Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Janacek - Jenufa / Davis Alexander Silja Glyndebourne Opera|
Actors: Roberta Alexander, Anja Silja, Menai Davies, Philip Langridge, Mark Baker
Director: Derek Bailey
Genres: Drama, Special Interests, Musicals & Performing Arts
No Description Available. Genre: Performing Arts - Opera Rating: NR Release Date: 28-MAY-2002 Media Type: DVD
SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE AND RIGHT
DAVID BRYSON | Glossop Derbyshire England | 11/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you have never been to Glyndebourne but would like to get the feel of the place from a recorded performance, I promise you that you will get none of it from this one. It is very good indeed but it might be from anywhere. Apart from Strauss and Puccini, there is probably no serious 20th-century opera that is easier to come to terms with than Jenufa. The story is harrowing, but all in a very operatic way as that term might be applied to Verdi. The narrative line is simple and direct and does not strain our credulity, at least not by operatic standards, the characters are few and strongly identifiable, and the pace of the action is very well calculated. Clarity has obviously been a major objective in this production, and the simplicity of the sets seems designed to focus attention on the action and the music. The musical style is highly rational in the best sense - free from hyperbole, the vocal parts reasonably pitched, lyrical up to a point and not afraid of word-repetition but avoiding formal arias and 'numbers' except for the choruses towards the end and even cleverly steering clear of cadences in the interests of continuity, the orchestral parts interesting in their own right but always subordinate to the voices. There is everything to be said for DVD as the medium for bringing opera into the home. In sound alone the very greatest performances inevitably lose something - they were simply not written just to be heard. That said, this is not just ordinary drama, but music-drama, and within reason I for one am quite happy to suspend disbelief up to a point if the music is well enough done. For me Roberta Alexander as Jenufa does not look the part in the least, and I do not care in the least given her fine acting and superlative singing. She shares the spotlight with the Kostelnicka and in this role the tall and imposing Anja Silja is totally convincing in every respect - stagy in the right way at her first entrance, casting the shadow of doubt and misgiving everywhere about her, thrilling when left alone with her inward torment, and dominating the scene in her final confession. The male roles - the thoughtless Steva and the confused Laca - are admirably sung, acted and directed, and there is nothing that I feel like trying to criticise when the whole concept of the work is as well realised as it is here. Congratulations to Glyndebourne, but 5 minutes into the production I had forgotten all about them, which is as it should be."
Brilliant performances in an incredible opera!!!
Baryton | Baltimore, MD United States | 08/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The influences of veristic opera abound in Janacek's powerful music drama. Roberta Alexander's performance in the title role is riveting. The other singer/actors are just as compelling. Abundant melodies, rich harmonies, and masterful orchestration make for an experience which will hold you spellbound from it's beginning to it's tragic end."
A great and moving performance
C. Harbison | Montague, MA United States | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The sets are sharp, spare and effective, costumes traditional. The singers are all committed and as good as one could get. The over-all effect is tear-jerking. A must-have for any Janacek fan and a perfect introduction to his amazing operas. It helps to have the booklet from Mackerras CD recording with its very thorough notes."
I'm almost speechless
William R. Morrison | 02/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD at the recommendation of an opera-loving friend. I knew nothing about it, so I found a plot synopsis on the web (there are no notes at all, just a list of sections). Well, wow. This is a powerful work...the music reminds me of Wagner, except a human Wagner, with real people and emotions, instead of gods. In fact, and this will enrage Wagnerians I suppose, I think there is more honest emotion in Act II of this opera than in the entire ring cycle. The acting is believable and the singing is fine. Anja Silja as the mother is riveting. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that I think the sound recording is a bit tinny, and it's not a live performance. At the end I wish there'd been an audience cheering, because I wanted to cheer too."