Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Michael Slattery
Director: Enrico Castiglione
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Comic Operetta in Two ActsBook adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler — Lyrics Richard Wilbur — Additional Lyrics Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker & Leonard BernsteinRobert Orth, Michael Sla... more »
Problems with sound
Robert G. VanStryland | Denton, TX USA | 04/09/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First, the good part: this is the only fully staged performance of this work on DVD, and I heard more of the music in this performance than in any other (although without a score, I can't say with certainty that it is complete). Unfortunately, in all other respects, this is the weakest of the three performances currently available on DVD. The orchestra is second-rate, and, although the singers are (for the most part) vocally adequate, there is an air of insecurity (especially in part I) as though there had not been sufficient rehearsal. In addition, there were technical problems with the sound recording. At the beginning, the singers sound as though they were too far from the microphones, and the sound level from the stage is distractingly erratic thereafter. The other two available performances are stronger; the semi-staged one with Lupone and Chenowith (sp?), whose Cunegonde is the best I've seen or heard, is the most fun of all."
Not the Best Of All Possible Candides
William Moore | 07/05/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was so looking forward to seeing this production of CANDIDE since it's conducted by the great John deMain. Also the production looks good on paper, but it's not very good in performance. The sound is poor, and the chorus sounds as if it's singing in another room and the production doesn't move swiftly enough: CANDIDE is a bawdy farce with serious movements that needs to move like the wind since it's essentially a one-joke show: innocent babes who've taught the world is the best of all possible worlds are repeatedly raped, beaten, cheated, robbed and worse until they finally wise up.
You know you're in trouble when the choreographer decides to choreograph the greatest overture ever written for Broadway, and you're stuck watching six dancers in silver body suits prance around aimlessly while the principal trumpet blows notes left and right. The orchestra is very secondrate. Some of of the secondary cast, as well as the chorus, is Italian, so some of the of the wonderful lyrics are difficult to understand. The design, overall, is quite good, mid-eighteenth century, as is Voltaire's novella, but the pace is slow and the choreography and musical staging very poor.
Then we get to the fantastic finale "Make Our Garden Grow" and the trumpeter blows the final notes! Final gripe? The credits list the singers but don't tell who played what roles. Pathetic.
I still prefer the Bernstein performance with Jerry Hadley, June Anderson, and Christa Ludwig. Bernstein's pace is much slower than Samuel Krachmalnik who conducted the original 1956 performances, but his discussion about the show's development is fantastic and illuminating. Still, you want to yell at the screen "It's a comic operetta! Move it." Anything, even this, is preferable to the dreadful Lonny Price campfest from the Philharmonic. It may be funny but it's completely lacking in style and wit besides being a lousy rendition of a great score."
Beautiful production but..
Julio Lopez | Santiago, Chile | 04/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a most beatiful production, quite complete as far as I know, with some music pieces not included in the 1974 recording. Voices and acting are very good and the staging is excelent.
However, it has sound problems: it played too low in my TV and there was some noise behind. Besides, the orchestra sounds a bit lazy in many instances, without the energy and punch of previous sound recordings I've had the chance to listen to. Anyhow, as this is the only fully recorded staged production, I would highly recommend it, specially for those who haven't seen a live presentation: it will give them the chance to see it complete and fully staged."