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Any star rating for this DVD is for the musical performance only, recorded at La Scala in 1991. Riccardo Muti lavishes his attention on the early Verdi score as though it were a masterpiece. Samuel Ramey’s Attila displays formidable tone and technique coupled with great presence; he brings the house down. Cheryl Studer’s Odabella is also fabulous, and though her cool tones are hardly Italian she sweeps through this killer role with gusto. Kaludi Kalukov’s Foresto is rather more wooden on stage, but his tenor rings true; and Giorgio Zancanaro combines stentorian tone with some choppy phrasing, and looks slightly perturbed to find himself on stage, as sometimes was his wont. Jérôme Savary’s production is ‘stand and deliver’. The DVD quality is appalling – one track per act, leached colours and sound so dim in Act I that I had to turn it up to full, only to get a shock when Act II started at a greatly increased volume.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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