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Offenbach: La Vie parisienne (2008)

Laurent Naouri , Jean-Paul Fouchecourt , Laurent Pelly  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Offenbach: La Vie parisienne + Offenbach - Orphee aux Enfers + Offenbach: La Belle Hélène
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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurent Naouri, Jean-Paul Fouchecourt, Marie Devellereau, Sebastien Roulan, Maria Riccarda Wesseling
  • Directors: Laurent Pelly
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: Unknown (Dolby Digital 5.1), Unknown (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.0), French (DTS 5.0), French (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Erato Disques
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001EZ79UY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,766 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Jacques Offenbach’s La vie parisienne, is one of his most enjoyable works, especially in this Lyon Opera production. A satirical romp poking barbs into the thick skin of Second Empire Paris, it’s updated to a farcical sendup of a contemporary Paris populated by thrill-hungry tourists and euro-seeking natives, both groups with sex on their minds. Producer Laurent Pelly’s imaginative production makes the tangled plot, with its characters assuming false identities and roles to bilk a not-so-innocent pair of Swedish tourists, perfectly clear. And he fills the stage with endless comic bits and clever routines that keep you laughing throughout. So to depict the Swedish baron’s drunken state in Act Three, the banquet table itself rocks like a see-saw and spins like a top. Chantal Thomas’ sets make it clear that Paris itself is the subject of this madcap Opera-bouffe, with semi-abstract views of the city and a map as backdrops to the action. And further delights are provided by Laura Scozzi’s choreography, turning orchestral introductions like that for Act Four, with its dawn street-sweepers and tipsy part-goers, into a laugh-out-loud ballet.

The production also features a well-matched cast of singing actors who throw themselves into the spirit of the work with gusto. As the two young lovers of the flighty Métella, Jean-Sebastien Bou and Marc Callahan look, act and sing their roles with just the right serio-comic flair, while veteran baritone Laurent Naouri as the Swede displays a gift for farce unsuspected in his Baroque opera successes. Tenor Jean-Paul Fouchécourt stands out with his hilarious turn as the horny boot maker and faux admiral, and his Act One duet with Marie Devellereau as the pretty glove-maker Gabrielle is a highlight. Devellereau’s character also masquerades as other characters too, and she’s faultless in those as well, while singing with panache and bright-voiced flair. The same can be said of Michelle Canniccioni as the Swedish baroness and Maria Riccarda Wesseling as the elusive Métella. Offenbach’s bouncy music is nothing without bubbles galore and conductor Sébastien Rouland keeps the score moving with the appropriate champagne fizz. Video director Francois Roussillon keeps us riveted on exactly the singers and parts of the stage action where we need to be, helping to make this as intoxicating a video experience as, judging by the audience laughter, it was in the theatre. --Dan Davis

La vie parisienne is an all-regions disc in 16:9 ratio. Sound options include PCM Stereo,Dolby 5.0 Surround and DTS 5.0 Surround. Sung in French, subtitles include English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Product Description

After the smash hit of La Fille du Régiment with Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flóres, Virgin Classics continues to develop its DVD catalog with a new stage production by renowned director Laurent Pelly (who also produced La Fille) accompanied by his assistant Agathe Mélinand, who adapted the dialogues as in the other productions. Filmed in Lyons during the hit performances of late-2007/2008, the production has recast for our modern times the satirical portrayal of Parisian life in the Second Empire. Pelly's wild and frenzied staging brings out the humor and gusto of Offenbach's operetta, and the rich cast of singers including Laurent Naouri, Natalie Dessay's husband sparkle under the lively baton of Sébastien Rouland.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars could make Norman Bates dance July 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
You either love Offenbach or- as with Richard Wagner - despise him. I would take one La Vie Parisienne or Orpheus against a dozen Tristans or Parsifals.

This is a masterpiece! It is a non-stop 135 minute musical romp. And it is pure fun. What does it have going for it?

1- Offenbach...... This is Offenbach at his best. The music fits like a glove. This is to Paris like Fledermaus is to Vienna. The two musicals are cousins.

2- the cast....... The cast is perfect and is quite large. There are many important roles. Marie Devellereau as the glove seller, Gabrielle,is simply adorable and has more energy than a dozen cases of Wheaties. Everyone is oustanding. Boy, do they have fun.

3- Laurent Pelly.......The greatset stage director today and this is his masterpiece. Innovations galore. Moving the setting to the early 20th century was brilliant.

4- Chantal Thomas.......THE sets are huge and unbelievable. What a glorious train station.

5_ Laura Scozzi.......Even with a super gigantic cast of dozens her choreography is outstanding. No chorus lines for Miss Scoizzi. Everyone is doing something and, usually, something different. She cleverly has five or six girls doing a brief dance on their rumps!!!!!

6- The "Praise of Paris".......The last four minutes is unveliabable. The entire cast is on stage moving each and every body part. Each time you see it you can see something you missed. This is where Marie Devellereau sparkles. And the show ends with Offenbach's second greatest galop/can can.The happiest four minutes of opera on DVD.

# Won't someone release Pelly's Orpheus on DVD in Regioin 1?

## Don't ever look for this at the Met, even though they love Pelly there. To them, Mr. O. is, except for Hoffman, much too vulgar. The Met weas not built for fun.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite version. July 21, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Worth while, has some very nice things about it, especially the orchestral interludes. However I prefer the Offenbach - La Vie Parisienne / Ossonce, DeLavault, Opera National de Lyon (1991) which is 23 minutes longer. This version is missing a lot of the story that goes on in Raoul de Gardefeu's house masquerading as the Grand Hotel, with the Baroness' aria which I think is one of the major melodies of the opera.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun January 13, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
All parts taken together the sum is a delightful, charming confection, with a whiff of Fledermaus past in Pelly's cleverly funny setting of modern Paris.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more brilliant Laurent Pelly production. December 4, 2008
By T. C.
Every one who is familiar with Laurent Pelly previous productions of Offenbach's operas that are available on DVD, Orphee aux Enfers, La Belle Helene and La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, knows what to expect.

This is a brilliant stage production, and the musical side of the performance is excellent.

Highly recommended.
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