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Benjamin Britten: Let's Make an Opera

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Nov 21, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

The City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and Symphony Youth Chorus, along with the Coull Quartet, conducted by Simon Halsey star in this Petr Weigl film of the Benjamin Britten work.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Felicity Palmer, Lisa Milne, Kate Flowers, John Graham Hall, Stephen Richardson
  • Directors: Petr Weigl
  • Writers: Benjamin Britten
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: German (PCM Stereo), English (PCM Stereo), French (PCM Stereo), Spanish (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IY05YY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,751 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
An engaging introduction to opera for children with similarities to Britten's Noye's Fludde (audience sing-alongs provide the chorus). Also a worthy companion piece to his "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," it is ideal for schools, music teachers, conservatories, and amateur theater groups. For those interested in producing "The Little Sweep," it may be performed with the introductory play "Let's Make an Opera" where the children participate in pulling together all the elements of opera (music, costumes, props, etc. as well as mini-rehearsals when the audiences runs through the songs they will sing). Full score and libretto are available from Boosey and Hawkes of this -- one of Britten's favorite works and one that deserves to be mounted frequently.

This film begins with a colorful prologue introducing all the characters who appear in the opera production and its audience. The film looks to have been made in Germany with a German cast, but the spoken portions use singers and actors from Great Britain to voice the dialogue. When the opera itself begins, the words are sung in English with English subtitles to aid in understanding all the lyrics. The play+opera's magic is captured in full by the film and, this reviewer hopes, will inspire many more productions for and by young people.
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This production is ideal for young children. Most with an interest in music would find something in it to stimulate further investigation and study. But alas I have not been a child in well over forty years, yet I find it just as enthralling as any grade schooler. Funny thing, in those days I was into mainly Wagner, Verdi, Mozart, etc. Only later in life did I have an interest in this "kid stuff". If that makes me an old kid, so be it. Approach this work with an open mind, try and remember what it felt like to be a child, and chances are you will enjoy this. So will the children in your life, if they have any real interest in music.
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This DVD claims to have subtitles but only the "Opera" the final 15 min. is subtitled. The slap-stick comedy is fun but heavily over-played. I would not recommend this unless you are a Britten freak or you have young teens with a love of slap-stick comedy that you want to introduce to opera.
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