Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Camille Saint-Saens - Henry VIII / Rouillon Command Vignon Orchestre Lyrique Franais Guingal |
Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne, 1991
Actors: Philippe Rouillon, Michele Command, Lucile Vignon, Alain Gabriel, Philippe Bohee
Director: Pierre Jourdan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests, Musicals & Performing Arts
Saint-Saën?s most successful opera, after Samson et Dalila, centers on the period of Henry?s life where his political ambitions and his defiance of Rome intertwine with his rejection of Catherine of Aragon and his marriage... more »
French Opera at its best
Giles Bernard J. Hall | Tasmania; Australia | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Henry Vll - Saint-Saëns: I have had the CD's of this opera for some time now; from the same production, and I was elated when I saw it had been released on DVD. Having viewed it, my opinion of this under-produced opera has strengthened. It is well cast and the settings and costumes are sumptuous to say the least. Philippe ROUILLON is a formidable Henry, in fact one could be forgiven for confusing him with the real Henry. Michèle COMMAND gives a commanding performance as Catherine of Aragon (if you'll pardon the pun). Her rendition of "À ta bonté souveraine," from Act lll, just about brought the house down.
Lucile VIGNON's light Mezzo voice gives Anne Bolyn just the right weight. Alain GABRIEL as Don Gomez has a nice light tenor voice, however a little under-powered for what the role demands. I don't know whether it was the positioning of the microphones or what, but in the ensembles the soloists tended to get lost. One really had to strain to pick them out. The production was first rate and the sound over-all was excellent even if it was only in 2 channel stereo. Permanent English subtitles to follow the plot.
The End credits and encores went nearly as long as the opera. This is a generous DVD with a total playing time of just over 200 minutes. My only gripe with Kultur DVD's is the limited information you get with them. Only a slick with the tracks on it, but, I suppose we should be grateful for that. Let's hope that this will start a revival of Henry Vlll's in our opera houses. If you are seriously into French Opera, bye it, you won't be disappointed.
Five Stars for Henry VIII
Corvus Corax | New York | 04/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a dedicated Puccini opera buff, I found myself overwhelmed by this powerful, colorful and soulful Saint-Saens Henry VIII. The broadcast won't let go. Having watched it on television several times, I have yet to tire of it, and recommend it highly to anyone who wants to broaden his or her scope of how well less well known opera can stand up to the competition. Bravo!"
An excellent performance of a rarely heard opera
A. BOSS | Mountainside, NJ United States | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an opera I had never heard before with a cast I had not heard of, so I didn't konw what to expect. I purchased it because I was interested in seeing a Saint-Saens opera other than Samson & Delila, which is the only Saint-Saens opera that I am familiar with. I was very pleasantly surprised by this DVD.
This is a conventially staged opera with very good scenery & costume and excellent singing and conducting. Although it doesn't contain any well known arias, it is very melodic throughout. If you are looking for a less well known opera to add to your collection, I would highly recommend this DVD.
My only complaint is the lack of information (no synopsis of the story, etc.)in the one page booklet that comes with the DVD, although the (English only) sub-titles help in following the action.