Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Poulenc - Dialogues of the Carmelites / Bonynge Sutherland Buchanan Begg Opera Australia|
Actors: Heather Begg, Isobel Buchanan, Geoffrey Chard, Paul Ferris, John Germain
Director: Henry Prokop
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
NO LIBRETTO OR SUB-TITLES - PITY
Jennifer Jones | 04/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It would have been 5 Stars if a Libretto was supplied with the DVD or if it had optional sub-titles."
FRENCH NUNS GO TO THE SCAFFOLD SINGING IN ENGLISH
Charles D. novak | minneapolis, minnesota USA | 02/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The novella this opera is based on was called THE LAST ON THE SCAFFOLD. I was very hesitant to buy this DVD because it's sung in English but the translation is so excellent and well suited to the musical line that I don't want to hear this opera any other way. I have a ticket to see the Chicago Lyric Opera's first ever production this month and they will be singing it in French. What a missed opportunity. The first performance of CARMELITES in 1957 was sung in Italian. The French version didn't premier until six months later. In any language, this is an operatic gem and I don't understand why it's not a standard repertory piece in all the major opera companies. It's based on a true story, has melodic music, drama, a mad scene and an emotional ending that packs a dramatic punch comparable to any other music written for the operatic stage. The singing in this production is first rate. Heather Begg as the Mother Superior is riveting, especially in her death scene. Isobel Buchanan as Blanche is perfectly cast. Besides having a voice that can deliver all the notes and words clearly, she's truly believable as the mixed up adolescent. I especially liked the director's touch of keeping us in suspense over her absence in the execution scene. My "favorite" nun is Anne Maree McDonald as Sister Constance. She is the sister who disciplined all of us in our religious classes when we were young. And finally JOAN SUTHERLAND as Madame Lidoine. It was so great seeing her in a roll that wasn't in her standard repertory and singing so splendidly late in her career (1984) when this production was taped. Her husband Richard Bonynge conducted and brought out all the beautiful colors of Poulenc's music from the Australian Opera Orchestra. Any opera lover will want to add this DVD to their collection and be sure to pester your local opera company to perform this fantastic work more often."
Dialogues des Carmelites
Jennifer Jones | 09/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joan is breathtaking. This opera is a beautiful and tragic story and it is wonderful to have a resource available in English.
The French CD with Duval is georgous also, if you are interested in owning a recording. :)"
Australian Opera's Very Sympathetic Dialogues of the Carmeli
P. A. Dildine | Myrtle, MS USA | 02/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Musical conception by R. Bonynge is excellent, considering M. Rosenthal (a good friend of Poulenc) and M. Plasson have probably done the definitive versions from the orchestral standpoint. All singers were excellent in their roles; Blanche de la Force was sung in a full-bodied manner by a full-bodied woman, a contrast to the way it has been cast in the past, and it worked because the singer (Imogene Buchanan) got to the heart of the part. The delightful surprise was the great lyrico-coloratura Joan Sutherland in the rather understated part of Madame Lidoine, a true heroine by any measure. Despite some moments when enunciation (sung in English) was a problem, she nevertheless presented a loving portrait of this marvellous courageous woman. I did notice the translation was different from the one the Met used. Production by Elijah Moshinsky quite good; the female costumes might have been a little splendiferous for a relatively poor convent. One comment for future recordings: the singers sometimes got lost. I believe the Met has been miking their singers for recordings for some time, so that, for instance, when Blanche turns to go upstage to the guillotine, her words are not lost. Since this recording was 1984, this condition may have been corrected. Definitely worth having for Sutherland alone and bravo to Australian Opera for producing this work. Signed: P.K. Dennis"