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Dvorak - Rusalka / Robert Carsen, James Conlon - Fleming, Urbanova, Diadkova, Larin, Opéra de Paris (2002)

Franz Hawalata , Renée Fleming  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)


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DVD 2-Disc Version $33.99  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Franz Hawalata, Renée Fleming, Sergei Larin, James Conlon, Eva Urbanova
  • Format: Classical, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00015EDMK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,039 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dvorak - Rusalka / Robert Carsen, James Conlon - Fleming, Urbanova, Diadkova, Larin, Opéra de Paris" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Orchestra and Choirs of the Opera National De Paris

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fearful Symmetry; or, Be Careful What You Wish For February 19, 2004
Format:DVD
Dvorák's 'Rusalka' is by far his most effective opera and the only one that has made its way in the non-Slavic world. Based on de la Motte Fouqué's fairytale, 'Ondine,' but with additions from Hans Christian Andersen and the Czech ballads of K. J. Erben, and with a symbolist libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, Dvorák's music captures the story's ecstasy and anguish perfectly. Briefly, it is the story of a water nymph who falls in love with a Prince who visits the lake where she, her three sisters and her father, the Water Spirit, live. She wishes to become mortal so she can be with him and implores the witch, Jezibaba, to grant her that wish. Jezibaba does so but with two provisos: she will become human but lose the power of speech, and if her lover rejects her she will be forever cursed. Well, the Prince initially loves her but, dismayed by her muteness, is soon won over by the blandishments of the evil Foreign Princess, so Rusalka, with her father's help, flees back to the water world. Jezibaba tells her that her only way of extracting revenge is to kill human males by kissing them and when the Prince, who has seen the error of his ways, comes to reclaim her, she warns him (having gotten back her voice) that she cannot come with him because her kiss would be fatal. He says that to 'die upon a kiss' would be the only way he could ever attain peace. They sing a rapturous duet, she kisses him and he dies. Curtain.
Rusalka is a signature role for Renée Fleming; her audio recording of the opera six years ago was a huge hit. This production, from the Paris Opéra, conducted by James Conlon, followed in 2002. The direction of Robert Carsen and set and costume design by Michael Levine emphasize the duality and symmetry of the mortal and fairy worlds.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance; weird conceptualist production May 25, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I believe the singing and musical performance in this production are wonderful, a pleasure from start to finish. Fleming, Hawlata (as the water goblin) and the wood nymphs are particularly beautiful. I hadn't realized how good Fleming is until seeing this performance. Don't hesitate to buy this recording.
On the other hand... This is a matter of taste I realize, but I really prefer traditional, realistic staging for a work like this. The production is interesting. It seems to be making a point about the surface between the water and earthly worlds. The sets are full of mirrors, reflections, even doppelgangers. They're physically beautiful, and the production is less ridiculous than many conceptualist distortions of 19th-century operas, but still, I would have preferred a traditional design. This is irritating to me, but I can "tune it out" and enjoy the music thoroughly. It does appear to me that, as tastes develop, we are seeing fewer of these essentially egocentric production designs. The cult of the conductor is also in decline I hope. Levine replaces Karajan.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Abomination March 30, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The music was beyond reproach and the performers well cast. So why the one star? An opera, to me, is a story set by the composer in a setting of time and place. It is a visual and audial work of love where sound and sight are carefully joined to achieve the composer's purpose. Dvorak's beautiful fairy tale has been sacrificed to some giant ego who has completely disregarded Dvorak's setting. The opera is a fairy tale with dark woods, wood nymphs, a water goblin, a prince and princess and the protagonist who is a water nymph. How can it be set in a stark room with electric lights and a double bed? The prince comes seeking "the white doe" through the "woods" in a suit, topcoat and derby!! The only way I could get through this unpleasantness was to close my eyes often and just listen to the music. As another reviewer has said, buy the audio CD of Rene Fleming as Rusulka.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Rusalka DVD to have March 8, 2004
By pigh3
Format:DVD
The is the only Rusalka DVD available in original Czech. And it boasts Renee Fleming in the title role.
As usual, she is magnificent. And it is great to see her in addition to hearing her. In general, I find her singing more dramatic and less silkily beautiful than in her celebrated recording under Mackerras(Decca). This is probably what one would expect from a live performance. The other singers are all great, with Sergei Larin as the prince, Franz Hawlata as the watersprite, Larissa Diadkova as Jezibaba and Eva Urbanova as the foreign princess. The orchestra under James Conlon performs ably.
The set and direction are very modern and to these eyes somewhat controversial. But they are interesting, effective and totally valid.
The audience is very well behaved(or some applauses are edited out?), bursting into applause, justifiably, after the famous first act "Mesicku ..." aria, but before the agitated orchestral lead-out, which I felt disrupts the flow slightly.
The film direction is well done in the most part. The camera occasionally lets you see how a scene change is done, which leaves you wondering what the audience in Bastille was actually seeing at other scene changes where the camera "naturally" cuts from one scene to another.
There are very minor cuts to the score. The one I noticed were the solos by the 3 wood nymphs before their trio in the third act.
I don't have a 5.1 system yet, so I cannot comment on the surround sound, but at least the stereo sound is very good.
All in all, the DVD is well worth having.
Technical detail: 2 DVDs(1 DVD9 + 1 DVD5, I thought one DVD9 should have been able to hold 155 mins of video + trailers.)
NTSC, Region 0.
Subtitles in English, French, Itatian, Spanish.
Soundtracks in Czech, Linear Stereo + AC3 Dolby Digital + DTS.
Booklet contains track listings and a synopsis.
Trailers include plugs for other TDK opera DVDs
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rusalka was glorious!
We enjoyed this opera very much. Be sure to set up the correct subtitles first. This one did not include a "behind-the-scenes" DVD (it wasn't supposed to). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jo-Ann Clemens
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Infuriating EuroTrash
I just came back from the MET's HD Rusalka with Renee Fleming and must say unequivocally to those considering buying this, wait for it to be released by the MET. Read more
Published 5 months ago by sergei kochkin
4.0 out of 5 stars Rusalka- great music and great performers; the modern staging and...
ALOHA. I am new to this beautiful opera. The performance is vocally splendid in every way. The weak link is the sets and staging by Michael Levine. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars A great opera by Antonin Dvorak!
It's an old story of a prince and a water nymph which was made into a play by Jean Giraudoux in 1939. This provides another dimension--the music is wonderful! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jolyon S Tucker,
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Excellent recording, Renee Fleming is one of the most beautiful voices actually.
And Rusalka music is really impressive. Antonin Dvorak is one of my favorite composers.
Published 6 months ago by eloina zayas-bazan
4.0 out of 5 stars ADORE the performance/singers, not sure about the staging but...
First of all, I am by and large a traditionalist as far as opera staging. I want my Hansel and Gretel to wear leiderhosen and pigtails, I want to see the women in sumptuous... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kathy-W
3.0 out of 5 stars Musically fine, off-putting production values
I have no problem with the musical aspect of this performance of Dvorak's magnificent opera, but I have dinged this production two stars for the contemporary sets and costumes. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Steve Louck
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this opera!
I love this opera, though I am not certain that I love the modern interpretation. The voices they chose for this production are excellent, of course. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Derek E. Larson
5.0 out of 5 stars Opéra DVD Russalka
Cet opéra peu connu mérite que l'on en fasse de la publicité. Cet enregistrement est tout à fait honorable d'autant que .. je n'en connais pas d'autre!
Published 23 months ago by Maurice
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, it's a reissue of the old trash
This is a reissue of the 2002 version of the Opera National Paris production. It's a delightful opera, melodic and pleasing music based on folksongs and life-motives. Read more
Published 23 months ago by R. Denes
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