- Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
- Language: Russian, French
- Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
- Dubbed: French
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Teatro Real
- Release Date: Oct. 30 2012
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- ASIN: B008H2IIWU
Iolanta / Persephone [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Iolanta : Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Iolanta) - Alexej Markov (Robert) - Pavel Cernoch (Vaudémont) - Dmitry Ulianov (Le Roi René)... - Perséphone : Dominique Blanc (Perséphone) - Paul Groves (Eumolpe) - Ch. & Orch. de Teatro Real - Teodor Currentzis, dir.
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Persophone is a little bit more difficult. The libretto by Andre Gide is quite dense and needs full attention. I am sure something is missed in the translation to English for those who don't understand French. I was not convinced by the minimalistic approach. I felt something was missing, in particular because it is difficult to visualize the transition between the abduction, Hell and then back to Earth. The Cambodian dancers are a nice addition although at some points it gets a little bit confusing. The general theme is too big for an intimate production in my opinion. Sellars linked both operas as the search for light, which is interesting and meaningful. The pamphlet enclosed in the Blu-Ray disc lacks more details on the operas themselves.
But the opera itself is intriguing. In the early stages, I agreed with the reviewer above. But as it developed, and the simple plot emerged, so the music developed, until, by the end, we hear some of Tchaikovsky's best operatic work (admittedly, being a one-acter, only in 3 or 4 set pieces. It is as if Tchaikovsky wanted the music to develop, as the simple story developed.
I have little to add to what has been written above, except to say, listen to this a number of times. The music will grow on you and reveal qualities that may not be apparent at first listening. It is one of Tchaikovsky's last works, and far from bing inferior, is an essay in musical development, composed by a master composer and presented by good voices. I always advocate that an opera should be seen and a lot can be lost by listening to CD versions. I think this is one case where the glamourous staging contributes little to appreciating the rare work.