Live in Italy

After a mystifying delay, Universal has released on DVD-Video the film of mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's Live in Italy concert, the bulk of which constituted her 1998 hit CD of the same name.

After a mystifying delay, Universal has released on DVD-Video the film of mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's Live in Italy concert, the bulk of which constituted her 1998 hit CD of the same name. Of course, the DVD-V is superior in every way to the earlier VHS title—and it's also superior to the CD version, as it features seven additional tracks (including such gems as Donizetti's "Amore e Morte"). Filmed in Vicenza's breathtaking 16th-century Teatro Olimpico, Live in Italy could hardly be more gorgeous, and the star herself brims over with charm in material from Vivaldi and Mozart to bel canto songs and a number from Carmen. Her fine accompanists are early-music ensemble Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Viewers have the option of stereo or reprocessed surround sound, but there are no extras to speak of (not even a discography). Bartoli has quickly become the queen of classical DVD-V, as she stars in an excellent series of Mozart operas and a Vivaldi recital on the enterprising Arthaus label (distributed in the U.S. by Naxos/HNH). Live in Italy is also joined by Decca's welcome DVD reissue of the mezzo's signature turn in Rossini's La Cenerentola from 1995.—BB
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