Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Massenet - Manon|
Actors: Edita Gruberova, Francisco Araiza, Georg Tichy, Hans Helm, Wilfried Gahmlich
Directors: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Adam Fischer
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
bel canto fan | edmonton, canada | 05/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was an unfogettable evening at the Vienna State Opera and more than 20 years later you can still feel it. Just look who is there: Production is by Jeane-Pierre Ponnelle: Edita Gruberova is Manon: Francisco Araiza - Des Grieux: Adam Fisher is conducting. Can't be better.
This performance takes you in from the first moment the curtain rises to reveal the picture perfect setting for the inn. It is traditional, but not stale, staging, just perfect for the story to unfold. Great costumes, good lighting.
Singing: Araiza is outstanding Des Grieux. I have not expected him to act so well. I like his singing very much. I have few DVDs with him and he sometimes act a bit wooden. (Mind you, how can you act as Tamino or Belmonte?) Here he is flesh and blood character, every emotion is in his voice and on his face.
His singing is outstanding and he gets an ovation in his convent scene.
Gruberova is Manon. From young girl, so open to life and love, so wanting both love and money, so amoral and at the same time lovable. Her singing outstanding. Perfect notes, crystall clear, nice pianissimos. Superb.
Manon is not my favorite opera. I bought it for Gruberova. My prior atempts to hear/see Manon were disappointing. I was bored, and never could get to the end. The one with Fleming.. what a bore. This performance is very vibrant, very dynamic. Very exciting.
Applause at the end goes on and on.
DVD Quality: Audio and Video is completely remastered. Sound is great. Image is great.
It is 5 stars all the way. Highly recommended."
Very well done
S. Bernard | Mesa, AZ | 11/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this on the strength of the recommendations here, and on previous experience with Francisco Araiza and Edita Gruberova and it was defintely worth it.
The staging is very traditional and a bit stagy looking, but not distracting. The orchestra is wonderful, albeit too loud in some passages- especially the harp! I never thought I'd ever say a harp was too loud, but it's obviously over-mic'd. The singers sing very well, even the supporting roles are well done. Gruberova handles all of the coloratura with ease. She also has a great pianissimo. Her acting is good and she TOTALLY looks the part- but some of the stage directions are distracting. I'm guessing this is the director's fault. Being a singer myself I realize that they have to sing facing the audience, but some of the angles were strange looking. But the main kudo (and from watching the ovation the audience there agreed with me) is Araiza. While Manon is traditionally a soprano's opera, the role of Des Grieux is a difficult one, with a high tessitura and that can very tiring to the voice. Plus to do it well, requires a singer with the ability to act, which Araiza can. His is a standout performance, and like Gruberova, he looks the part. She looks simply ravishing, like Manon should be and he is handsome and gallant like Chevalier Des Grieux should be (but they so seldom are). Once again, there does seem to be some disturbing (at least to me) stage movements that do not seem to fit- but then one has to do what the director tells them to.
Overall, this is a wonderful rendition with very good singing & acting. Oh, and one of the best parts- TERRIFIC costumes!!! Sincerely, very glamorous and befitting. This one's a keeper."
Daniel D. Fernandez | 07/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will not add anything to the former reviewer. It doesn't get any better. Buy it!!!!!"
E. Lyons | Ann Arbor, MI | 03/26/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"be warned: this performance is heavily cut...almost every act has a HUGE chunk taken out of it. I was glad I had checked this out from the library to preview before buying it. Tons of act 3 and 4 especially are cut. All of Manon is great music, so this was just really disappointing. I can tolerate a few cuts, but this...
I give it three stars anyway because Gruberova and Araiza are really good and the production is visually stunning in the old grand manner.
By all means get this if you are a fan of these singers, but if you are a fan of this opera you will be appalled by the cuts."