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Berlioz: Les Troyens [Blu-ray]

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Editorial Reviews

Daniela Barcellona, Lance Ryan, Elisabete Matos, Giorgio Giuseppini, Gabriele Viviani, and Stephen Milling star in this Valenciana Palau de les Arts production of the Berlioz opera conduced by Valery Gergiev and directed by Carlus Padrissa.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ryan, Barcellona, Matos, Viviani, Giuseppini
  • Writers: Hector Berlioz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French (DTS-HD 5.1), French (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 260 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Y9DF4G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,687 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on June 23, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I had high hopes for this performance, given the same directorial team's production of Wagner's Ring cycle. My viewing experience got off to a bad start in being unable to access the subtitles. But this was the least of my worries. This magnificent, though sprawling opera is positively mangled in the Valencia production. There are so many horrors to be encountered on this DVD that a major essay would be required to detail their totality.

The first act has Cassandra being wheeled on in a wheelchair. It is not long before she miraculously proceeds to easily walk around the stage only to reposition herself in the wheelchair on occasions during the act. In the third act Didon is fitted out with a afro wig that makes her look like Minnie Mouse. The action seems to be taking place within a computer and there are suggestions of Trojan viruses and so forth. The costuming is continually weird and incongruent; echoes of Star Wars,baseball uniforms and what have you. Lance Ryan appears to be wearing the same dreadlocks wig he utilised in the Ring cycle. Given the vast expense this production would have incurred, they must have needed to cut some corners!

The jewel of the opera, the ballet and love scene in act four is virtually a total failure, going down as the proverbial limp lettuce. The only redemption is encountered in some artful dancing where one encounters a rare episode of simplicity. The love duet has the two singers suspended and hardly making eye contact. Perhaps Lance Ryan is not really turned on by a Minnie Mouse lookalike! I could go on but I trust you are getting the message. If this issue has any merit, it would be for the laughs it might generate in viewing the absurdities of the production. To my eyes, this staging is a parody of Berlioz's masterwork.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. C. on July 9, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
This is, unfortunately, a disappointment, mainly because of staging. From the musical point of view, the performance is not bad, though less splendid performances than Gardiner 2003 from Paris. The Valencia Orchestra plays beautifully for Valery Gergiev. Elizabeth Matos is a good Cassandra; Danielle Barcelona is a good Dido. Lance Ryan who has a big voice, sings Aeneas, but his performance lacks subtlety and his diction in French is poor. Singers for the secondary roles are adequate to good.

The staging was made by La Fura dels Baus. I loved their "Damnation de Faust" for the Salzburg Festival 1999, and their staging for the Valencia Ring is impressive. But directing here is in my opinion a big missed opportunity. The opera takes place here in a futuristic world like "Star Wars". For my taste, it doesn't work. Costumes are ridiculous and ugly. Poor Danielle Barcelona. She is a wonderful singer. How they managed to disfigure her here. Dressed her in an awkward sort of kimono, and her head is covered with an ugly wig. She looks ridiculous, like a caricature of the Mikado in the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta... A sad joke

And the direction succeeds in spoiling all the great moments of opera. The mass suicide of Cassandra and the women, one of the highlights of the opera, then entirely not effective here, as it happens behind the heavy curtain and a strong red background, that barely lets see. Another highlight of the opera, the great duet for Dido and Aeneas at the end of the fourth act, is destroyed by the director that chooses to put the two singers on a basket suspended in the air as they sing a passionate love duet, when there is no eye contact between them at all... etc. ...

Not recommended

The Gardiner 2003 performance is currently the best available on DVD and Blu-ray.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on June 16, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Berlioz's Les Troyens is one of the greatest and most beautiful operas ever written. Musically, it is very well served in this blu-ray from Valencia. Valery Gergiev deserves plaudits for his marvelous conducting of this sprawling score. He has at his disposal a virtuoso orchestra, outstanding chorus and soloists and they serve him and Berlioz well. Pre-eminent is Italian mezzo Daniela Barcellona as Didon. Her ample, lustruous voice fills the part in ways that reminds one of its previous big voiced great exponents such as Christa Ludwig and Jessye Norman. One could think of more polished tenors as Aenée than Lance Ryan, but he fits the part ably if shy of outstandingly. Then there is the marvelous work by the Portuguese soprano Elisabete Matos as Cassandre, a strong dramatic voice I did not know until now; I hope to encounter it again. In short, musically this is a splendid reading and were one watching with one's eyes closed, it would be a marvelous recording in vivid surround-sound.

I thoroughly admired the work that Carlus Padrissa and La Fura dels Baus did for Wagner's Ring also in Valencia. Indeed, for me those performances constitute the most satisfying filmed Ring so far, musically and visually, and the production,even if unconventional, always illuminating text and music. With Les Troyens, they totally missed the boat. They set the opera in what perhaps can be considered mythical cyberspace. Troy is dark, and the Trojans are dressed in what look like hockey uniforms (what is usually presented as dance, here becomes a boxing match with ropes and rounds cards).
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Berlioz: Les Troyens [Blu-ray]
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