorgeous colours of the costumes and the subtleties of expression. The singing is all good, some of it magnificent. We are probably seeing the première at Murcia, with all the production staff coming on stage to take well deserved bows before an enthusiatic audience which had clearly enjoyed itself.

There are lots of video clips to sample the production on YouTube including a 10 minutes "Making" (R - titled in Spanish) which, strangely, doesn't seem to be included on the DVD; not to be missed!

Peter Grahame Woolf

“The singing here is above all dramatically coloured...Prina has exceptional technical control and the cumulative addition of ornaments throughout her arias is genuinely exciting...Partenope is a sure bet for all lovers of Baroque opera, tightly controlled by Florio, dominated by the indomitable Prina, and a thrilling testimony to a Vinci whose prodigious talents are only just being rediscovered” IRR Oct2012