A magical performance
Jonathan H. Ward | Reston, Virginia USA | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a singer with The Washington Chorus, I had the good fortune of singing "L'enfant et les sortileges" with the National Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center's Festival of France in January 2004. We sang a semi-staged production, with cutouts representing most of the props and scenery. The music and singing were wonderful, and I deeply loved the music, but the visuals left a lot to the imagination (especially from my vantage point at the back of the stage!).After our performance, I was delighted to find the Netherlands Dance Theatre's ballet adaptation of this opera on DVD. All aspects of this DVD are first-rate -- dancing, singing, orchestra, costumes, and set design. The costumes are stunning. I was particularly impressed by the Fire, the Princess. and the Frogs! The dance interpretation was a perfect counterpoint to the singing. Now that I have seen the opera performed this way, it's difficult to imagine it being done better any other way, unless as a cartoon!Maestro Slatkin told the audience before our concert that "L'enfant et les sortileges" was his favorite piece by Ravel, one that "shows the composer at the peak of his powers, in complete mastery of all facets of his art." I certainly grew to love the piece as we rehearsed and performed it. I'm thrilled to have this DVD in my collection. I know I will watch it countless times over the coming years."
Ravel's Magical take of Mundane Modernity as it Should Be Vi
Nathaniel K. Seelen | London, UK | 03/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Netherlands Dance Theater production takes a truly magnificent opera that is often hampered in performance by the imaginative story (a young boy refuses to do his homework and throws a terrible tantrum, breaking clocks, jumping on chairs, and pulling the tails of his two cats- the tables are turned as Maman leaves and the objects of his ire awaken to taunt and terrify the child!) and brings it to life. The orchestra and singing are marvelous and the dance amazingly well choreographed in both small-scale detail towards the score and long term action. I for one consider this the best version of L'Enfant et les Sortileges commercially available at present and it's certainly worth purchasing for any fan of 20th century Opera, ballet, or plain great shows."