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The Cunning Little Vixen [Blu-ray]


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The Cunning Little Vixen [Blu-ray] + Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Russell Davies, Elena Tsallagova, Jukka Rasilainen, Michèle Lagrange, Hannah Esther Minutillo
  • Directors: André Engel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Czech (DTS HD), Czech (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QEXBO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Elena Tsallagova, Jukka Rasilainen, Michele Lagrande, and Hannah Esther Minutillo star in this 2008 Opera national de Paris production of the Janacek opera conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
My wife feels the same way too!
I. Giles
Having said that, I would like to confess that I had given Janacek the short shrift almost all my life of Operas composed by him.
Satish Kamath
This is a delightful production with outstanding picture and sound quality.
John Chandler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on February 27, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's so darned cute it's spoiled! Can an opera that has animals as singing characters, based on a cartoon, be TOO cute? You betcha it can! Especially when the staging is shallow and static, the costumes look like Halloween get-ups, and the humans are all portrayed as witless clowns.

The Cunning Little Vixen is a symphonic poem shaped as an opera, so let's start with the Orchestra of the Opera National de Paris, conducted by Dennis R Davies. They're wimpy! They play the whole score as colorful sound effects. They nver catch the sweeping grandeur of Janacek's paean to nature. They don't get it. Besides, the orchestra and chorus are never musically integrated and acoustically balanced. If this were a CD, one would throw it away.

Next, the wild animals. The decision to use children - cute little amateurs at that - instead of dancers is a disaster. The children stand or stumble around the shallow stage without any sense of the vivacity of their animal beings, as expressed in the musical score. They look like they're presenting a school pageant. A few of them are required to sing, but don't have the voices to impinge their roles on the orchestral score. The close-ups of their charming little faces are distracting and nothing more.

Then, the domestic animals. Costumes and blocking are both just for the laughs, though I didn't hear any laughs among the small group of friends who watched this DVD with me. The chickens were embarrassingly stodgy in movement. The old dog, an important singing role, had no wistful sadness about him. No yearning to be wild. Director Andre Engel just didn't get it!

Worst of all, the Forester, the central role. Here he isn't a forester at all, but some kind of besotted oaf of a railroad stationmaster.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on February 16, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is never an easy opera to present on video as the mixture of fable and off beat situations provides many challenges to the producer. This is a delightful production with outstanding picture and sound quality. The sets and costumes are very original with a magical vixen and the rest of the cast are really just as good. I found it significantly better than the earlier release under Sir Charles Mackerras and can highly recommend it. An absolute delight!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Kreutzer on June 28, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have over 150 classical DVD/BRs that I watch on a 106" screen and listen through a 7.1 loudspeaker setup where the front speakers are about 9' 6" apart and the surround speakers are on my sides. The room has sound treatments so I hear what's on the disc, not distorting reflections from the walls. My reviews concentrate on the surround audio, as you can pretty much judge the video and stereo for yourself on youtube and similar sites.

Picture is fine. Colorful costumes and good lighting. The start menu does not allow you to chose the audio track and subtitles, Play starts in stereo without subtitles. A minor inconvenience, but the Top Menu should let me chose the sound track and the subtitles.

Sound stage for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track is very wide, about 160 degrees from surround to surround speaker. Not only the orchestra is laid out like that, even the voices move from surround to surround. When the forester sings from the left corner of the stage without being in view yet, sound is out of the left surround. This is the only recording I know that goes to this extreme. Most recordings that have the voices move at all put the stage corner half way between the front corner speaker and the surround.
It certainly gives you the feeling of sitting in the front row, almost in the position of the conductor.
But then the singing starts and you realize that the voices are too soft, relative to the orchestra. Although I believe to see signs of a body microphone under the foxy wig of the vixen, the sound pretty much represents a stage mic only recording. Much of the action is at the back of the stage, which explains the softness.
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