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Les Troyens [Blu-ray] [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: French, English, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: BBC / Opus Arte
  • Release Date: April 27 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B003757W1A
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Product Description

Troiani (I) / Les Troyens (2 Blu-Ray)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Berlioz music dramatic;
Susan Graham as Dido and Anna Antonaccci as Casandra are tops!

The recent production at the Met was very f good but I enjoyed this rather spare production more
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REKINDLED LOVE Nov. 22 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the late 60's and early 70's Les Troyens was not too well known. I purchased the first, complete ground breaking recording (Davis' on Phillips) and fell completely in love with the work listing it as one of my top favorite operas. When the Metropolitan televised the work in the 70's, I watched it and eventually purchased the tape. During that time, I loved the Met's performance, and I especially loved the performances of Jessye Norman, Placido Domingo and especially Tatiana Troyanos. As the years went by, I began to question my love of the work growing weary of the Davis recording (especially its singers) and of the Met's Video (while still adoring Domingo, Norman and especially Troyanos, I had begun to dislike the Met's production with its extravagant costumes, its excessive pageantry and, to me, ridiculous unending ballet sequences). Needless to say the opera slipped WAY down on my list of favorite operas (actually it was no longer on my favorite list) until I purchased this new DVD of the opera. This performance has definitely rekindled my love of the opera!

Sir Gardiner (using what I believe to be "original" instruments) rids the work of, (what I had begun to perceive as) its heaviness and ponderousness. (Down through the years, upon subsequent listening to the above older recordings of Les Troyens, I had begun to feel that it dragged and was about the densest score that I had ever heard-it had begun to bore me!) Under Gardiner's leadership in this performance the heaviness is removed and in its place there is light, crispness and beauty-the work no longer seems to drag. A lot of this new "lightness and crispness" has, of course a lot to do with the principle singers. The singers offer less voice than the older recordings; however, I do feel the work profits from the use of smaller voices.

Antonacci, as Cassandre, gives an overwhelming performance. Both vocally and physically she imparts Cassandre's hysteria magnificently! I was really "blown away" with her performance!
She is far from being as monumental (both vocally and physically) as Norman in the Met video, but the role, to me, profits from less--less is more. Antonacci truly makes the role very believable; she portrays Cassandre's agony superbly.

Until this performance I had, in all honestly, not been too impressed with Susan Graham (as everyone else seems to be); however, she is an outstanding Didon. She is queenly, dignified and stately in the first part of the role and completely distraught and moving in the last part giving a heartbreaking account of Didon's despair and death-Brava! For me, she never reaches the vocal and dramatic heights of Troyanos in the Met's performance; however, she is vocally and physically outstanding.

Unlike Domingo (in the Met's recording) Kunde seems very comfortable with the cruel tessitura of the role of Enee. (Domingo dropped the role from his repertoire immediately after the Met performance that was taped finding the tessitura of the role almost impossible to sing). Kunde sings Enee beautifully and with apparent ease not having to make cuts or transpositions.

The production is one of those (what I call) "minimum stagings" that I've grown to love. The stage is rather bare allowing the singers great opportunity to display fully their dramatic acting skills. Believe me, the singers in this performance are really into their roles and are dramatically awesome. As displayed in this production, the Trojan Horses' head is, as it should be, most frightening. For once the ballet sequences did not bore me plus the pageantry was not overblown (as in the Met's performance). It never became tiresome and ridiculous looking. The secondary roles are all sung very well

In conclusion, my love for Berlioz's Les Troyens has been restored due to this performance. The singers might not have "Golden Age" voices but they certainly more than compensate for that fact by melding, exceedingly well their voices with the drama in such away that their performances kept this listener and viewer on the edge of his seat.

i must also add that the picture and sound quality of the DVD are truly marvelous!!
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 8 2016
By Edward Herson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't like this opera as much as I thought I would
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incroyable! Jan. 13 2008
By Ashley Lindsay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Well Amazon asked me to do this so I make no claims at being a professional reviewer, just a fan:)
I thought this was an exceptional opera. Fantastic and innovative sets, incredible singers, and emotions set on overdrive. A must see for any fan of opera.
In my opinion the show was stolen by Anna Caterina Antonacci. Her portrayal of Cassandra is the very definition of tragedy. You would be hard pressed to find anyone more memsmorizing on stage.
Susan Graham also does well as Dido. All in all a wonderful cast.
Highly recomended.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning!!!The first choice by far!! Nov. 2 2006
By Sir Butternut Longsword - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Few with exceptions, Berlioz is a little beyond my taste(though I love Romeo and Juliet, Harold and Italy, and this Opera). Even so, this is the finest operatic DVD i own.

For those wondering whether or not this is the first choice(due to the recent remastering of the Levine). The answer is a resounding yes. Dont let the star-power of the Levine fool you compared to the relatively little no singers here(with the exception of Susan Graham). In all cases, the singers do a finer job here.
Anna Caterina Antonacci is the finest Cassandre on disc(CD and DVD) and looks the part with her dark, mystique beauty. The Mehoureux Roi is absolutely stunning and emotionally riveting, one of the finest and most transcendental moments I have seen on operatic DVD. Choreble is played by Ludovic Tezier, a tenor who possess a velvety and powerful(yet tender) instrument. Again, he looks the part perfectly. Lastly, Susan Graham plays Didon in what surely can be stated as her finest performance, a viscious and unbelievably powerful performance. Not only is this the finest version of this completely under-rated opera on DVD, but I also say it is the finest on disc-much more satifying that either of Davis' and way beyond Haitink's boring rendition.
Because it is a DVD, the fact that the singers look their parts perfectly is significant and you will have no trouble believing in any of the roles and in fact find it impossible not to imagine Antonacci as Cassandre from now on.
Normally I am not a fan of period performance, but here it works wonders revealing the winds and horns of the score, while maintaining a fine string sound(especially compared to the overdone Levine\Met version). The monteverdi choir is, as always, first class, and the Orchestre Revolutionaire Romantique is fine with little nothing to quibble about.
Since I am not a fan of the modernization of sets and costumes, The first time I saw this I was put off a little. However, even then I was intrigued by the giant mirror hanging above the stage which allows you a second view of the action in a most unique fashion. Most importantly, there is nothing about the staging, unlike so many modernizations, which take you away from the music or distract one from listening( a la the end of Barenboims Gotterdammerung). This is something stage directors need to understand, they are not the stars, the music is and one shold never have to focus on what something means to the point where your thoughts deafen the music. That is not done here. The staging is sparse, unique, intelligent, and respectful.
Of the highest recommendation. Hopefully this will encourage performance and support for one of the most neglected and underappreciated operas in our history.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total opera Aug. 19 2010
By Keris Nine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
Presented across two dual-layer BD50 Blu-ray discs, Berlioz's adaptation of Virgil's The Aeneid is truly an epic undertaking, both in terms of the production and the opera itself. His penultimate opera, Les Troyens is considered to be the composer's masterpiece, and indeed it brings together all the elements and the variety that is characteristic of Berlioz's range, from darkness to light, from blood and thunder to tender lyricism, with rousing choruses, dramatic singing performances, musical interludes and dance sequences.

Despite that, the opera was never performed in full during the lifetime of the composer, the first two acts dealing with the fall of Troy to the Greeks despite Cassandra's highly emotive premonitions of doom, excised in favour of the Trojans in Carthage section of Acts 3 to 5. There is certainly a strong division between the two parts, with many of the principal's inevitably dying at the sacking of Troy at the end of Act 2, including Cassandra and her lover Choreobus (Hector already dead before the start of the opera nevertheless makes a highly effective appearance at the start of the Second Act in the form of a projected apparition), but it's hard to imagine the opera feeling complete without the darkness and the powerful impact of the first half. Anna Caterina Antonacci, in particular, showing what the role of Cassandra has to offer the opera as a whole, a striking contrast to Susan Graham's Dido, who dominates the second half, though no less effectively.

As the surviving Trojans flee, they receive temporary shelter in the North African city of Carthage established recently by exiles from Tyre, under the rule of Queen Dido. Both exiles, the respective leaders of the two tribes, Aeneas and Dido, find comfort for their loss in love for each other, but only until the gods remind Aeneas of his duty to lead his people to Italy. In contrast to the opening acts, the second half of Les Troyens consequently covers a wider range of emotions and the musical accompaniment is likewise as broad and as colourful as the set designs for Carthage, the tone darkening again at the end in a manner that echoes the restored opening of the opera.

The 2003 production at the Châtelet in Paris is accordingly spectacular, the stage filled with movement and action, but never cluttered, the score dominated often by the power of the choral writing, but individual roles are strong and the performances are exceptional, Gregory Kunde a fine Aeneas to stand alongside Antonacci and Graham. Everything about the production, the orchestra under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, is of the highest order, every single scene offering something of fascination and wonder, whether it is in the music, the singing or the staging. But, particularly in this full version of Les Troyens, there is an overall impression of completeness here - total opera.

Les Troyens is perfectly presented on Blu-ray, the division between the two parts of the opera much better than on the 3-disc DVD edition. Act 1 and 2 are on the first disc along with the extra features, the other three acts on the second disc. Image and sound can hardly be faulted, the audio presented in PCM 2.0 and DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. The tone on the surround track is soft and warm rather than clean and precise, but the dynamic range is nonetheless excellent, handling the extremes well, and it is well suited to the arrangement. The hour-long documentary features contributions from the main performers and makes some interesting observations, but is over-long, being mostly made up of a complete walk-through of the synopsis by John Eliot Gardiner, illustrated with extended sequences from the opera.