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Prokofiev;Sergei War and Peace

Nathan Gunn , Olga Gouriakova , François Roussillon    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 164.35
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best opera DVDs yet Jan. 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
If you're interested in opera, in Prokofiev, in theatre, you must have these DVDs. I bought them for a friend this Christmas, to whom I sent the following message, which is not a detailed review I admit, but sums up my opinion:
"I swear to you these are absolutely the best opera DVDs I've ever seen. You watch them like a movie. You're hooked. The singers are good-looking. The lighting is superb. The costumes are outstanding. The scenes are shot like paintings. You're proud of the Opéra National [author's note: we both live in Paris] and glad to pay income tax. I saw the same opera at the Met - not at all the same result: dime-store sets, badly-cut costumes, ridiculous extras..."
This, I believe, is one of those rare productions in which nearly everything is right and what's more, any shortcomings it may have had in the theatre (Nathan Gunn was a little under-powered for a theatre the size of the Bastille, for example) disappear in the DVDs, while things such as costume detail (pretty amazing) come to life.
The reasons to have these DVDs are therefore several. They're a record of a great modern production (this is really one of Francesca Zambello's most successful); the performance is at a high level; they offer an example of what the Paris opera, with the generously unstinting support of the happy taxpayer, can achieve at its very best; they're as gripping as any movie...
For all these reasons, jump at them. By the way, I have no financial stake in this venture whatsoever!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Jan. 3 2004
Format:DVD
Even though it's a difficult work to perform (the documentary proves that), what a wonderful theatrical work this is! If it were translated into English, shortened a bit, it could go on Broadway as another Les Miserables (several scenes were reminiscent of Les Miz). Why isn't this opera more popular? Just the music alone is outstanding. Also the acting was superb. You believed the cast were the people they were portraying; they weren't merely going through the motions. War & Peace deserves to be on anyone's top ten opera list, and I'd have to say this particular version is the best recorded live opera I've seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Dec 4 2003
By T. C.
Format:DVD
War and Peace is one of Prokofiev greatest works. It was written after he returned to Russia and developed a more lyrical style. This opera has some of the loveliest melodies he ever composed.
This DVD from the 2000 production in Paris offers an overwhelming experience.
Olga Guryakova is an ideal Natasha. Nathan Gunn has a warm and beautiful baritone and gives a wonderful performance as Andrei Bolkonsky.
All other members of the enormous cast are impressive too.
Francesca Zambello directed a highly effective and moving show.
Sound and picture quality are exemplary. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Musical & visual splendor Feb. 3 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I wish I had experienced this thrilling production in person, but this DVD recording comes closer to the live experience than any other opera DVD I have watched. The sheer energy of the singers, who are also very good actors, the dynamics of the stage direction, the abstract yet absolutely informative beauty of the kinetic scenery all contribute to a truly stunning performance. Recordings like this one justify the money I've spent on good speakers and a DTS amplifier.
More people should know Prokofiev's operas and DVDs like this one just may spread his reputation. Don't miss it!!!!!
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