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Russian Opera at the Bolshoi / Chaliapin, Kozlovsky, Vishevskaya
Russian Opera at the Bolshoi / Chaliapin Kozlovsky Vishevskaya
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 50min

This wonderful program is a visual illustration of the glorious history of the Bolshoi Opera: the theatre, its operatic productions, and world-renowned star singers. Stills, audio recordings, and archive footage richly ill...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Documentary
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Russian

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Movie Reviews

A remarkable document on the golden age of the Bolshoi Opera
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The tape contains opera snd song scenes with the greatest of the Bolshoi stars from the 30's to the 60's and 70's. Highlights include Lisitsian, Reizen, Lemeshev, Kozlovsky, Archipova. Petrov. Ognivtsev, Mikhailov, Pirogov. The quality of the archival transfers is quite professional and the 112 minute tape is packed with material - no time is lost with loose talk! For me, the entire tape is full of great singing, but the highlights of this one are the miraculous voices of Reizen and Lisitisan."
Rare Footage and Brilliant Singing from Moscow
David Cairns | Rye, NY United States | 03/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not only is the vocalism of these exceptional glimpses of historic Bolshoi performances stunning, the video contains scenes from Glinka's operas "A Life for the Tsar" and "Ruslan and Lyudmila," as well as a scene from Dargomizhsky's "Rusalka." Tapes of these works cannot be found in the West; thus this video is also an important historical document. Other offerings are from the more-to-be-expected Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky operas. A remarkable bonus is a performance of Gremin's aria from "Eugene Onegin" by Marc Reizen at age 90 (!), still in tip-top vocal form. The overview of the other virtuoso singers is just as thrilling. For anyone who likes good singing, this tape is a MUST!"
Marvellous all-round
Plaza Marcelino | Caracas Venezuela | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you have the slightest interest in russian opera, you just can't miss this. In surprisingly good images and sound (the material being several decades old but carefully restored), in this two-part documentary you will be presented with gems from works all too little performed in western opera houses and from singers the tragic confluence of the Stalin terror and the second world war mostly prevented from travelling west; actually, most of the featured singers will be known in western countries solely from recordings licenced by western companies after the war.

Russian singing schools produced some vocal timbres very much of their own, not quite correspondent to western ones. Their performing styles also were typical, highly theatrical and the documentary shows both features aplenty. There are arresting Boris Godunov impresonations from Alexei Pirogov and Ivan Petrov and there's even the odd Vishnevskaya clip from before the times she and husband Rostropovich emigrated in the 1970's. There's no point in copying here the whole list of participants in the whole documentary, interested readers can check out the disc's contents in this website, all I want now is to commend Kultur and Warner Video for this effort whilst encouraging them to keep on delving into russian archives as, who knows, besides the Bolshoi Nestierenko Boris Godunov I commented elsewehere on this website there must be other complete performances of, say, Evgueni Oneguin, again Boris Godunov (were the Petrov sequences shown in the documentary taken from a complete performance? -if a complete Petrov "Boris" exists in video, what are you waiting to make it available????-), Queen of Spades and God knows what else, gathering dust in said archives, produced by soviet television and Mosfilm that would be enthusiastically received by collectors worldwide."