Dinorah at last
Giles Bernard J. Hall | Tasmania; Australia | 03/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been an opera fan for as long as I can remember and I know what I like and what I don't. Meyerbeer's music has always managed to touch me and reach deep into my soul. Dinorah especially, and I have been waiting for many years for a production of this wonderful opera to appear on Video/DVD. I have the complete recording made by Opera Rara (1979) with Deborah Cook as Dinorah; Christian du Plessis as Hoël and John Alexander as Corentin. This performance has Isabelle Philippe; Armand Arapian & Frédéric Mazzotta as the protagonists. Whilst they are not up to the caliber for the former cast, they are each in their own special way believable and give strong performances. Dinorah's "Shadow Song", stops the show (as one would expect).
Mozzotta's performance is brilliant acting wise and Arapian does make an excellent Hoël. The staging and costumes are exquisite, almost like the original production. I should mention that this is NO modern production, thank God, as I am against the modernization of classical operas.
The orchestral playing is first class as is the photography and sound, Dolby 2.0 only.
This is the only available production of this most under-performed work and I urge you to purchase it; you will not be disappointed. My only gripe is that Kultur recordings give you nothing in the form of notes or background on any of their productions. So you have to research the piece yourself. All you get is a sheet with the chapters on it, but then I suppose we should be grateful that they actually record these unknown operas for us.
Dr. J. J. Kregarman | Denver, Colorado United States | 08/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had some doubts about this one, but I needn't have. This opera is entertaining, as I assume it was meant to be. It is well performed. Sets and costumes are extremely good, and it's fun to watch and listen to. The sound and picture quality are good. If you like Lakme or like listening to French ballet music of the time, you'll like this"
Wonderful Music in Antiquated Vehicle
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 02/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On the basis of this rarely produced opera and the few others that are in regular production, it is easy to see why Meyerbeer was a titan of 19th Century opera. This company under the direction of Jourdan is excellent in showing the score to greatest advantage. Each of the three key roles is acted and sung almost to perfection, supporting players and the chorus also do a fine job, the sets quite suitably synchronize with the libretto, and nobody shows disdain for the awkwardness of the plot. The plot, what can one say about it, a rustic folk-tale that comes out of the romantic simple is wise school so popular when it was written. What a fine vehicle for transformation by a modernist into something which will reach a contemporary audience, the music will bear the load, if only put to work appropriately.
Despite my reservations, I would urge anyone who will not be put off by the plot,to get hold of a copy so as to enjoy these acting singers make the most of sometime beautiful, sometime funny, sometime romantic, music."