La Belle Hélène
 
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La Belle Hélène (1998)

Vesselina Kasarova , Deon van der Walt , Hartmut Schottler  |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $42.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Region 2 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vesselina Kasarova, Deon van der Walt, Carlos Chausson, Volker Vogel, Oliver Widmer
  • Directors: Hartmut Schottler
  • Writers: Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000050YL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,398 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Belle Hélène" on IMDb

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This is a production from 1997 and in stereo only. It also has some of the most unflattering costumes that have ever been provided for Kasarova, and she has certainly been the victim of costume designers before! None of this matters and simply becomes irrelevant given the sheer sparkle and wit of the production and the performers throughout a most enjoyable evening's entertainment. As regards the sound, the stereo is so good that one soon forgets all about rear speakers and sub-woofers!

The story is, of course, a total spoof, or send-up of the lead up to the Trojan Wars. For his libretto, Offenbach was fortunate to have talented librettists so the plot never falters. This production continues with the caricature nature of the piece in its choice of costumes which are generally bizarre but nevertheless are acceptable in the circumstances. Stage props and scenery are rather minimalist but effective in the same sort of way.

The cast is fully engaged and participate at all points with boundless enthusiasm. This comment applies not just to the soloists but also to the entire chorus who are evidently enjoying this piece of French chaotic humour. Fortunately the humour is not over-worked so, as a result, it all works as it should and is really very funny for much of the time. In particular, Kasarova as Helene, is an inspired choice as she not only has one of the finest mezzo-sopranos on the world stage today, but she also has a wonderful sense of stage humour and humorous timing. Those who know her performance in the Barber of Seville will know what to expect!
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