Dennis M. Clark | Oakland, CA United States | 07/05/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There is some very sprightly music in this performance, where the singers occasionally allow a pleasant sound to emerge (but not enough to spoil us), interrupted by tediously directed scenes straining much too hard to be funny. The actors/singers awkwardly move chairs around a lot to remind us that this is not a concert performance. Disagreements among the singers and the conductor regarding tempi are presented to us with great force. The comedy presumably depends on a sophisticated ambiguity regarding the contrasting mannerisms of nobility, bohemians, and servants, but the director seems to think that we would prefer a rather vulgar muddle instead. Artistic unity is achieved by lots of shouting and shrieking in both the songs and the spoken sections. Every now and then we are allowed a glimpse of lovely music, reminding us that Offenbach knew what he was doing, even if this production doesn't quite understand the work at all."
A beautiful Operetta in a poorer production!
A. Kalata | Florida | 03/29/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a musical piece, this French operetta is simply outstanding! It has a lot of spectacular arias and scenes that are worth listening to.
However, this production from the Opera National De Lyon, does not do a good job of bringing the piece to life. One cannot do a great job of comparing this production to another mainly because there isn't another DVD of this operetta. However, it is evident that this production has some flaws:
1. The singers in this production are clearly Amateurs; they do not sound perfect and a lot of times they produce a very "bland" sound that can be displeasing.
2. The set of this Operetta is also very plain. An operetta that takes place in Paris and depicts the "Parisienne" life should invest in some more expensive sets! Also if you decide to make a modern version of the operetta don't change back into the traditional style at the end. For example, the setting of the station in first act was modern while the second act's "hotel" scene was more traditional. Mixing time periods confuses the viewer!
3. The humor in this production is not natural; it does not come from the
talents of the actors but is forced on the audience by the cast.
I give this production a 3 star becuase of the excellent camera work.
The orchestra did an excellent job playing the piece; which is not an easy one to play!
This is a wonderful operetta that is done by a second class crew. If you never saw La Vie Parisienne, it is something that you should consider watching; the piece is a beautiful one!