Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Puccini - Manon Lescaut / Sinopoli Domingo Te Kanawa Allen Royal Opera Covent Garden|
Actors: Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo, Thomas Allen, Forbes Robinson, Robin Leggate
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
MANON LESCAUT - DVD Movie
Great in parts, not so in others
captain cuttle | Vancouver, Canada | 04/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found more black and white in this performance than most of the reviewers here. Acts 3 and 4 were glorious. Kiri te Kanawa and Domingo knock sparks off eachother on stage. Domingo lives the part and brings out the very best in Kiri who, for once, acts instead of looking at herself in the mirror. It seems that when Manon is reduced to rags, Kiri sheds her affectations and sings from the heart. Sinopoli's conducting is outstanding. He manages to make you listen to this potentially-hackneyed work with new ears, finding an untrodden path without sounding perverse or self-conscious. Speeds are generally fast, articulation still clear.
But most of the first two acts I found dragged a little. Maybe Puccini takes some of the blame, but to me the supporting cast, after Allen and the two principals, was underpowered. When Domingo isn't on stage, the temperature drops ten degrees, even Te Kanawa going into suspended animation. Acting in the crowd scenes is rather wooden, direction earthbound.
Through it all the orchestra shines. For that, and the last two acts, this is well worth watching.
COMES TOGETHER AT THE END
Paco Rivero | Miami, FL | 07/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sinopoli's vibrant conducting and some wonderful singing make this a highly enjoyable production from pit to stage, but it's not without some weaknesses. Placido Domingo sings his heart out, although he loses his voice for a split second in Act One and sometimes he's a bit too strident. If Kiri Te Kanawa's German is poor, her Italian is even worse. She fails to keep up with Domingo in Act One, and throughout Acts Two and Three she's being fed her lines, which is clearly audible on headphones and very annoying. However, she really rises to the occasion in the last act, where her voice absolutely shines, and her acting becomes surprisingly intense. She and Domingo soar at the end, embuing the finale with haunting beauty and deep pathos. The video quality is a little fuzzy, but not bad in close shots. Sets and costumes are fine and traditional. The sound itself isn't as crystal-clear as recordings can be today, of course, but it's not bad for a video made in 1983 even if there are some minor audio glitches in Act One. The sound is MUCH better than a 2001 Manon on DVD that I recently watched, where Miriam Gauci's wonderful singing was utterly spoiled by the stale, cold, echoey recording. All in all, I also liked this "Manon Lescaut" better than Levine's Met production with Domingo and Scotto even if the latter has fewer flaws. I guess this is my favorite Manon on DVD so far, but there's still room for something better."
emma | NY USA | 04/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful DVD. I just can't stop watching it. Domingo is consistently great throughout his career, but here in particular, he is outstanding. Domingo and Te Kanawa are perfect for the leading roles. They sing and act superbly. Sinopoli's conducting is original and powerful. Everytime I watch this DVD, I enjoy watching him conducting right before Act 3. I'm very happy that I bought it.
Manon Lescaut: torn between love and riches.
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 02/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Manon is a heroine I believe in and therefore she cannot fail to win the hearts of the public. A woman like Manon can have more than one lover."--Puccini.
Puccini's third opera Manon Lescaut (1893) was his first great success, and hints at his three great compositions to come: La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), and Madama Butterfly (1904). I experienced a live HD simulcast performance of Puccini's opera from The NYC Metropolitan Opera yesterday, with soprano Karita Mattila and tenor Marcello Giordani in the title roles, and conducted by James Levine. Based on the 1731 novel L'histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost, Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts. It tells the story of Manon, who falls in love with a student, Des Grieux, on her way to a convent, following the instructions of her father. When Des Grieux discovers an elderly tresurer-general, Geronte de Ravoir, plans to abduct Manon, he declares his love to Manon and persuades her to go to Paris with him instead. When Des Grieux's money runs out, Manon becomes Geronte's mistress, but her heart remains with Des Grieux. Soon they renew their vows of love. Soldiers then arrest Manon on Geronte's orders, and she is imprisoned with other courtesans. Eventually, Manon escapes to the desert with Des Grieux where they meet their tragic, heart-rending end together. G. Merritt loves his opera, and this is among his favorites. Before the Met performance, I watched this DVD performance to familiarize myself with the opera, and it is excellent.