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  • Dukas: Ariane Et Barbe-Bleue [Blu-ray]
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Dukas: Ariane Et Barbe-Bleue [Blu-ray]

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Frequently Bought Together

Dukas: Ariane Et Barbe-Bleue [Blu-ray] + Rossini: Adelaide di Borgogna [Blu-ray] + Verdi: Luisa Miller [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $92.47

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charbonnet, van Dam, Bardon, Deneve, Orchestra and chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
  • Directors: Guth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,305 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Ariane et Barbe-blue makes its premiere on Blu Ray. Dukas's opera sees free spirit Ariane become the 6th wife of the infamous Barbe-bleue, who gives his new bride seven keys to seven doors, but prohibits the use of the last. Ariane discovers an array of glittering jewels behind the first six doors, but a terrifying reality awaits her as she unlocks the seventh. Jose van Dam is cast as the villainous Barbe-bleue, while taking on the demanding role of Ariane is American soprano Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 3, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
There are many meanings and cautionary messages that can be drawn from the fairytales of Charles Perrault, but 'Bluebeard' - the tale of an aristocratic serial killer who murders his wives - is surely one of the most gruesome and darkly enigmatic. Even more so in Ariane et Barbe-bleue, the version penned by the Symbolist Belgian dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck, the author of Pelléas et Mélisande, who himself adapted the work - again practically intact - as a libretto for the French composer Paul Dukas. Comparisons with Debussy's opera - written only five years previously in 1902 - are inevitable, but if the musical influences that Dukas draws from are more evident and less distinctive than Debussy, the turn of the 20th century psychological exploration of Maeterlinck's characters is no less endlessly fascinating and deeply compelling.

Although it is rather more emphatic in highlighting the specifics of the drama and the words than Debussy, Dukas' score also hints at those other meanings and ambiguities. The references to Debussy's impressionism may be apparent - just as Maeterlinck uses characters from his other works (like Mélisande) for Bluebeard's wives - but Dukas more obviously draws from Wagner and particularly Strauss in Salome (in the scoring of the dark undercurrents in the relationship between Salome and Jochanaan) for more explicit, direct expression.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bob Epstein on March 21, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a wistfully beautiful score, an emotionally-charged, quasi-Wagnerian opera, with scents of Massenet and Faure, and a nod to Debussy. It is set to the Bluebeard story, from the play by symbolist writer Maurice Maeterlinck. He wrote the story with an idea for an opera, and Grieg in mind for the composer. Grieg lost interest and Maeterlinck sought out Dukas who took up the mantle.

It has a good pedigree. Toscanini gave its U.S. premiere with the Metropolitan Opera in 1911 and it has been recorded several times in audio. This is its first performance on DVD; it's a mystery why it hasn't been filmed before. Dukas is far more than the popular Sorcerer's Apprentice's. His Symphony and the ballet La Peri are first-rate French romantic works and Ariane et Barbe-blue grips the listener with its searing beauty.

This 2011 performance from Barcelona has some important strengths. The orchestra is a major component of the work and conductor Stephane Deneve brings sweep, sensitivity and color to the music, with the Liceu Orchestra in fine fettle. Unfortunately, as much as the sounds from the pit are lovely, they cannot fully overcome lead singer Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet and director Claus Guth. Charbonnet, an American soprano, has a warm middle and lower register and is a sensitive actress. She is onstage seemingly the entire almost two-hour opera, and unfortunately, the unsteadiness and strain in her upper register in louder passages is too often and detrimentally on display. That's especially so in the first scene of act three where I began to dread it every time she began to sing.(Charbonnet has also recorded the role of Judith in Bartok's version of Bluebeard's Castle, with the BBC Symphony in 2005, although it seems currently unavailable).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. J. Kregarman VINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Ariane was much admired by some of the most important composers of our time, yet its greatness is not too apparent on a single viewing. There is much use of the whole tone scale and thus some melodies do not stick in your mind on first hearing. The plot which outlines the tribulations of women obsessed by an attraction to an unsuitable male and one woman's unsuccessful attempt to free them from this bondage and only partial success in freeing herself is not particularly exciting. Yet the opera has its moments and requires repeated listening.
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