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King Arthur, semi-opera by Henry Purcell (Opéra National de Montpellier 2009) (2009)

Hervé Niquet , João Fernandes , Corinne & Gilles Benizio , Shirley & Dino  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hervé Niquet, João Fernandes, Marc Mauillon, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Mathias Vidal
  • Directors: Corinne & Gilles Benizio, Shirley & Dino, Olivier Simonnet
  • Writers: Shirley & Dino, Henry Purcell, John Dryden
  • Producers: Le Concert Spirituel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, DTS Surround Sound, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German, Spanish, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Glossa
  • DVD Release Date: December 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002Y4Z5D2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars King Arthur bombs again January 15, 2010
By Bill E.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is the 2nd DVD of Purcell's King Arthur which I've purchased and the 2nd which I'm sorry I did. The first is a Vienna production conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and directed by Jurgen Flimm. The sung portions are in English, but the spoken parts are in German. At least you can filter out the spoken portions and hear the music without them.

This latest purchase is a French production with sung portions in highly French-accented English and spoken portions in French. The nonmusic portions in this production are a joke, but a not funny one. They make no sense at all and have no relationship to the opera other than "entertaining" the audience. (They did not entertain this audience member!)

The orchestra is conducted by Herve Niquet, who comes on stage during an interlude (scene change) to sing some popular song from the White Horse Inn(?). Once the curtain comes up on a "forest" scene, the audience gets involved in making it more authentic when they are asked to provide forest noises.

The whole mess is a waste of time and money.

My advice - stick to the sound only recordings.

Too bad that I can't get my money back on both DVDs So much for purchasing anything before it's released and reviewed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Napoleon's Revenge? November 29, 2012
Voici! Hervé Niquet et Le Concert Spirituel traitent des vaches sacrées britanniques, Henry Purcell et John Dryden, tandis que John Bull observe consterné. Mais en réalité, Maître Dryden n'a guère de rôle dans ce spectacle. Le vrai directeur n'est autre que le génie du théâtre britannique moderne, Monty Python. La musique de Henry Purcell n'a jamais sonné ... bien, alors, tellement ... originale! Authentique! Britannique! Et aucun orchestre n'a jamais joui avec plus de brio une performance. Pour ne dire rien au sujet des machinistes! Mais le public? Le public est une bête capricieuse. Peut-être que les gens sont venus pour quelque chose de grave? Classique? Un concert solennel de style baroque primitif? Si c'est le cas, ils ont eu une mauvaise surprise! C'est le plus outrageusement drôle semi-opéra jamais produit. Je propose que, à partir de maintenant, tous les opéras britanniques devraient être mis en scène par des réalisateurs et des chanteurs du goût français. Ainsi seraient éliminées toutes sortes de manières pompeuses.

Pardon my French. It's no better than the English accents of the singers in this uproarious spoof of the incidental music by Henry Purcell for John Dryden's play King Arthur, which incidentally is not included. A bit of a warning: if you can't stand to have great art treated derisively, avoid this DVD at all cost!
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5.0 out of 5 stars High Jinks in the High Baroque December 30, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We love this - we've viewed it with guests several times to much delight. And then we lent it to someone who didn't return it ... and we can't remember who it was ... so we've bought another copy.
Great soloists & orchestra & chorus. Imaginative staging! Great fun all around.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Celtic past of the English is a farce June 28, 2010
King Arthur is a crazy rewriting of English history after the English revolutions to give some kind of a national identity to that United Kingdom that was nothing but the result of successive invasions and constant European strife. Just that is funny today, but that is Dryden's play and we will be deprived of it. We'll just have the musical intermezzi by Henry Purcell. This composer is the typical and main composer of the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution. The theaters were reopened and censorship was going down quite a lot. They will even invent the copyright a couple of decades later. But the play and the subject were not funny at the time. It was dead serious and no one was supposed to laugh at this new version of English history. The Celtic past of England is laughable when we know they were once and for all dominated and colonized by Julius Caesar and that will not change with the invasions of the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons, and "marginally" the Danes, and of course not with the invasion of the Normans. The Celtic language will only survive in the Welsh mountains. To evoke the Bretons as the ancestors of the modern Britishers is a fable and a farce. But to that very long play by Dryden, that so serious subject at the time, Henry Purcell gave some dynamism and some fun. The musical interludes and intermezzi are first of all distractions, entertainments. Niquet with the help of two buffoons, I was going to write baboons, Corinne and Gilles Benizio, turns those musical pieces into a real farce by reinventing some kind of funny dramatic line among them, and the line is what happens to a poor stage manager when he is invaded by a band of lurid en lubricious singers. A few extras are added in front of the curtain just for our pleasure. Read more ›
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Purcell's King Arthur April 11, 2013
By Nick
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Its a good music recording and movie. I bought it because a friend had it clips on her iPhone and I wanted to see the whole thing.
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