Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Borodin - Prince Igor|
Actors: Nikolai Putilin, Galina Gorchakova, Olga Borodina
Directors: Valery Gergiev, Yevgeny Sokovnin, Irkin Sabitov
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
No Description Available. Genre: Performing Arts - Opera Rating: NR Release Date: 9-SEP-2003 Media Type: DVD
Marvelous - Despite Some Flaws
M. F TERRIS | Miami, FL USA | 07/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is much to agree with in all three previous reviewers' assessments, despite their divergent evaluations. Borodin's Prince Igor and this production have their flaws. The libretto is banal; this is no Boris Godunov! Kirov's scenery, though well painted, is for the most part only that. We, as lovers of musical drama, which opera is, should demand more, especially of DVDs; others, like the Met, provide infinitly better stagecraft. Finally, the makeup and headgear of the two principal Polovitsi: Vaneev (as Konchak) and Borodina (as his daughter) is laughable. Olga Borodina is a beautiful woman, but one would never know it from this production. Fortunately, lesser Polovitsi have not been so encumbered; the costumes of the Rus are well designed, and those of the ballet are delightful. As for the stagecraft, despite its limitations, it is far more effective than that of the widly applauded Glyndebourne production of Le Nozze di Figaro. But while Figaro is a work of great popularity (at least, for opera)and one already has a choice multiple DVD productions, we are unlikely to see a finer recording of Prince Igor than this.
Borodin's Prince Igor and the Kirov's production have much to offer: a lush, sensual music, unlike any other opera's. Borodin's music is remarkable, and Prince Igor contains much of his finest. The soloists and chorus of the Kirov opera have rich, full voices, and they are effective actors, as well. And the Kirov ballet's spectacular production of the Polovitsian Dances is unlikely to be equaled anywhere. The DVD's cinematography is excellent and in widescreen; its sound quality is superb. So wait another generation in the hopes of finding a better audiovisual production if you like, but meanwhile I suggest you enjoy this one.
Igor with earrings and for the ears
Julian Grant | London, Beijing, New York | 01/30/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to add much to the previous reviews: if you like old fashioned opera then this production is for you, if you like opera as drama, then avoid: buy the CD instead. Musically the performance is up to the Kirov's exalted standards. I personally found the ear-rings seriously undermining at a couple of crucial moments and did wonder if this was in fact a European avant-garde production concept based on ear ware; they are so distracting (yes the Polovstians won because theirs are bigger!). Everyone knows that Borodin's opera is a leisurely dramatic experience, but in this performance I sensed that Gergiev was so conscious of this fact that the opera gets rushed off its feet in the final acts and this is emphasized by the SNIPPING at the music. A chunk of Jaroslavna's glorious last act aria goes (which is vandalism), and much more damaging dramatically, the trio when Igor escapes is cut, thus making the second act in the Polovstian camp seem even more perfunctory than it probably is, and robbing us of the one bit of real character conflict between Konchakovna (the wonderful Olga Borodina) Igor and Vladimir. Thus they hardly re-appear at all after the initial Polovstian act and are reduced to ciphers in the second part of the opera. There used to be a version from the Royal Opera House on video with Haitink and an incredible Anna Tomova-Sintow, maybe not as plush vocally as Gorchakova but far more charismatic and involving; maybe that will appear on DVD soon. As for this one, I watched it once and will probably give it away to someone who doesn't know any better."
Good singing - but awful tired production
Mr. M. A. Conway | London, UK | 11/18/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A star line up of some of the greatest russian singers in todays times. Musically the orchestra under maestro Gergiev flourished. The picture and sound quality of this DVD was again flawless. Where is the problem? We are told on the sleave that this was the Kirov's magnificent 1998 production, and being aware of what Kirov productions are like I was prepared for some semi-tradititonal staging. What I saw though was a production that resembled something that would be considered old fashioned in the nineteeth century. Tired painted backcloths and bulky clumsy costumes, in some cases ridiculous make up more fit for the circus than on the stage (The Khan for one example). I wonder if those at the cash strapped Kirov had got together and in an attempt at saving money had collected items and props from all their old productions mixed them together and called it a new production."
Just buy it.
Satish Kamath | 06/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There were some horrible reviews in this US edition of Amazon that put off my decision to go in for this one. Thank god many of the armchair critics like me are wrong many a time. People have criticized this production for stuff like 'old sets', costumes and even the way some characters, especially the Khan, has been portrayed. I find the costumes and make-up quite adequate and authentic, if one were to see the pics of these in various encyclopedias and so on. I wonder if that guy has seen a period caricature of Kublai Khan or even Gengiz Khan. They have both such mustaches as well as earrings as portrayed here. If it is deemed a 19th century production, all the better for people like me who prefer a bit of opulence even if the sets are a little lacking. Thank god we were not surprised with Igor in a Tuxedo and so on along with minimalist sets.
Anyone who knows the more popular Polovtzian Dances and the lesser known but fabulous overture composed by Glazunov incorporating many themes from this opera, can enjoy it without any problems.
I know that Kirov (Actually Mariyinksky) could and would do much better if the dances were performed separately for a DVD on ballet or on stage. But here, the rustic and crude nature of the Polovtzis is maintained well by lack of mechanical precision and one can see the dancers having a good time and so did I.
This production has some of the best singers, dancers and a great conductor. It has been shot quite well, and is never found wanting in its sound track. What more does one want in an Opera DVD?
Yes, Also remember, that this is PRINCE IGOR, and not BORIS GODUNOV. Keep that in mind too."