Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dvorak - Rusalka / Subrtova Zidek Haken Ovcacikova Hlobilova Wysoczanska Mixova Chalabala|
Actors: Zdenek Chalabala, Milada Subrtova, Czech Opera
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Uneven, static film
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 04/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a 1975 film of Rusalka, Dvorak's breathtakingly beautiful opera. The soundtracked is t6he 1961 recording with Chalabala conducting, and Milada Subrtova and Ivo Zidek as the lead singers. That is a classic recording, and I recommend it as *the* must-have Rusalka recording. This film has actors standing in and lip-synching to the soundtrack, except for the role of Jezibaba. Eduard Haken is the Jezibaba of the recording and he also plays Jezibaba in the film.
This could have been a very beautiful film, but unfortunately it's rather static and dull. There are way too many close-ups of the actors, who look somewhat awkward and vacant lip-synching to an old recording. The directors obviously put some effort into the film -- there are many picturesque shots of Rusalka's lake. But they don't seem to have grasped how touching the story is. Without emotional depth, the static quality of the libretto unfortunately becomes very obvious -- after all, the whole conceit of the opera is that Rusalka becomes mute after she is transformed into human form. A shame. The film also drastically cuts the score -- the second verses of all the arias (including the Song to the Moon) are gone. So my search for the perfect Rusalka video goes on."
Difficult To Watch
Michael Miano | Middleport, NY USA | 06/17/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I suppose that Czech TV viewers thought this was great when they saw it in 1975. But, it simply doesn't hold-up to modern audiences'expectations. There's a lot of pointless running around in the meadow, the castle grounds, and under the water. Visually, the film is simply uninteresting. The costumes are awful, as is the acting. Yet, cutting the music to 2 hours wasn't annoying since none of the libretto seems to be missing. And, it is a blessing that the story hasn't been updated here to modern times. The dubbing is poorly done. Eduard Haken as the Watersprite and Vaclav Bednar as the Hunter sing (dub) their original 1961 rolls. Since neither Katerina Machackova (as Rusalka) and Miroslav Nohynek (as the Prince)can act, in spite of their attractiveness and youth, I still have to wonder why the director didn't simply let the singers of the roles do the acting. I realize the 1961 singers were probably too old to be convincing, but I would have preferred the director simply find new singers and scrap the 1961 recording."
Captures Dvorak's magic
J. Shaver | Hot Springs, VA USA | 03/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike the other reviewers I found this filmed version of the opera quite charming. It definitely captures the fairy tale atmosphere and is beautiful both to listen to and to see. Certainly it is preferable to the nonsensical French production set in a nursery (or asylum, perhaps?) and better than watching a mature matron cavorting on the stage of the Metropolitan."