Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Delius A Village Romeo and Juliet / Mackerras Hampson Davies Field Mora|
Actors: Thomas Hampson, Sir Charles Mackerras
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
DELIUS MASTERPIECE FINALLY ON DVD . . . BUT
Operaman! | Chicago, IL United States | 10/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I confess to having a magnificent obsession with Delius' elusive opera. I listened repeatedly to Meredith Davies' recording on Angel and dreamed what a staged presentation would look like. In 1972 a multi-media production was staged by both the Washington and New York City Operas and never offered again.Advance to 1989. The European Mediascope company announces a filmed version using the digital recording on Argo conducted by Charles Mackerras as its soundtrack. The film is released on LaserDisc, NOT a format that I had the economic ability or desire to invest in. I take an interest in Mackerras recording, but still prefer the Davies reading which EMI finally unearths on CD. A few years pass and LaserDisc dissolves into oblivion as does the opportunity to see the film.At long last, enter DVD and Decca's release of the opera on that format. I eagerly purchase the package and rush home to see it. You cannot imagine my disappointment.Well, look at it this way - better a cracked cookie than no cookie at all. The visual images, sets, location shots and period costumes by director Petr Weigl and others are attractive and make sense. The direction takes things too literally and some of the staging is awkward (Sali's dispatching of Marti is totally unconvincing. No stunt doubles?) There are instances where abstract or symbolic imagery would have been welcome (Walk to the Paradise Garden, in particular). But what really ruins things is the lip-synching. Dana Maravkova and Michal Dlouhy are attractive in a chilly sort of way, but no one is going to believe the voices of Helen Field and Arthur Davies coming from the mouths of these babes. Thomas Hampson plays and sings the part of the Dark Fiddler here, but he is deprived of making a bigger impact of his role by the indifferent direction.The Petr Weigl film fills a void, but not completely."
SLEEPING BEAUTY AWAKENED BY PETR WEIGL'S KISS
dvd3 | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first bought this work on CD back in the eighties and I immediately had a profound longing for a visual experience to go along with Delius' gorgeous score. A few years later, my wish was granted with this film by Petr Weigl which I was able to buy on Laserdisc. It fulfilled my every expectation in spite of the fact that the actors were all lip-synching. (Many opera-goers would agree that the majority of "real" opera singers are bad actors anyway. At least in this visually gorgeous film, the characters all LOOK right for their parts, something that frequently is not the case on stage.) I think Gerald Fenech on classical.net says it best,
"Delius' beautiful opera takes on a new lease of life in this splendidly directed film by Petr Weigl. The music is provided by the highly recommended recording with Mackerras and the ORF Symphony whilst the acting by the doubles (who obviously don't sing) is adequate enough.
Whilst obviously relishing this gorgeous orchestral score, I was consistently moved by the exquisite scenery portrayed by the director, truly recreating a Swiss village lost in time with some stupendous nature scenes.
Weigl's direction allows for a certain amount of artistic liberty that culminates in a ravishing rendition of the 'Walk to the Paradise Garden', a touching moment of rare beauty that is also replicated in the equally moving Finale. I cannot imagine this drama being better enacted.
The late Christopher Palmer writes a lengthy and essential essay for the booklet notes which delve into great detail that is very much a must have for the seasoned Delian. One may lament the absence of a libretto but the CD version will probably be in most collectors' libraries anyway.
Still, the real bonus on this DVD is the hour-long documentary entitled, 'Discovering Delius'. This is another moving historical document described in fastidious detail and very artistical, with some invaluable contributions by that great man, Eric Fenby. This alone is worth the price of the whole issue."
P.S. The CD release is the actual score that was used in the film and to which the actors lip-sync. The accompanying CD booklet is very comprehensive with the libretto and copious notes. Incidentally, what Gerald Fenech means by "a certain amount of artistic liberty" is that in the film "The Paradise Gardens" is an actual garden wheras in the original, it is the name of the inn where the lovers spend the night, etc."
Operaman! | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a brilliant way to enjoy this beautiful work by Delius. The cinemetography is fabulous, and it is filled with breathtaking photography. You will find yourself totally taken away while you watch an opera that is in such a non-standard realistic format. Refreshing, new-- I can't wait for it to come out on DVD, if it ever does. I own a copy of this VHS and wouldn't part with it for any price."
Marcelo B. De Freitas | Porto Alegre - RS - Brasil | 06/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a motion picture, but very, very nice. Lip-synch is not so good, but we manage. We (opera goers) have managed much worse things before - so why can't we manage this one with such a beautiful music? - Go ahead, buy it!!! - you won't regret. I would rate it 4,5 stars, but there's no such thing, so I decided to credit 5 starts - and I am not going to regret that."