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  • Macbeth / Kirill Molchanov, Vladimir Vasiliev, Bolshoi Ballet
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Macbeth / Kirill Molchanov, Vladimir Vasiliev, Bolshoi Ballet


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alexei Fadeyechev, Nina Timofeyeva
  • Directors: Vladimir Vasiliev
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YKYT3A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,018 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Shakespeare s masterpiece of murder and intrigue in mist-shrouded Scotland is brought to life through dance in this superb production by the Bolshoi ballet, choreographed by Vladimir Vasiliev to a powerful score by composer Kirill Molchanov.

Macbeth stars Alexei Fadeyechev in the title role, and Nina Timofeyeva as his unscrupulous consort. Vasiliev has included most of the primary themes of the Shakespeare s drama the meeting with the three witches (the weird sisters who prophesy Macbeth s glory and Banquo s death), the gnawing ambition of Lady Macbeth, the murders of King Duncan and Banquo, and the torment suffered by both Macbeth and his wife after they have completed their bloody climb to the Scottish throne.

Vladimir Vasiliev has also elaborated magnificently on several motives that are tailor-made for choreography, while never allowing them to degenerate into mere display: the opening battle between Scottish and Norwegian armies and the banquet scene during which Macbeth defeats Banquo in a competition of strength. These are superb examples of modern ensemble dancing that heighten the dramatic impact of the work as a whole.

Vasiliev s major departure from Shakespeare comes at the end of the ballet, when Macbeth, hounded by specters of his victims, is suddenly surrounded by the weird sisters who lure him into their devilish round dance. As their infernal ring draws inward, Macbeth realizes that there is no escape, and dies. Brilliantly danced, and acted with bloodcurdling conviction, Macbeth is superb entertainment for all.

Cast:
Alexei Fadeyechev - MACBETH
Nina Timofeyeva - LADY MACBETH
Valeri Anisimov - BANQUO
and the Company of the Bolshoi Ballet

Music by Kirill Molchanov Conductor, Fuat Mansurov
Sets by Valeri Leventhal
Choreographed, Written and Staged by Vladimir Vasiliev

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Levonian on February 26, 2008
Format: DVD
This ballet is a very accomplished example of a Russian "drambalyet".The music is by a pupil of Shostakovitch and has a dissonant quality which is not very common in Soviet composers. It is shrill and descriptive, rather than abstract. I think it suits the danced action very well. Mr. Fadeyechev - whom I only knew from a Sleeping Beaty video and a rather poor Giselle - is a very talented dramatic actor-dancer. I was surprised by the intensity of his actig. Mrs. Timofeyeva is incredible. Her portrayal of Lady Macbeth relies both on technique - which is always very commanding - plus as a tremendous theatrical intensity. It's not the regular - and boring pantomime of the old soviet school.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 29, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Macbeth ballet was created in 1980, during the glory period of the Bolshoi Theatre. The ballet is beautiful and correct, according to classic Russian ballet. The perfect and precise technique of the soloists is the expected. Alexei Fadeyechev plays a Macbeth with conviction and strength in reaching his murk aim. Nina Timofeyeva is brilliant throughout all the play, especially in Lady Macbeth's demise dance, at the final scene. Vladimir Vasiliev elaborated a creative choreography full of quirks. The warning from the witches, with face masks on the back, is charmingly devilish. In the second act, the superposition of the witches' images brings a beautiful as well as bizarre atmosphere which is accompanied by delighting Kiril Molchanov's music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John G. Gleeson Sr. on June 2, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: This review is in the wrong place; it describes the performance with Carlos Alvrez, not the Sveristerio version where this review has been placed.

That's what Fabrizzio said to Michael Corleone upon the latter's first enccounter with Appolonia in Godfather I, and it was my reaction to this, my very first full opera, when heard on a Met broadcast in 1959. With literally zero prior contact with opera, from that broadcast a bunch of money was spent on LPs, then CDs and now DVDs.

In all aspects, this is a nearly perfect rendition of Macbeth. I purchased the Berlin Opera version (Bruso, Zampieri) years ago, when that was the only DVD available. As the reviews reflect, and my experience confirms, it was an is a flawed performance. This Teatre del Liceu disc is much better.

Alvarez is a superb baritone, secure from a solid bottom to a ringing top. His acting skills are excellent as he portrays Macbeth's descent into paranoia and megalomania. The same can be said of Maria Guleghina; her voice is a little bit tight in her opening aria and cabaletta, but once she's warmed up, she's superb! And is her acting amazing!! If I met a woman like this in real life, I'd beat feet pronto!! Roberto Scandiuzzi delivers a solid Banquo.

I have some minor issues with the staging, but not enough to diminish the five star rating. if you agree with my perspective, that opera is enjoyed as a total theatrical experience, rather than as a bunch of high notes, then this disc is a huge success. Mind, the quality of the singing is the major deciding factor, IMHO, in enjoying an opera, but the reason that the DVD has eclipsed the CD in my house is that it enables one to have the "next best thing' to a live performance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Albert Innaurato on June 15, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a very famous production of the opera in its time. But the production by Luca Ronconi looks clumsy and lacks atmosphere on camera. I saw this production in the house, and Ronconi depended a lot on lighting to highlight faces, shift emphases and establish mood. But for the camera, the lighting has been flattened and brightened, and the atmosphere is gone. One is left with Ronconi's facile staging, often, the principals stand side by side and just look out. The cinematic shifts within and between scenes count for nothing and there is too much settling for 'stand and deliver' type operatic acting. Zampieri is hammy, even funny at times, Bruson is bland except for his heart felt account of the aria 'pieta, rispetto, amore' and there's not much to be said about the other portrayals -- though these supporting characters can be strikingly done when the director pays attention to them.

Musically, it's a different story. Sinopoli (who can be seen over-emoting when the camera peeks into the pit) leads with conviction and imagination, though in a style that tends to be rather fancy with its rhythmic play, rubato, unexpected tempos which can speed up or slow down apparently on impulse. Still, there's a lot of feeling and theatrical flair in what he does, and the orchestra and chorus follow him faithfully no matter what.

Those who didn't see Zampieri, tend to dislike her. It is not a pretty tone, but live, her voice was enormous, her confidence thrusting and powerful, and she could generate plenty of electricity. Some of that comes through here, though a more distant camera and mic would probably have given a better impression of her strengths. She skips the tricky high D flat at the end of the Sleepwalking Scene.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Todd Kay on May 18, 2009
Format: DVD
Phyllida Lloyd's production, which originated in London but here is seen in a 2004 loaner to the Gran Teatre del Liceu, is a study in blackness with very sparing contrasts. Against static ebony backdrops, there are frequent splashes of red -- blood, in this very bloody opera, or its figurative equivalents (the witches sport red turbans; a red-garbed Macduff vanquishes Macbeth at the close) -- and gold (the royal trappings have a cheap, unconvincing look that I suspect was intentional, suggesting the emptiness of ignoble achievement). Lady Macbeth is first seen stalking about her bedroom, alternately pacing in agitation and throwing herself onto a black bed. Maria Guleghina's honey-highlighted tresses have been teased and tossed into a mane-like coif, and this combines with the character's air of barely contained savagery and the squared pattern on the large black screen behind her to suggest a caged lioness. Lady Macbeth's cage, of course, is her deprivation of the power to which she believes she and her husband are entitled. Fate soon leaves that door ajar for her, but the royal thrones are surrounded with a much smaller cage (albeit one lacquered in the above-mentioned gilt), from which Banquo's ghost hangs and leers in Macbeth's hallucinations. In Lady Macbeth's last scene, in which she wilts under the weight of her guilt and malfeasance, the proud mane of her first scene has gone limp and tangled, in a kind of follicular bookend effect.

At points when there are few good options outside of the realm of hackneyed operatic blocking (e.g., stentorian baritone/soprano passages that require both singers to face the audience), the director seems to have looked for ways to choreographically enliven the proceedings so as not to succumb entirely.
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