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Gounod: Romeo Et Juliette (2011)

Machaidze , Secco , Mastrangelo , Micheli  |  NR |  DVD
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Machaidze, Secco
  • Directors: Mastrangelo, Micheli
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0080HAERE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,131 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Here the iconic Verona opera - and Charles Gounod's masterpiece - makes a superb comeback in the majestic setting of the Arena di Verona. 'Rom+ªo et Juliette' had not been performed in the Arena since 1977. The new production was entrusted to Italian director Francesco Micheli, who opted for a personal, highly original version: 'An arena within the Arena, like a blood-red Elizabethan theatre. A senescent world that will not let its own children live.' Juliette is sung by Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, in a return to one of her early roles at the Salzburg Festival. Stefano Secco, often heard at the Op+ªra Bastille in Paris and other international venues, is Rom+ªo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save Your Money ... PLEASE! July 28, 2012
Romeo et Juilette is one of our favorite operas; we first saw it at the Met with Corelli and Freni. We have two DVDs of it; one with Machaidze and Villazon, the second with Alagna and Vaduva. Both are strong performances, with the former being more passionate and "Italian" and the latter being more "French". With the exception of Nino Machaidze, this disc is a disaster!

I believe it is the continuing saga of stage directors (in this case Francesco Micheli) totally destroying a relatively simple and straightforward story line with bizarre staging. There are many instances of this, one of the worst being Willy Decker's destruction of La Traviata in Salzburg and this year at the Met. I realize that some folks believe that this approach brings some modern day "relevance" to a performance, but that concept escapes me. I have enjoyed performances (La Fille du Regiment and Manon come to mind) where the time line has been changed, but the integrity of the music and the story remained.

In this Romeo, the staging dominates everything else. For example, Juliette's first aria is sung from inside an enlarged bird cage with ugly guys in dresses doing a strange dance. The Queen Mab aria is preceeded by the onstage arrival of a form of Batmobile with a propeller on its hood. I forced myself to watch the whole thing, which I will not do again. I won't even sell it for fear of destroying someone else's potential to know and appreciate this great opera.

With the exception of Mme Machaidze, whose vocal and acting skills I admire greatly, the rest of the cast is average, at best. Stefano Secco has vocal problems with the role of Romeo: his is a troubles passaggio and one looks in vain for that ping (squillo) in the upper voice. The tone is dry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It certainly does not appeal to me as much as to those imaginative avantgardist.
To 'respect' Shakespeare, the production pin-points the 'global' quality of the plot, and the performance is 'by-and-large' shifted to the modern era, but not in all respects.
So you can imagine the huge visual confusion - when you see attires on stage encompassing more than 4 centuries, with props modern and ultra-modern, with lots of actors flinging the stage most of the time in that huge space of the Arena di Verona.
I am not as interested in all those than the actual performance. Here's details about the actual casting of this performance:
Nino Machaidze [Juliette], Ketevan Kemoklidze [Stephano], Cristina Melis [Gertrude], Stefano Secco [Roméo], Jean-François Borras [Tybalt], Paolo Antognetti [Benvolio] Artur Rucinski [Mercutio], Nicolo Ceriani [Paris], Giampiero Ruggeri [Gregorio], Manrico Signorini [Capulet], Giorgio Giuseppini [Frère Laurent], Deyan Vatchkov [Le Duc de Vérone] Orchestra, Coro e Corpo di Ballo della Fondazione Arena di Verona / Fabio Mastrangelo Direction FRANCESCO MICHELI, Set design EDOARDO SANCHI, Costumes SILVIA AYMONINO, et al.

I admit that with the exception of the Romeo and the Juliette, this cast is virtually unknown to me.

Nino Machaidze is a young Georgian soprano not yet 30 years old, possessing a good stage presence and a full voice. Her Juliette is generally adequate but not outstanding - she cannot float her high notes and the coloratura is compressed in the upper register, with a flat final note in the first major aria of Juliette.
What's more unfortunate, is that she appear in the earlier Act in a baby walker most of the time, probably to illustrate the constriction posed on Juliette by her family.
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