The ostensible subject of Prokofiev's surrealistic comedy The Love for Three Oranges is a fairy tale similar to Mozart's The Magic Flute: a prince on a quest for a beautiful princess with whom he has fallen in love from... more » a distance; villains of horrifying (though comic) nastiness; magic charms and enchantments (for example, the princess is turned into a rat); and a titanic struggle between the forces of good and evil. But in its subtext, it is an opera about opera, beginning with a near-riot. The chorus is divided into two groups--opera patrons in tuxedos demanding a serious drama and stage hands in working clothes who insist on a comedy. In one dimension, this work is a discussion of operatic styles and conventions, and this is the level on which the Opera de Lyon production triumphs most decisively. Its style is self-consciously brilliant, as it should be. The performers' acting style is as important as their voices, and they have refined every verbal nuance, every gesture, to perfection, including a lot of pure slapstick. This opera, in this production, will appeal particularly to two types of audience: sophisticates who will relish its subtexts, parodies, insider jokes, and chic staging, and children who will be attracted by the story of a prince (son of the King of Clubs) who angers a witch and suffers a terrible curse: he will fall hopelessly in love with three oranges. --Joe McLellan« less
"Everything about this video is just wonderful! It is humorous & delightful, the acting is great, the choreography is wonderful, the singing and orchestra is great, the tempo is brisk, the sound mixing is good, the sets are fabulous (they are a bit avant garde, but it works ok here.) This is the 3RD time I've watched this video (1st time on DVD.)I upgraded from the laser disk version, and it was a good thing too. The laser disk had problems with the sound mixing which was fixed on the DVD version.There are no extras, just the performance and a chapter menu. The menu does not even break up the contents between Act I & Act II, so it is very rudimentary. That's the only downside to this otherwise great DVD!"
Outstanding and great fun
charles-stuart | Lubbock, TX USA | 01/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Opera National de Lyon production is simply delightful. The singing is excellent and the audio quality of the DVD is as good. The video is of an equal quality.The staging is unusual but comes off brilliantly. The use of the minimalist sets works very well and I wouldn't have expected it to do so. It is slightly surreal but this is a slightly (?) surreal opera. The sets work with the opera and never detract from the opera or become intrusive. The singers seem to be enjoying themselves and inviting you to enjoy it with them. In fact, joy might be a good one-word description of the entire opera. There is some slapstick in it but never at the cost of the opera. Instead, it seems to enhance it. The scene with the cook and her "deadly" ladle is delightful but only slightly better than the other scenes.This is my first experience with an Opera National de Lyon production and I throughly enjoyed it. I got the opera several months ago and find I watch it about once a month."
L. Gowen | concord, CA United States | 03/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no way to turn the subtitles on and I have bought 2 DVDs at this point and neither of them have working subtitles. Outside of that is a suberb performance. No company is better than Opera Lyon's at this type of production."
Even my 8 year-old son liked it
W. Wei | Irving, TX USA | 09/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After I bought "Des Contes d'Hoffman" (DVD, 1993, Dir. Pierre Cavassilas), I was so disappointed and reluctant to buy any unorthodox opera staging. However, I am happy to have this copy. The audio and visual effects are very good. The stagings are un-traditional yet logical and powerful. Even my 8 year-old watched the most part of it with me."
John Niedhamer | Southern California | 01/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This staging of "LfTO" is spare and modernistic, with minimal (but often inventive) sets and costumes, but the singing is first-rate and Nagano's conducting makes for an excellent handling of the music. The cast is young and vibrant (and even a bit sexy!) and the camera work helps keep you involved. A must if you are a Prokofiev fan; but it might be an eye-roller for someone looking for more traditional opera."