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Barry Brenesal
Fanfare, November 2013

Of the DVDs I’ve reviewed this past year, the one that impressed me as the most satisfying in all respects without any letdown (performances, staging team, camerawork, DVD quality) was Gancarlo del Monaco’s production of La vida breve. The stage is imaginatively handled; the dream sequence displaying Salud’s fears is an especially nice touch. But the director remains faithful to the opera’s music and libretto throughout, while repeatedly engaging the viewer with well-realized ideas. Cristina Gallardo-Domâs is ideal as Salud in this production where she almost never leaves the stage, and Lorin Maazel rightly restrains the explosive power of the work for its final stark pages. © 2013 Fanfare

Barry Brenesal
Fanfare, March 2013

It would take a fine singer and actress to make this conception of La vida breve work, one who was expected to be on stage the entire time, moving and reacting when she wasn’t the center of attention. Cristina Gallardo-Domâs is fortunately up to the task. The Chilean soprano’s dark chest register and soaring, lyrical top encompass the vocal requirements, and she is a strong enough actor to remain expressively in character the rest of the time for this emotionally draining role. Jorge de León acts well, too…Lorin Maazel plays to the score’s color, rhythmic bite, and acute dissonances. His firm tempos and solid grasp of the drama are welcome.

The camerawork is first-rate…I have no hesitation in recommending it heartily. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Frank Behrens
Keene (New Hampshire) Sentinel, July 2012

FALLA, M. de: Vida Breve (La) (Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", 2010) (NTSC) 710708
FALLA, M. de: Vida Breve (La) (Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia", 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) 710804

…Lorin Maazel conducts the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valencia, chorus, dancers and soloists.

Soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domas is attractive in an earthy way that has a sensuality that works in this drama. Maria Luisa Corbacho as the grandmother is warmly received during curtain calls…

The singing is in the style of the zarzuela…At times, the score is slow-moving, at other times hauntingly beautiful, and now and then—especially the dances—exciting.

This CMajor DVD is certainly worth viewing. © 2012 Keene (New Hampshire) Sentinel Read complete review

Patrick Mack
Parterre Box, July 2012

Giancarlo del Monaco directs and designs a starkly evocative and very abstract performance…

The best visual effect of the evening comes with the transition to the Act II wedding and the arrival of the evening’s entertainment. A flamenco singer, made up to look like our heroine Salud, riding a crucifix into the wedding party on a cloud of stage fog with a guitarist at her feet.

Our Iberian zingara of the evening is played by Cristina Gallardo-Domâs. She inhabits this role with all its naive angst and, finally, heartbreak in exactly the way her character should in this context. The particular latin silver in her sound and her Incan Princess looks are perfect…

As her La Abuela, Maria Luisa Corbacho wields a powerful mezzo…

Tenor Jorge de León as Paco makes a good showing in his brief duet in the first act with Salud but an even bigger impression in the toreador pants during the wedding party scene. He…has a strong voice.

… Esperanza Fernández does such a magnificent job…She’s accompanied beautifully by guitarist Juan Carlos Gómez Pastor and for those of us who really enjoy the idiom it’s the highlight of the evening.

The elegant costumes by Jesus Ruiz and hairstyles all look to be about late 1920’s which is just about right…

Lorin Maazel does stunning work in the pit with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana and they render all of de Falla’s potent melismas and arching themes as to the manner born…certainly enjoyable on many levels. © 2012 Parterre Box Read complete review

Anne Shelley
Music Media Monthly, July 2012

FALLA, M. de: Vida Breve (La) (Palau de les Arts “Reina Sofia”, 2010) (NTSC) 710708
FALLA, M. de: Vida Breve (La) (Palau de les Arts “Reina Sofia”, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) 710804

Today La vida breve is performed primarily in Spain, in Spanish, and this release marks its premiere on DVD. 80-year-old Lorin Maazel conducted this production in his penultimate year with the Palau de les Arts in Valencia. Set in a poor section of Granada, the stage is bathed in a red glow from the nearby forge’s fires. The orchestral and ballet interludes are highlights, though the entire performance is a fine one. © 2012 Music Media Monthly Read complete review

Robert Benson, June 2012

This production was staged and designed by Giancarlo Del Monaco, filmed at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia April 17, 2010. The set is stark, huge red walls that effectively suggest blood and tragedy. Lorin Maazel’s conducting captures the Spanish flavor, and the cast is uniformly strong. © 2012 Read complete review

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