Tito Gobbi: 100th Anniversary Editioni

Album cover art for upc 5060244551183
Label: ICADVD
Catalog: ICAD 5118
Format: DVD

Tito Gobbi, Renata Scotto, Denis Wicks, Neil Howlett, John Serge, Elizabeth Robson & Marie Collier

Puccini: Gianni Schicci (excerpts) Tosca (highlights) Verdi: Rigoletto (highlights)

The extracts from these three operas were filmed by the BBC at the height of Tito Gobbi’s operatic career, at a time when he was in demand internationally and in particular at Covent Garden. This DVD is released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his birth in October 2013. Many viewers will be familiar with the programmes as they were originally broadcast in 1966 as part of the Great Characters in Opera TV series produced for the BBC, comprising 7 hour-long programmes. Gobbi’s portrayal of the three roles featured on this DVD leaves the viewer in no doubt as to why he was so popular on screen (he had appeared in approximately 25 films by the time of his death in 1984). Gobbi performed the role of Rigoletto on stage more than 400 times during his career – he showed a deep understanding of the role and of all parts he sang, immersing himself totally in the characters and the history and traditions of the period, going so far as to sketch postures and movements as he imagined the soul of each individual. Three such sketches can be seen in the booklet accompanying this DVD, which is written by his daughter, Cecilia Gobbi, president of the Associazione Musicale Tito Gobbi and artistic co-producer of this DVD. Produced by Patricia Foy for the BBC. ‘I wanted to understand what the character was feeling, how he laughed and how he wept, his feelings as a jester, and also as a man and a father. I thought a great deal about every single action and phrase because I needed to know him completely to “become” him. Each time I sang this role I lived and suffered his tremendous tragedy.’ (Tito Gobbi on his role as Rigoletto) Gobbi spent 30 years refining his interpretation and understanding of Gianni Schicchi. He first performed in this opera as Betto di Signa in 1939 and went on to sing the title role, working tirelessly and with typical dedication to improve his understanding of the character over the years. He eventually directed the opera in Munich in 1982. Gobbi famously sang the role of Scarpia in the 1964 production of Tosca directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Callas sang the title role, with Act II shown on British television to great acclaim. Gobbi was closely associated with the role of Scarpia, not least because he performed the opera some 900 times, singing Scarpia for the first time in 1939. This DVD provides an exceptional account of a remarkable singer and actor’s portrayal of three major operatic roles that featured highly throughout his distinguished career. Sound format: Enhanced Mono DVD format: NTSC Picture format: 4:3 Running time: 81’ Subtitles: E Menu languages: English Booklet languages: E/I Region code: 0 Territory Restrictions: None

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