Search - Janacek - The Makropulos Case / Davis, Silja, Begley, Glyndebourne Festival Opera on DVD

Janacek - The Makropulos Case / Davis, Silja, Begley, Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Janacek - The Makropulos Case / Davis Silja Begley Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Actors: Anja Silja, Kim Begley
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2003     1hr 35min

Leos Janacek's ground-breaking psychological opera is performed here in this Glyndebourne Festival Opera production, starring Anja Silja, Kim Begley, Victor Braun and Andrew Shore. Andrew Davis conducts the Glyndebourne ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Anja Silja, Kim Begley
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/14/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An Ideal Introduction to Janacek
Mr. Matthew J. Williams | Sydney, NSW Australia | 06/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The unique headiness of Janacek's music cradles a compelling psychological drama that examines the benefits or otherwise of longevity. The opera is only 95 minutes long (similar in length to Strauss' Salome), and this DVD is a profoundly satisfying performance in every department.Silja is Emilia Marty, an opera prima donna who, despite being 337 years old (a fact unknown to everyone around her) is sexually irresistable. She has consumed an anti-ageing potion brewed by her father, and towards the end of the opera the question is raised of the desirability of such a potion being available.Smaller parts are all very well taken although Emilia so dominates the opera it wouldn't particularly matter if they weren't. Silja is perfect vocally and dramatically - although an argument could be made for Emilia to look and sound slightly younger. The production captures and illuminates the drama so well it is hard to imagine a better one.Andrew Davis conjures just the right sound from the London Philharmonic.I wasn't bothered by Brian Large's video direction myself - I found the camera always unobtrusively where I would want it.Reviews on the back cover:"Anja Silja's a nonpareil triumph... This is a near perfect production..." Wall Street Journal"Anja Silja... an electrifying performance... a perfect example of just what video opera can and ought to be." Opera Now.Picture format is 4:3; Dolby Digital is only Stereo 2.0; Subtitles in English, German and Spanish."
It Doesn't Get Better
G Stefan Lazar | San Francisco | 12/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I couldn't agree with the editorial review more. This is about as perfect a performance as one could ever expect. Anja Silja is incredible. The drama especially shines through in Acts 2/3. Act 1 felt a little slow to me but that's because of the composer, not the performance. Only a few minor quibbles. The camera work in Act 1 jumped around too much, from one character to another, and was rather disconcerting. And what was that leather outfit for Silja during part of Act 3? Just bizzaar!! If you've never seen a Janacek opera, this should definitely be your first!"
337 years old and still going strong ...
Plaza Marcelino | Caracas Venezuela | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Silja was 55 when this Glyndebourne performance was video-taped, and in 2003 she was still singing Herodias at the Paris Bastille Opera, in an accoladed production of Salome. Will her career ever end, one wonders, or is she planning on going the way of Emilia Marty, the protagonist of this work, once a rarity in opera stages but nowadays thankfully far less so? For here we are in presence of an outstanding rendition of the work, from the hands of a veteran long acquainted with it and very much responsible for the opera's rescue from oblivion. Her voice appears to still have a lot to say, despite some wobble at the top register, I'd say with no disrespect natural at this stage in her career. It's like drinking now a 1976 Chateau Mouton Rothschild that has been well preserved: the colours may not be the same bright ones it had when new, but the experience is likely to be unforgettable. And she's also in fantastic physical shape, making for a handsome and erotically charged Elina Makropulos, Ellian MacGregor and all the EM's the main character assumed throughout her 337 years of her life many a singer tackling the part hopelessly lack. She might as well had shown her naked body in the third act (she doesn't) that the house would had come down, so attractive a woman Mme Silja still was.

The Glyndebourne production has made its rounds in and out of the UK for some time now, being revived from time to time, and even travelled to the Brooklin Academy of Music; most times it featured Silja, I understand in a few ocassions didn't. Those who missed a Silja performance of it were left with 3/4 less the pleasure ...

And yes, lest one forgets, the other singers are of a very high level, making for excellent teamwork. Fine playing from the LPO and spotless conducting from Sir Andrew Davis complete a very good DVD that sadly features no additional material and supplies only the barest documentation possible (when will these companies stop shortchanging the customer, I wonder?), which would have been helpful to a lot of would-be purchasers in a work and composer that hardly may be considered mainstream."
All motions seconded....
S. Hutton | Hartsdale, NY USA | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This will be considered, I'm sure, a historical performance; Silja is genius. The singing, all round, is glorious, the acting credible, the conducting is fine."