Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Smetana - The Bartered Bride|
Actors: Gabriela Benackova, Peter Dvorsky, Richard Novak, Miroslav Kopp, Zdenek Kosler
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
AN AUTHENTIC CZECH PRODUCTION
R. Olsavicky | Butler, Pa. USA | 05/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, I happen to be Czech. Second, I was in a production of this opera when Pittsburgh Opera did it in the early 70s. We even used the Duquesne University Tamburitzens for all the dances; and yes they were on stage for most of the opera just as in this production. This production brought back many happy memories. The costumes, dances, and sets are the real thing. It's a studio production that got it all right. Benackova and Dvorsky are superb! Only Fritz Wunderlich and Pilar Lorengar on the EMI recording conducted by Rudolph Kempe have a slight edge on this superbly sung, played, conducted, and directed production. The sound is very good for its age. The orchestra is excellent in all the dance sequences and especially the overture. IT DOESN'T GET MORE AUTHENTIC THEN THIS! Don't miss this Czech gem!"
EXCELLENT VOCAL ENSEMBLE WITH COLORFUL STAGING
Jesse Knight | woburn ma usa | 04/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is not easy to find Romantic period opera sung as beautifully as the best Mozart opera productions, placing this DVD at the top of my list of great romantic opera recordings. The singing is precise, accurate, expressive and powerful. I could not ask any more from the orchestra or conductor. Everyone is fully commited. Ensembles are perfectly in tune and balanced almost all of the time.
Costumes are very colorful and as far as I know, authentic. The inclusion of an outdoor market full of bright toys and decorations is a nice touch.
Some will fault this opera for the large number of dance segments, but this is a comic folk opera. No effort was spared in filming this essential element.
Nit pickers will find several things to fuss over, but the sum total of these defects is not enough to knock off a star, in my opinion.
First, this is a lip-sync opera film based on an existing recording from 1980. There is slight distortion on occasion. Dynamic range has not been compressed to any great degree, which is rare for a Supraphon recording of this vintage. The sound overall is better than many much newer DVDs. Turning down the treble and turning up the bass helps warm up the sound as Supraphon recordings tend to be bright.
Second: There are numerous small sync errors as the picture gets ahead and behind the sound. The technology just was not perfected in 1981 when the cast was recalled to do the lip sync. There is so much to watch that this is not as annoying as it would be in a minimalist staging, where the viewer has nothing but the singer's faces to hold their attention.
In conclusion: Eastern Europe has a different way of doing things, but this DVD overall is a pleasure to see and hear."