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Verdi: Macbeth [Blu-ray] (2011)

Violeta Urmana , Dimitris Tiliakos , Dimitri Tchernaikov , Andy Sommer  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Violeta Urmana, Dimitris Tiliakos, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Setfano Secco, Teodor Currentzis
  • Directors: Dimitri Tchernaikov, Andy Sommer, Denis Sneguirev
  • Writers: Giuseppe Verdi, Francesco Maria Piave, Andrea Maffei, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Opéra national de Paris, François Duplat
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Dolby, Surround Sound, Widescreen, Color
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
  • Run Time: 194 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QDNSNI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,035 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Coproduced with Siberia's Novosibirsk Opera, this new Macbeth uses cutting-edge multimedia technology to give the viewer a fresh perspective on the work. Google Earth satellite images plunge us into the heart of the action: a gloomy square surrounded by soulless buildings, and the interior of an aristocratic residence.
Witches are no more a part of Tcherniakov's Macbeth that the duel was of Onegin, but once again the atmosphere is one of brooding claustrophobia.

Tcherniakov has chosen a great cast, beginning with the marvellous Lithuanian soprano Violeta Urmana as Lady Macbeth. Greek baritone Dimitris Tiliakos is a powerful presence as Macbeth, while the Italians Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) and Stefano Secco (tenor) are sumptuous as, respectively, Banquo and Macduff.

In this, his second production at the Paris Opera, Teodor Currentzis, music director of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre conducts with verve and a splendid theatrical sense.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish Beauty June 10, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Dmitri Tcherniakov (now there's a name to strike fear into the heart of every lover of traditional opera stagings) comes up with an interesting concept for this 2009 production for the Paris Opera. He sees the Scottish play in terms of a kind of American Beauty satire of modern life, with GoogleEarth-style 3-D overhead projections zooming into the map of a small surburban town, where we are treated to a peak through the windows into the drawing room of one particular moderately wealthy middle-class family. There erupts a power battle of social climbing, domestic disputes, vanity and a mid-life identity crisis that culminates in moral, social and personal breakdown.

That's all very well, but Macbeth is Macbeth and American Beauty is American Beauty, and I imagine that some people would rather that the two remain entirely separate entities - except Verdi's Macbeth was never really Shakespeare in the first place. Verdi does revenge and revolution well, and he also does drawing room melodrama well (it's hard to beat La Traviata for that), and it's hard to see Verdi's Macbeth - which is certainly more domestic than political - as anything other than a Verdi opera, resounding with cries of "Vendetta!". In the Italian translation, there's little of Shakespeare's poetry here (although the English subtitles do attempt to bring it back to the source drama), so if it's all right for Verdi to adapt it to his favourite themes, isn't it ok for Tcherniakov to adapt it in a way that it relates to a modern-day audience?

Well, evidently that's for the individual to decide, but although it's not without its problems, this production of Macbeth is spectacularly staged and sung, with real feeling for the piece and the underlying psychology that it exposes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soffocato September 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Moscow-born stage director Dmitri Tcherniakov, still in his 30s at the time of this 2009 Paris Opera production, had his hands around something interesting here, and it isn't so much that it slips through his fingers as that he squeezes too hard. When I had taken in only the first act, I felt I was seeing a truly great MACBETH, and the five-star review was beginning to come together in my head. But my final verdict was that Tcherniakov had failed to heed the directing equivalent of that old piece of advice given to women about looking themselves in the mirror and removing one accessory before leaving the house. This is a very mannered piece of work, and a little of it goes a long way. The initial promise ultimately curdles, and I cannot say I expect to give this a second viewing anytime soon, although, as will become apparent below, there are decided strengths.

Verdi's opera has been transplanted to what I believe is the mid-20th century. Half of the scenes take place in a sparely furnished drawing room with a chandelier and fireplace, the other half in a sort of town square under a streetlight. Google Earth projections cover the transitions. There is a strong basic concept: evil and good are not overtly distinguishable; they coexist and intermingle in a mass of ordinary humanity. There is nothing at all threatening or strange about the witches or assassins; they are just faces in a crowd of ordinary, multicultural citizens (and there are some great faces here among the choristers and supers). The Macbeths are seemingly innocuous upper-middle-class strivers within a corrupting system.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold, powerful and emotional May 28, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes, Dmitri Tcherniakov is a bad boy, an enfant terrible, an ultra regie of the opera world. Supposedly. This was my first experience with the directorial "monster." This 2009 Paris Macbeth was, according to veteran bass Ferrucio Furlanetto, in the May 2013 Opera News, "the worst experience I have had in this business." The Banquo in this performance said he "detested" the production, felt he prostituted himself doing it and wouldn't ever work with Tcherniakov again.

OK, can't wait to see this one. One day it was on my library shelf, I borrowed it, watched it twice and simply, was bowled over. And I'm usually not too fond of "Eurotrash" or whatever you want to call controversial, novel opera interpretations. Well, when you have such compelling acting and singing, even from the outstanding Paris Opera Chorus, combined with electrifying conducting from Teodor Currentzis - whether inspired by Verdi, Tcherniakov or whatever - it goes a long way to making this performance in my view, extremely moving.

Tcherniakov updated the opera to modern suburbia, with all the houses looking the same. Scenes are either in an inner courtyard or inside a house. With Macbeth a universal story, this does not bother me, when it is so well done. Tcherniakov has a penetrating mind with strong ideas and psychological insights about the opera. He makes the drama very real and emotionally compelling. Not much is subdued yet it is not overdone either. Here are real flesh and blood people acting out the drama in Tcherniakov's idiosyncratic way. I found it gripping.

When the crowd is plotting Banquo's murder, he is surprisingly right there, with people mockingly pointing at him, jabbing sardonically at his ribs, as if there's nothing he can do about it.
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