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Frank Behrens
Keene (New Hampshire) Sentinel, August 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

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

Lawrence Devoe, June 2012

La Vida Breve is rarely staged outside of Spain, and this Valencia opera production is probably as good as we will get in today’s terms. The casting of the principals is quite strong, with additional kudos to Spanish mezzo Maria Luisa Corbacho as Salud’s abuela…We have the luxury of renowned operatic conductor, Lorin Maazel, in the pit. There is a prominent reddish cast over the stage for most of the proceedings, emphasizing the blood that courses through the veins of the protagonists. In this respect, the dramatic concept by Giancarlo Del Monaco is spot on.

…the cinematographers do a good job in focusing the dramatic action that occurs on an otherwise bare bones stage.  The ballet entr’acte is, in itself, a highlight worth watching.

The capture of Gallardo-Domas’s voice, so critical to the impact of this potent score is perfect. Articulation of the flamenco singers is outstanding. Overall, the perspective is very voice-friendly, given the large scale of the orchestral score.

The passion in this work is truly overwhelming…The staging, while minimalist, works to the advantage of La Vida Breve, making us focus on the singers rather than the sets. Soprano Gallardo-Domas, better known to US operagoers as Madama Butterfly in the Met Opera’s new production a few years ago is an acting dynamo. Her riveting performance and vocalism alone are worth the price of admission. Conductor Maazel, not known for his work in this repertory, keeps the tension going in the pit and on the stage. Overall, a highly recommended disc to lovers of opera, and a great introduction to the wonderful world of the zarzuela. © 2012

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