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Chéreaus stage direction masterfully focuses attention where it needs to be, and keeps the dramatic arc flowing in ways that allow the audience to follow the action not easy on a stage filled with secondary characters, nearly all male and all in either shabby prison clothes or green guards uniforms. Thierry Thieu Niang staged the two brief plays within the opera, prisoners performances mirroring some of their tales, bursting with depravity. The sets by Richard Peduzzi are fitting too, movable walls that reach to the top of the stage and enclose the prisoners in a claustrophobic setting. Film director Stéphane Metges camera placements and cutting are virtually always on target, blending the personal stories in a larger context. Extras include a 48" film that includes revealing scenes of Boulez and Chéreau in rehearsal. This is a must-have for anyone interested in 20th century opera. --Dan Davis
From the House of the Dead is an all-regions disc in 16:9 ratio. Sound options include PCM Stereo and DTS 5.1 Surround. Sung in Czech, subtitles include English, German, French, and Spanish.
It is a stand out performance from an ensemble filled with amazing work.
This uniquely modern lyricism and his expert choice of material makes Janacek one of the most important opera composers of the early 20th century.
One should mention John Mark Ainsley who does an especially great job as Skuratov.
STUNNING WORK!!!And this performance prove's it!!Every actor(singer)all the emotions the coldness of that prison,the whole thing gets under your skin. Read morePublished 6 months ago by eric
In my life I may have seen close to 200 operas from various eras and composers, but I have to say that this masterpiece by Leos Janacek stands in a class all its own. Read morePublished 15 months ago by D. Beardslee
THE STAGE WORKS OF JANACEK ARE AMONG HIS FINEST CREATIONS. THE PROPER SETTING, CAST AND STAGING, ARE IMPERATIVE TO BRING THE COMPOSERS VISION TO FRUITION. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Jerome H. Rubin
The subject is in itself a tremendous provocation since it is an adaptation of a novel by Dostoyevsky but one or two centuries later, which means in a context of post soviet Gulag... Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by Jacques COULARDEAU
Nine 5-star reviews for a single opera is a cumulatively compelling recommendation that is hard to ignore. Read morePublished on July 12, 2011 by David M. Goldberg
The acting and staging are melded into a great fabric of music-drama that only Janacek can create!Published on February 1, 2010 by Douglasmagee
There are already seven reviews that rate this DVD most highly. I can only agree with all of them: it is one of the most stunning productions I have ever seen; that is made it to... Read morePublished on January 11, 2010 by DDD
This production is really something to see! It is quite raw and engaging, and an excellent example of the work.Published on October 30, 2009 by DownByTheRiverside