Dvorak - Rusalka / Robert Carsen, James Conlon - Fleming, Urbanova, Diadkova, Larin, Opéra de Paris
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Top Customer Reviews
Rusalka is a signature role for Renée Fleming; her audio recording of the opera six years ago was a huge hit. This production, from the Paris Opéra, conducted by James Conlon, followed in 2002. The direction of Robert Carsen and set and costume design by Michael Levine emphasize the duality and symmetry of the mortal and fairy worlds.Read more ›
On the other hand... This is a matter of taste I realize, but I really prefer traditional, realistic staging for a work like this. The production is interesting. It seems to be making a point about the surface between the water and earthly worlds. The sets are full of mirrors, reflections, even doppelgangers. They're physically beautiful, and the production is less ridiculous than many conceptualist distortions of 19th-century operas, but still, I would have preferred a traditional design. This is irritating to me, but I can "tune it out" and enjoy the music thoroughly. It does appear to me that, as tastes develop, we are seeing fewer of these essentially egocentric production designs. The cult of the conductor is also in decline I hope. Levine replaces Karajan.
As usual, she is magnificent. And it is great to see her in addition to hearing her. In general, I find her singing more dramatic and less silkily beautiful than in her celebrated recording under Mackerras(Decca). This is probably what one would expect from a live performance. The other singers are all great, with Sergei Larin as the prince, Franz Hawlata as the watersprite, Larissa Diadkova as Jezibaba and Eva Urbanova as the foreign princess. The orchestra under James Conlon performs ably.
The set and direction are very modern and to these eyes somewhat controversial. But they are interesting, effective and totally valid.
The audience is very well behaved(or some applauses are edited out?), bursting into applause, justifiably, after the famous first act "Mesicku ..." aria, but before the agitated orchestral lead-out, which I felt disrupts the flow slightly.
The film direction is well done in the most part. The camera occasionally lets you see how a scene change is done, which leaves you wondering what the audience in Bastille was actually seeing at other scene changes where the camera "naturally" cuts from one scene to another.
There are very minor cuts to the score. The one I noticed were the solos by the 3 wood nymphs before their trio in the third act.
I don't have a 5.1 system yet, so I cannot comment on the surround sound, but at least the stereo sound is very good.
All in all, the DVD is well worth having.
Technical detail: 2 DVDs(1 DVD9 + 1 DVD5, I thought one DVD9 should have been able to hold 155 mins of video + trailers.)
NTSC, Region 0.
Subtitles in English, French, Itatian, Spanish.
Soundtracks in Czech, Linear Stereo + AC3 Dolby Digital + DTS.
Booklet contains track listings and a synopsis.
Trailers include plugs for other TDK opera DVDs
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very ( ! ) modern conception of visuals to the point of primitivism, but music and singing well above average - exceptional !Published 1 month ago by John
if this were a CD instead of a DVD I'd give it 5 stars. But since one expected to actually watch this Euro trash totally absurd production it only gets one starPublished 7 months ago by BareOpera
Having seen this at the Met now two or three times with the stunning stage of Gunther Schneider Seimmson about who it has been said,
"His stagings have become landmarks of... Read more
Rusalka is hers alone. Saw the Met Opera production on HD last season and hope that that also comes out on DVD.Published 20 months ago by Robin Hames
A mediocre opera at best. One nice tune only with an abundance of folksy music that is not worthy
of this composer. It plods along with little if any inspiration. Read more
We enjoyed this opera very much. Be sure to set up the correct subtitles first. This one did not include a "behind-the-scenes" DVD (it wasn't supposed to). Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by ojo
I just came back from the MET's HD Rusalka with Renee Fleming and must say unequivocally to those considering buying this, wait for it to be released by the MET. Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by sergei kochkin
ALOHA. I am new to this beautiful opera. The performance is vocally splendid in every way. The weak link is the sets and staging by Michael Levine. Read morePublished on February 6, 2014 by Michael
It's an old story of a prince and a water nymph which was made into a play by Jean Giraudoux in 1939. This provides another dimension--the music is wonderful! Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Jolyon S Tucker,
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