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Gounod: Mireille (2011)

Mula , Castronovo , Minkowski  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $43.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mula, Castronovo, Ferrari, Vernhes, Paris National Opera Orchestra
  • Directors: Minkowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Import, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: FRA MUSICA
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Z420MY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,474 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This exceptional production features Gounod s largely forgotten opera Mireille. Performed at the Opéra National de Paris, it was a great triumph for conductor Marc Minkowski and attracted more than a million viewers when broadcast on French television. In 1859, the young Provençal poet Fredéric Mistral wrote Miréio, a vast epic love poem. Gounod read Mireille shortly after publication and went to Saint- Rémy de Provence to meet Mistral. Gounod was charmed by the originality of the work, the story being much less contrived than many of those on the operatic stage at the time. The opera has had a difficult career and was revised and altered several times. In 1939, Guy Ferrant and Henri Busser, disciples of Gounod, restored the work to its original five acts. There is no competition on either DVD or Blu-Ray.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great performance February 2, 2011
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I first became familiar with Gounod's Mireille from the old audio recording conducted by Plasson, with its star-studded cast (Freni, Vanzo, Van Dam, Bacquier and Rhodes). In this new version, I was immediately struck by the fact that Inva Mula not only sounded, but also looked like Mirella Freni. As the whole opera really revolves around the character of Mireille, this becomes a great performance for me because of Mula's outstanding contribution. The rest of the cast is vocally not quite in the same class as the older audio version, although tenor Castronovo (despite some slight coordination problems with conductor Minkowski) is better than Vanzo. The video aspects are generally very good, except that I confess to having been appalled by the videographer's penchant for frequent/sudden changes in the camera zoom/angle during the crucial Crau desert scene, which is why I give the production 4 rather than 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video of a Gounod Masterpiece August 17, 2012
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As a way of history let me say that there are two versions of this opera. The Opera itself was not well-received in 1864 so Gounod revised it including a "happy" ending and a new coloratura aria for the soprano - the justly famous 'valse-ariette' "O légère hirondelle"

The version on this video is the 5 act original version of the opera in which Mireille dies at the end and does not include the Act I 'valse-ariette'.The lack of this famous aria is my biggest disappointment in the video, since I consider it to be the equal in every respect of the Jewel Song in Faust.

The scenery and sets capture the composer vision of Provence. No fancy directorial excess here which makes it all the more enjoyable.

The soprano role is a demanding one and here is sung by the Albanian Soprano Inva Mula who is a regular at La Scala. She does an excellent job in the role and successfully meets the demands of Gounod' Score.

I find it sad that this opera is not better know and nor performed more frequently. The music is every bit as lovely as "Faust" and "Romeo et Juliette". It may be that the story, based on Frédéric Mistral's poem "Mireio", is not as well knows as either Faust or Rome and Juliet, and thus has suffered by comparison with better known stories by Heine and Shakespeare.

But this performance is a faithful and well-sung production of Gounod's opera and should be bought by every lover of the composer and of opera. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mireille by Charles Gounod June 13, 2011
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After a glowing write-up in the Met's OPERA NEWS, I purchased this DVD and cannot say that I share the Met reviewer's enthusiasm.
The music is fine but not great. Isn't there a reason why some operas are rarely produced if ever ? Definitely not even near the level of "Faust" or "Romeo et Juliette". Only the singing is first rate throughout.
As for the story and the production, the less said the better. The cornfield got wearying; the storm scene was too predictable and too pat; and the final scene simply ludicrous:
After having dragged herself through an arid desert to join her lover and arriving dying from the effort, Mireille is not only reunited with the lover in whose arms she expires, but also joined by her finally forgiving father who arrives in his business suit and the lover's sister both of whom she had just left at home, neither of them showing any wear and tear from their travels. (How come Mireille didn't take the same, easy way ?)
It is an opera that I will probably never, ever watch again.
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