Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
With an image up to six times sharper than conventional DVD and superior high-definition sound, Blu-Ray lets you watch opera and ballet performances from the front row of the theater. Experience every detail, no matter how... more »
Fantastic Blu-Ray debut for DG
SingingFriar | the OC, CA | 11/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a difference blu-ray makes! If there was ever a production of an opera to want in stunning high defintion, it may be this one, and DG does not disappoint. The colors leap off the screen and the beautiful cast, costumes and scenery are just a feast to behold. The DTS-HD track is very good for the most part, occasionally the singers feel too close and there are occasional balance issues, but it is excellent for the most part.
There has been a lot written about this production. I saw it in LA a few years ago and was blown away then. I'm very grateful to see it here on BD/DVD, but I feel there's something missing. As amazing as Netrebko and Villazon are, there is something missing from their relationship here in this production. I feel like the McVicar production (also with Rolando) with Dessay shows much more tenderness and intense subtlety in the first sparks of romance when Manon and Des Grieux first meet. I'm not discounting the validity of the awkward teenager to passionate affair vision in the Patterson production here, but I think for me the McVicar approach is preferable and ends up being a bit more touching in the ending demise. Of course, with Patterson's vision of Manon's life as a movie starlet, a touch more superficiality may be what he wanted!
In any case, this BD of this opera is a feast for the eyes and ears. If you know Netrebko's singing, you know that the lightness and fluidity of tone required by Manon are not her strong suit. If that is not an issue for you, then have no reservations and enjoy!
Jules Massenet - Manon / Dessay, Villazon, Ramey, Lanza, Henry, Perez, McVicar (Gran Teatre del Liceu 2007)"
Visual Feast, Audio Letdown
Ian Marksbury | San Diego, CA | 11/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While this is a wonderful production visually, the recording was simply terrible. It sounds as though you are sitting in the rear of the theater. If you can get past that, the singing is nice . . . but it is tough to get past the recording quality."
A "must have" operatic production - very moving
Mr. John A. Coulson | Australia | 08/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have had a laserdisc copy of this opera on the shelves for many years but never managed to get past the first act so this BD was my first exposure to the complete opera.
A movie with a relatively thin story line succeeds because of the artistic ability of the actors just as one with a strong story line can fail because of poor acting. A successful operatic production requires just so much more with great acting, great singing, great music and great staging because most have rather thin story lines. Well this production of Manon has it all and I did not find the modern setting used by Staatskapelle at all inappropriate. The balance between voices and orchestra is fine as is the audio and video generally.
Now I must confess to a love affair with Anna Netrebco as her beautiful & powerful voice combined with stunning good looks have me completely captivated so be aware of this prejudice. But combine her talents with those of Rolando Villazon with the music of Massenet and you have a winner here. Their singing and acting brought tears to my eyes. What more can be said? Unreservedly recommended.
Seductress, siren, sphinx, chameleon Netrebko sizzles....
Chhan Thuan Kiat | Brunei Darussalam | 04/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you've been agonizing over which version of Massenet's delectable Manon to get, the Bastille Opera's take with gorgeous staging and costumes in traditional style with the superlative soprano singing of Fleming or the delightful singing duo of Dessay and Villazon in the Liceu production, along sashays Netrebko with Villazon in a stunning Blu ray recording directed by Vincent Paterson which looks very much a winner. Personally I prefer the first to the second not just because of the singing but sorry, McVicar's staging just leaves me cold. The Netrebko/Villazon version is time transposed from 18th century France to 1950's Paris but is rather enchanting and works well.The staging is visually interesting and the costumes marvellous especially in the promenade scene where some of the ladies seem to walk out of the pages of Vogue magazine and the high definition video shows this in all its color and splendour. But it is the singing/acting that wins hands down and the chemistry between this famous pair. Netrebko arrives Amiens in Act 1, a breathless starry-eyed Lolita enthralled by the prospect of glamour and as each Act unfolds she changes --a teaser in baby-doll lingerie frollicking in bed with Le Chevalier(Villazon); a glamour queen trophy paramour strutting the Concourse with rich playboy Bretigny for whom she has deserted Le Chevalier,a tornado in red beseiging Le Chevalier's sanctum in the abbey to get him back, a fur clad platinum blonde bombshell ala Marlyn Monroe urging him to risk all at the gambling table and a pathetic, bedraggled prisoner dying in Le Chevalier's arms. Anna as Manon,is a throbbing tour de force.As for the well known arias, Villazon scores with his wistful "En fermant les yeux", dreaming of an idyllic life with Manon whilst she is barely able to look him in the face because she's already thinking of leaving him for a richer life with Bretigny. This scene fairly drips with pathos. His "Ah fuyez douce image" is sung with as much passion as pain. The lighter weight numbers are very enjoyable too; the rueful "Adieu, notre petite table" by Netrebko and the frothy, joyful "Je marche sur tous les chemins" in which she celebrates her glamour queen status at the Concourse. I could go on. I love this disc. The only reason for not giving it a perfect score is a slight problem with balance in the audio at times( for ninety percent of the time the DTSHD 5.1 sounds very good, I hasten to add)and I suppose recording a live performance is always a major challenge for sound engineers. Still it is a small flaw that will not affect your enjoyment of this disc at all. And enjoy it you will."