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  • Massenet - Manon / Fleming, Alvarez, Vernhes, Chaignaud, Lopez-Cobos, Paris Opera
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Massenet - Manon / Fleming, Alvarez, Vernhes, Chaignaud, Lopez-Cobos, Paris Opera


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Product Details

  • Actors: Renée Fleming, Marcelo Alvarez, Jean-Luc Chaignaud, Michel Sénéchal, Alain Vernhes
  • Format: Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 164 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DG055
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This DVD introduces a production by Gilbert Deflo, which had its first performance at the Bastille opera in Paris in June 1997, conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos. It was an unforgettable experience thanks to the splendid historical costumes by William Orlando, the minimal décor, the sophisticated lighting as well as the musical excellence of the performers. It was also due to the charisma of Renée Fleming; she confessed in an interview, "I think Manon is my favorite role. I love French music, it is so elegant and delicate stylistically. It has both dramatic and lyrical elements." Marcelo Alvarez was brilliant in the role of the Chevalier des Grieux, and among the other artists were Jean-Luc Chaignaud as Lescaut, Alain Vernhes as the Comte des Grieux, Michel Sénéchal as Guillot de Morfontaine and the choir and orchestra of l'Opéra de Paris.

Customer Reviews

Sound and picture quality are excellent.
leelee
Manon is simply another role that the great Renee Fleming owns, and everyone else in the cast is breathtaking as well!
Holly Carr
One only hopes she can get herself in hand and correct these problems before its too late.
J. Kauffman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rochambeau Fan on November 8, 2003
Format: DVD
There are certain operas like, say, Verdi's "Don Carlo" or "Il Trovatore," that are true ensemble pieces. It requires gutsy singing from several principals and yet, if say the mezzo or the tenor is a tad on the weak side, there is still enough otherwise to make the performance enjoyable. And then there are opera's like Massenet's "Manon," which places high singing and acting demands on just two singers, and boy do they have a hell of a lot to sing!
It's for this reason, I think, that "Manon" isn't performed quite as often. It falls completely flat without an excellent soprano and tenor. Sure, there is some singing for the baritone and bass, but nobody sees this opera for them. This is the soprano and tenors show!
Having said that, this production, taped in Paris just two years ago, is excellent! Renee Fleming is definitely hit-or-miss with many of the roles she selects these days, but here she is right on the money. In fact, this is some of her finest singing I have heard. Her affinity for the role is obvious and she is thoroughly convincing as an actress. Fleming's physical beauty and excellent facial expressions certainly help in making her Manon a true, dangerous beauty.
I've never been a huge fan of tenor Marcelo Alvarez. While his voice is pleasant, I find him to be rather underwhelming. I was pleasantly surprised here, though. In this performance, he sings with more passion and fire than I have ever heard him sing.
If only he could work on his stage presence! Clearly not an actor, Alvarez struts around the stage looking rather goofy and clumsy at all times. His costume in the first acts, doesnt't help much! (he looks like he has a neckbrace on!).
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2003
Format: DVD
This DVD comes from a June 2001 performance at the Opéra National National de Paris/Opéra Bastille and stars Renée Fleming as Manon and Marcelo Álvarez as des Grieux.

Fleming says that Manon is one of her favorite roles, and I can believe it. She invests the character with a good deal of feeling, and although she seems a little old and not quite giddy enough to be playing the simple school-girl in Act I, she gets better and better as the action proceeds. Her singing, of course, is nonpareil. Indeed, for me the action doesn't really catch fire until the final scene of Act II (although 'Nous vivrons à Paris,' in Act I, is exciting and beautifully sung by the young lovers) when Manon contemplates giving up des Grieux and letting him return to his family, in 'Adieu, notre petite table,' followed by des Grieux's 'En fermant les yeux,' sung gorgeously by Álvarez.

The staging triumphs in the two 'public' scenes--the Cours la Reine scene (Act III, 1) and the gambling scene at the Hotel Transylvanie (Act IV). Each of these scenes is so full of visual stimulation that it might even be easy to miss the main action except for the expert television direction of François Roussilon. The baroque-style ballet (choreography by Ana Yepes, and occurring in the Cours la Reine scene) is an engaging use of the music--a larger group of formal dancers alternating with a trio of solo dancers, each movement fitting Massenet's expert pastiche of 18th-century music perfectly.

The scene (III,1) between the hero's father, Comte des Grieux (sung sympathetically by Alain Vernhes) and Manon is touching and sets up the reconciliation (III, 2) at St.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2009
Format: DVD
[This release of a 2001 Paris Opéra production was originally issued on TDK in 2003. It was wonderful then and it's still wonderful. The following is my 2003 review of the earlier issue, with a couple of additions.]

So far this is the only 'Manon' to make it to DVD. [Since I wrote this there have been releases with Netrebko/Villazón and Gruberova/Araiza.] But you really don't have to wait for a better one to come along; it will likely be the one to have for a long time. It comes from a June 2001 performance at the Opéra National National de Paris/Opéra Bastille and stars Renée Fleming as Manon and Marcelo Álvarez as des Grieux.

Fleming says that Manon is one of her favorite roles, and I can believe it. She invests the character with a good deal of feeling, and although she seems a little old and not quite giddy enough to be playing the simple school-girl in Act I, she gets better and better as the action proceeds. Her singing, of course, is nonpareil. Indeed, for me the action doesn't really catch fire until the final scene of Act II (although 'Nous vivrons à Paris,' in Act I, is exciting and beautifully sung by the young lovers) when Manon contemplates giving up des Grieux and letting him return to his family, in 'Adieu, notre petite table,' followed by des Grieux's 'En fermant les yeux,' sung gorgeously by Álvarez.

The staging triumphs in the two 'public' scenes--the Cours la Reine scene (Act III, 1) and the gambling scene at the Hotel Transylvanie (Act IV). Each of these scenes is so full of visual stimulation that it might even be easy to miss the main action except for the expert television direction of François Roussilon.
Read more ›
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