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Riders To The Sea- An Opera By Ralph Vaughan Williams
Riders To The Sea- An Opera By Ralph Vaughan Williams
Actors: Sarah Walker, Yvonne Brennan
Director: Louis Lentin
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2008     0hr 44min

Producer and Director: LOUIS LENTIN — Set Design: JAY CLEMENTS — Costume Design: CAROL BETERA — Lighting Director: JIM KELLETT — Maurya: Sarah Walker — Cathleen: Yvonne Brennan — Nora: Kathleen Tynan — Bartley: Hugh Mackey — A Wom...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Sarah Walker, Yvonne Brennan
Director: Louis Lentin
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/26/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 0hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Riders to the Sea
James Macelderry | 09/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"vaughn Williams one act opera is one of his greatest vocal works, a complete setting of J.M. Synge's tragedy about life on the Aran Islands, off the coast of Ireland. The sea is a major character in the play and the opera. The cast, lead by Sarah Walker, and the conducting of Bryden Thomoson could not be bettered. The settings and direction are exemplary. The short spoken introduction by an actor playing Synge provides an ideal introduction to this world. Kultur had perfomed a public service making this available. Since this sort of thing tends not to be in the catalogs for long, I recommend buying now."
Riders to the Sea by Vaughan-Williams
T. C. | 11/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ralph Vaughan-Williams is known as a prolific and many-sided composer, that wrote significant works in almost every musical form. He is known less as an operatic composer, but actually he wrote seven operas. In 1927 he completed his short one act opera Riders to the Sea. The opera is based on a short play by Irish author John Millington Synge that was performed for the first time in 1904. This one-act tragedy is set in the Aran Islands.

Vaughan Williams set Synge's text essentially intact, with only a small number of changes and the opera was performed for the first time in 1937 at the at the Royal College of Music in London. This is not the first RVW work dealing with sea (I presume many are familiar with his first symphony...) but this opera is a model of summarization: it lasts only 38 minutes, but it leaves a very profound impression on the listener (at least, this is my reaction to the work). It is regarded as RVW best operatic creation.

A few months ago, on the Kultur label appeared a DVD version of this short opera. This is an opera film that was directed traditionally but very effectively by Louis Lentin in 1988 (no Eurotrash here...). The Radio Telefis Éireann Chamber Choir and Concert Orchestra are conducted by Bryden Thomson, which had recorded many successful RVW recordings for the Chandos label. Each and every one of the singers is excellent, but one should mention the amazing mezzo-soprano Sarah Walker singing the role of Maurya. Alas, my English vocabulary is poor so I can only partly describe how much her performance moved me. Her final lament in the end of the opera is sung with algid restraint and with a deep and imperceivable feeling of grief that moved me almost to tears.

I highly recommend this short, but wonderful DVD.
Hauntingly beautiful and low key
S. Hansen | NH | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have never paid much attention to Ralph Vaughan Williams but I purchased this recording based on the earlier reviews. This is a very gentle work that is also very powerful. I agree with the others - get this before it disappears from the catalog."