Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shostakovich - Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk / Secunde Ventris Kotcherga Vas Clark Nesterenko Capelle Anissimov Barcelona Opera|
Actors: Shostakovich, Nadine Secunde, Christopher Ventris, Alexander Anissimov, Anatoli Kotcherga
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
ALEXANDER ANISSIMOV: SHOSTAKOVICH - LADY
Thoroughly decadent production; thoroughly decadent opera
Richard | Minneapolis, Mongolia | 11/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Keep the children away; this is definitely R rated. I had heard but not seen Lady Macbeth before and was impressed. Here I am overwhelmed. My flesh crawled the last ten minutes and I finished beyond tears. This is definitely one of the five great 20th century operas. That Stalin scared Shostakovich out of opera over this counts as one of his crimes against humanity. This production takes a couple liberties with the original including the ending but makes its case powerfully. Nadine Secunde embodies Katerina in all her boredom, longing, oppression and finally despair. Her final frozen paralysis will linger with me a long time. Christopher Ventris resembles a svelt Alec Baldwin. He oozes sex. How often can you say that of a tenor? No wonder Katerina falls for him. And his betrayal of her is numbing. There is not a weak link in singing or acting throughout the huge cast. Anissimov conducts a slow performance in comparison with Rostropovich and Myung on CD (almost half an hour longer), but it does not seem slow. Indeed the production has an inevitable undertow toward disaster from the start. If you do not see this performance you are missing a milestone in 20th century opera. True there seems to be something fishy about the sound at times, as was the case in the company's Hamlet, but that is a minor irritation."
Archie | Ottawa ON Canada | 02/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have long been a great fan of Petr Weigl, and gave his production of Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk 5 stars. At the time I thought that no live production could surpass it as a dramatic musical performance. I was wrong.
I bought this production because I am also a fan of Nadine Secunde and would have been prepared to overlook a few weak performances just to see what she could do with this musically and dramatically demanding role. As it turned out, not only does she do a superlative job, but so does the rest of the cast and orchestra.
Although the theatrical set could never be as good as that of the Weigl cinema production, the versatility of it and the lighting were more than appropriate and enhanced the drama. In addition, this production as all the bits that Weigl edited out.
I found the sound and the vision of the DVD very good indeed.
What with multiple camera angles and close-ups, sensitive editing has the ability to enhance the theatrical experience. This production certainly does that.
I cannot recommend it highly enough."
Check second opinion
Ben Lin | Taipei, Taiwan | 10/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me leave the performance of this live recording to a later time...
I have to say that I totally DISAGREE with the previous reviewer in terms of the audio and video quality of this DVD release. On my system, the audio quality is absolutely 1st rate. No matter I used LPCM or dts5.1 for the reproduction. The sound stage and sound clarity is beautifully captured, with adequate dynamic, especially in the climax in ACT2. The video quality is first rate for today's DVD standard. (Of course, it can not compare with 1080i resultion of satellite broadcast). The lighting on stage is a matter of taste, but for most part, I think the major roles on stage are more than adequately spot-lighted. And just as a refernce data, the transport stream quatity on this DVD is close to the upper bound (mostly beyond 9 mb/s)"
DPG | New York | 10/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was very excited to see a live production of this powerful opera available on DVD, and I immediately purchased a copy. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment, however, as I watched the DVD. The Liceu production here commited to disk is poorly conceived, darkly lit, and (often) ineptly staged. Anyone who has seen David Poutney's ENO production or Graham Vick's brilliant, over-the-top Met production knows just how thrilling a piece of music theatre "Lady Macbeth..." can be, but you wouldn't know it from this humorless and dull staging. There are many questionable touches, the biggest head-scratcher being the interpolation of music from Shostakovich's 6th symphony between Acts 3 and 4, underscoring some useless business from the Shabby Peasant. The cast is not a bad one (Kotcherga's Boris is particularly notable, and none other than Evgeny Nesterenko appears as the Old Convict) but they are undone by the production and, worse, by the disk's chief technical shortcoming, truly awful sound. The singers, regardless of where they are on stage, all sound as if they are at the far end of a long, echo-y tunnel, and the orchestral sound is mushy at best. All in all, a real disappointment. Let's hope that a better production of LMMOM makes it to DVD someday. Until then, stick with the Rostropovich CD, close your eyes, and imagine."