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  • Massenet;Jules 2001: Manon: Li [Import]
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Massenet;Jules 2001: Manon: Li [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Massenet, Fleming, Alvarez, Chaignaud
  • Directors: Roussillon
  • Format: Classical, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • Release Date: March 31 2009
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T on April 12 2004
Format: DVD
Of course Fleming is a super star with her gorgeous looks and incredibly talented voice... But by reading these reviews in this page I only understand that especially the audience have not understood the Size of Fleming's voice and perhaps they are a bit annoyed/envious by her Star Quality!!! Renee Fleming has been over-critisized by both Critics and Audience just like Maria Callas once was. Why? The reason is obvious... Besides from being Gorgeous she posseses a FLAWLESS instrument created by God himself with endless vocal qualities... First of all she is the first extremely high -she has sung a high G twice!!!- soprano that has not only a magnificent middle register but a low chest register as well of unique beauty and stability since Maria Callas. Sutherland was the Queen of Coloratura and high notes but she didn't have a low register while her middle was fading...
Fleming has the three regions in her voice with remarkable homogenity -one we have seen only in Rosa Ponselle- and a coloratura technique which will make you think that she is not a natural coloratura -like Dessay or Gruberova- but of amazing "Schwarzkopfian" accuracy. Her scales, trills, rulades, vocal leaps all are at the center of pitch and God... what a Beauty of Voice. For me the most beautiful voice I have heard in the last 100 years.
This Manon is simply the Best I have heard and the only rival is the De los Angeles Manon... Of course De los Angeles had the purity of tone -which I believe also Fleming has- but you won't find in her Manon Crystal Clear high Ds and E flat... In Manon's Gavotte at the end of the first and second verse after a magnificent array of EXQUISITE trills Fleming sings twice a high D which she holds for 8 seconds exactly each time. Does she have an inner clock???
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Format: DVD
This video has some god awful terrible direction! First off, I don't know about the rest of the opera public, but I'm a realism kind of guy. I like nice big lavious sets with intricate wonderful detail like Copobianco or Zefferelli. Or if not that, a basic minimal set with an AIM of trying to conceive of a larger feeling in the set. This was pitiful in that aspect. Yes, their were some set like items like tables, vases, flowers, beds, and the sort. There were no layering of floors or stairs or anything like that. And one of the wonderful things about opera stages are that they are so huge! You could fit a house on some of those stages! The entire opera had a BLACK BACKDROP with some mini sets. And if it wasn't black, it was a bright color. Some of the dialogue between the minor characters is way to boring to just focus on that.
A second annoyance I had, directionaly, was the chorus. The chorus was just begging to move! They just stood there and sung to the audience. There was tons of really great chorus numbers where they all could have been terribly busy socializing and peddling or a variety of other things. In these numbers with JUST the chorus, that kind of busy-ness is most welcome and NEEDED! Otherwise, an audience member just wants to close their eyes and listen to the pretty music (or maybe sleep!).
Now, the costumes were great. But why have costumes if they're just going to stand there and sing. Each chorus member should have activities and actions. Even during the ballet, wouldn't it have been a nice idea to instead of having Fleming sitting with her back facing the audience, she was sitting above the ballet dancers or even in profile! What an awkward feeling to be onstage yet not acting, just sitting.
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Format: DVD
There are certain operas like, say, Verdi's "Don Carlo" or "Il Trovatore," that are true ensemble pieces. It requires gutsy singing from several principals and yet, if say the mezzo or the tenor is a tad on the weak side, there is still enough otherwise to make the performance enjoyable. And then there are opera's like Massenet's "Manon," which places high singing and acting demands on just two singers, and boy do they have a hell of a lot to sing!
It's for this reason, I think, that "Manon" isn't performed quite as often. It falls completely flat without an excellent soprano and tenor. Sure, there is some singing for the baritone and bass, but nobody sees this opera for them. This is the soprano and tenors show!
Having said that, this production, taped in Paris just two years ago, is excellent! Renee Fleming is definitely hit-or-miss with many of the roles she selects these days, but here she is right on the money. In fact, this is some of her finest singing I have heard. Her affinity for the role is obvious and she is thoroughly convincing as an actress. Fleming's physical beauty and excellent facial expressions certainly help in making her Manon a true, dangerous beauty.
I've never been a huge fan of tenor Marcelo Alvarez. While his voice is pleasant, I find him to be rather underwhelming. I was pleasantly surprised here, though. In this performance, he sings with more passion and fire than I have ever heard him sing.
If only he could work on his stage presence! Clearly not an actor, Alvarez struts around the stage looking rather goofy and clumsy at all times. His costume in the first acts, doesnt't help much! (he looks like he has a neckbrace on!).
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