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Thread: Operas by Tchaikovsky on DVD/Blu-ray/CD

          
   
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  1. #31
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    I think this flashback concept worked best in the Valencia production. The O figure didn't really interfere with the story - just a reminder that we often regret our youthful follies.
    Natalie

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  3. #32
    Opera Lively Coordinator - Donor Member Top Contributor Member tyroneslothrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    Stefan Herheim did something similar in his Amsterdam production, when at times a young dancer doubled for Tatyana--sung, as at the ROH, by Krassimira Stoyanova.

    Poor Krassimira . . . it's as if directors are trying to tell her something.
    Could it be that this has something to do with being 4x Tatyana's age? Nah...
    “The hand of Providence creeps among the stars, giving Slothrop the finger.”
    ― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

  4. #33
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I want to give a belated, public thanks to Dark_Angel and Soave_Fanciulla for turning me on to this:
    And I want to thank you for a truly excellent review, Amfortas! This seems like the kind of Regie that I do like - intelligent, tasteful, with a concept that enhances the telling of the opera's true story rather than deviating wildly from it. And of course, having the beautiful Ms. Opolais in this production makes it even more appealing. I'd buy it if I didn't have such a big unwatched pile now... Maybe later.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); July 8th, 2013 at 03:00 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  5. #34
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    I'd buy it if I didn't have such a big unwatched pile now... Maybe latter.
    Definitely keep it on your shopping list!

  6. #35
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    Watched the newest Met EO release and overall was not too impressed, only hardcore Netrebko fans need to own this.......

    The cast is very strong singing and acting, but let down by a lackluster production with little visual excitement or dramatic impact in either the sets or costumes, everything very predictable and by the book (did Gelb really sign off on this?), there are a couple better alternatives out there for video version. I am surprised by all the rave reviews on Amazon USA and wonder if we watched the same performance?

    For a standard straight version I prefer the older Met EO with Fleming, and for a fantasy hybrid version the excellent Opalais is much more visually exciting and memorable........


  7. #36
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I had a more positive reaction to this DVD. For me, the updated period lent the piece a kind of Chekhovian intimacy, and if the sets were not hugely memorable, the singing and acting were indeed strong, the latter enhanced by some telling directorial touches contributed by Deborah Warner (the repeated "kiss" motif was especially effective).

    I own both of the other productions you mentioned and definitely agree about their merits. But I'm happy to have this one in my collection as well.

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  9. #37
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amfortas View Post
    I had a more positive reaction to this DVD. For me, the updated period lent the piece a kind of Chekhovian intimacy, and if the sets were not hugely memorable, the singing and acting were indeed strong, the latter enhanced by some telling directorial touches contributed by Deborah Warner (the repeated "kiss" motif was especially effective).

    I own both of the other productions you mentioned and definitely agree about their merits. But I'm happy to have this one in my collection as well.
    One thing I wonder, is why Peter Gelb needed to update the previous EO production so soon (the blu-ray with Fleming and Hvorostovsky). That one was pretty beautiful, in my opinion. It had many strong points - sleek, tasteful, with nice colors and some amazing touches like the fall foliage. This said, and surprisingly since Anna is in the new one, I haven't seen the new one yet.

    The Met has plenty of productions that needed updating, and that EO was already modern enough, and relatively recent, so why mess with it? I find it very visually appealing and it is one of my favorite blu-ray discs.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #38
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    I had the same question, Alma. Perhaps they really wanted to feature Netrebko as Tatiana, but knew they couldn't market a second DVD of the same stage production?

    In any case, you of all people should check out the new Met DVD. I suspect you'll find enough to like, centered on Anna and her fellow performers, to overlook some of the shortcomings.

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  12. #39
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Finally I got this blu-ray out of its plastic wrap and watched it, as advised above.



    Eugene Onegin on blu-ray disc
    Lyric scenes in three acts, premiered in Moscow, 1879
    Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
    Libretto by Konstantin Shilovsky and the composer, based on the eponymous novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin

    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev
    The Metropolitan Opera Chorus, chorus master Donald Palumbo
    The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, choreography by Kim Brandstrup

    Production by Deborah Warner
    Directed by Fiona Shaw
    Sets by Tom Pye
    Costumes by Chloe Obolensky
    Lighting by Jean Kalman
    Video by Ian William Galloway and Finn Ross

    Tatiana - Anna Netrebko
    Eugene Onegin - Mariusz Kwiecen
    Lenski - Piotr Beczala
    Olga - Oksana Volkova
    Madame Larina - Elena Zaremba
    Filippyevna - Larissa Diadkova
    Prince Gremin - Alexei Tanovitski
    Triquet - John Graham-Hall
    A captain - David Crawford
    Zaretski - Richard Bernstein

    A Deutsche Grammophon / The Metropolitan Opera product released on March 11, 2014
    Recorded live from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, on October 5, 2013
    Picture 1081i HD 16:9, All regions
    Sound - PCM Stereo, or DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean (no Russian!)
    Run time: Opera 164 minutes + 11 minutes of extras
    Available on Amazon for $27.35 [clicky]

    Extras (English only): host Debora Voigt interviewing Anna Netrebko, Mariusz Kwiecien, Piotr Beczala, Valery Gergiev, and Donald Palumbo

    -------------

    We are in the presence of a quasi-impeccable musical performance in all of its elements. From this product we get out-of-this-world singing by a mostly Slavic ensemble of principals and comprimarios who are almost all perfect in their voices, supplemented by the phenomenal Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by arguably the currently most seasoned specialist in this repertory, Maestro Gergiev. It doesn't get much better than that.

    Valery Gergiev is restrained, solemn, and precise in his reading of this beautifully romantic score. The orchestra responds to him with perfect dynamics and seamless transitions, as well as with its trademark resonance. Synchrony with the stage is right to the minimum detail. The Metropolitan Opera Chorus is flawless as usual. A++ for the orchestra, conductor, and chorus.

    Anna Netrebko delivers in my opinion one of her best performances in all of her illustrious career. I'd say, top three, together with her poignant Lucia di Lammermoor and her fiery Lady Macbeth. Her letter scene is a thing of beauty with phenomenal acting and touching singing. She demonstrates perfect control of this very long sing, with no fatigue or lost pace - and oh so beautiful timbre. A++

    Mariusz Kwiecen also displays excellent acting in his facial expressions and his singing is elegant and correct in all regards, except that he is a bit underwhelming in the vocal passion department (although this might be deliberate given the character's coldness in the first two acts, but even the last scene still gives me a bit of the same impression that the dramatic acting - largely successful - is a bit less matched by the dramatic singing). A+

    Piotr Beczala, like Anna, gives one of his best showings, with a sublime and delicate "Kuda, kuda" and unlike his colder colleague, his passion says present. A++

    The trio of other important female roles, Oksana Volkova, Elena Zaremba, and Larissa Diadkova are very good, especially the latter, who is an extremely solid Filippyevna, with a surprisingly powerful and well modulated voice for her age. Respectively, A+, A, and A++.

    I was much less impressed with Richard Bernstein and John Graham-Hall, who earn respectively a B+ and a B. Unsurprisingly, they are the non-Slavic cast members (I guess being Slavic does make a difference, for this repertory).

    The choreography is correct but nothing to write home about. B+.

    Lighting is very beautiful with some nice touches like the sunlight in the morning after the Letter Scene, and the bluish snow in the last scene. A+

    Stage direction is good for this concept (or lack thereof) - that is, there is nothing very original or especially compelling but some nice touches here and there do demonstrate secure direction, and the blocking is well done. A-

    Sets and costumes are a letdown as compared to the Met's previous and prematurely retired production of Eugene Onegin. Everything is well-done and realistic (the time was pushed up about a century) but frankly, it is all very conventional and predictable. The wintry backdrops are more successful, but everything else does not prime for imagination. I'd have loved to see this same cast singing in the previous production with its sleek visual impact (I miss that beautiful fall foliage).

    Technically speaking regarding how this blu-ray disc is put together, the Met continues to misunderstand the fact that while watching an opera on video, we don't necessarily want interruptions by the hostess between acts, which disturbs the flow and the immersion. Fortunately the interviews unlike during the live HD broadcast are pushed to the extras, but we still get Debora Voigt introducing each act, which is utterly unnecessary. One regrets the fact that no Russian subtitles are given, which I consider to be a major problem. Even though I don't speak Russian, I like to re-watch an opera with original language subtitles just to better appreciate the phonemes and look at enunciation and diction. Sound and image are perfect and video direction is very good, but the above peccadilloes bring the rating down to a B+.

    The insert contains a decent 2-page essay that does explain the director's updating of the action to the late 19th century, a synopsis, track list with names of the arias, time, and characters, and many black-and-white production pictures, one of them in color featuring Anna in her ball gown. A.

    In summary, we get an A++ musical performance, and a B+ physical production, printed into a mostly technically well-done blu-ray disc, with a couple of flaws. Overall, A-; highly recommended for the musical aspects (and indispensable for Anna's fans), but not especially successful as a production.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); February 14th, 2016 at 08:27 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  13. #40
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Seems they filmed Iolanta staring Anna Netrebko back in 2009 but I am not finding how to get a copy. Assume they would be selling it?

    Here is the link to the information.

    And another link with a different display.

    Necessities of life: food, water, air, shelter, and opera.

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