Classical and Opera DVD's???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Josh Simpson, Sep 19, 2002.

  1. Josh Simpson

    Josh Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I like about all music, and own Diana Krall and The Eagles DVD's. This isn't for everyone I'm sure, but what classical concerts or Opera DVD's do you reccomend? La Boheme or something like that is what I'm looking for.
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    A very good start might be PROM AT THE PALACE, a stunning array of classical pieces and performances. It is also visually rewarding.

    I acquired a version of Madame Butterfly, which I enjoy, but it does not come with text (I had expected sub-titles would be almost universal for opera on DVD, to translate the singing language.)

    I will watch this thread because I hope you get suggestions that I may also appreciate.
     
  3. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    I can strongly recommend the Baz Lurhmann production of La Boheme for Opera Australia. Great production design and even better singing. DVD quality is generally fine, considering it was made for TV broadcast 10 years ago.
    PS - Keep the Kleenex handy ... [​IMG]
    Angela
     
  4. Philippe Barsalou

    Philippe Barsalou Auditioning

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  5. andrew markworthy

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    Bergman's production of The Magic Flute is arguably one of his best films (and unlike what most people think of as 'typical Bergman' - it's v. cheerful; no gloomy Scandanavians soliloquising about religious faith and death). However, be warned that if you want a copy of Mozart's music, this particular performance of the opera is fairly heavily edited.
     
  6. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    The Baz Luhrman La Boheme is very good - though I like it less than:
    The Metropolitan Opera DVD on Pioneer Classics (PC-95-085-D). It's the grand Zeffirelli production from 1982. He had enormous and incredibly realistic sets built and had crowd scenes painstakingly choreographed. There's no cheesy flash - it's all class.
    Keep in mind: it will not overwhelm you with sound and video quality (2-channel stereo, burned-in subs, a bit grainy), but it is emotionally overwhelming (as required), and very live. The actors only overplay their roles in the sense that tragicomic (comitragic) Italian opera demands it. It's more traditional than the Luhrman version, but to me that is part of its appeal.
    On another note, dubbed operas really bug me. If they don't bug you, then you can try out Bergman's The Magic Flute as well -- for me it is too broadly drawn, however. And of course, you aren't getting the "whole" opera. But that sort of thing only bugs cranky purists like me.
    ~Steve
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Josh- It's not opera, but Naxos has a series of classical DVDs (Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, etc) which are accompanied by very nice scenes of the composer's country. I have several of these DVDs. They're all DD5.1 and DTS. The video is full-frame (presumably shot with a video camera). If you're specifically looking for opera, these obviously won't work, but if you're looking for classical music in general, you might want to give one of these a try.

    Steve K.
     
  8. Jalil

    Jalil Stunt Coordinator

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    hey stevek, where did you buy your naxos dvds?
    the regular retailers sell these dvds also?

    looking at naxos.com now.. sounds interesting
     
  9. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    If the Naxos disks are the ones from DVDInternational, I thought of mentioning them. The concept is great, but the execution leaves me disappointed.

    The scenery gets a bit repetitive, and doesn't always suit the musical "program"

    There was no option on the disk to at least display the title of the part of the composition currently onscreeen. Even a "title page" at the start, to indicate composer, date of piece, etc., would have improved the disks a bit for me.

    The last one I got was Baroque Christmas, and I recently saw a copy for sale in a B&M store. Many of them are available on the Amazon site.
     
  10. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Jalil and John-

    I have the DVD International Naxos discs. John- I agree with your comments that the discs certainly could have been better. I tend not to pay too much attention to the visuals, as they do get a bit repetitive. Since most of it is just natural scenery or buildings, it would be difficult to match it to the music. I've seen "relaxation" VHS tapes and DVDs, and they're all along the same idea...nice visuals and nice music, but not necessarily any correlation between the two.

    Still, it's not a bad way to have some nice classical music.

    Steve K.
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I think that anyone who loves both movies and operas should pick up Bergman’s version of The Magic Flute. It is a film of a staged production, and is consequently very ‘stagey’, but considering the amount of suspension of disbelief that one must have for any opera (and in particular for this one), it should be no problem. I don’t consider the actual singing to be world-class standards, and if you really care about performances in the original language (I do, but make an exception here), this is not for you, as its in Swedish, not German.

    Others to consider (in no particular order):

    Carmen, (Metropolitan Opera), James Levine conducting, with Agnes Baltsa in the title role. She may not be the definitive Carmen, but you can well believe that she ruined herself and two men. José Carreras is a very fine Don José and Samuel Ramey looks the very virile bullfighter and is up to his usual, high musical standards. The sound is PCM, not DD, a decided plus.

    Rigoletto (Vienna Philharmonic), Riccardo Chailly conducting. This is an absolute must for Pavarotti fans. I’ve only heard him in better form in a classic recording of La Bohème and that is not on DVD. Ingvar Wixell in the title role is simply superb. I have always thought Sherill Milnes to have set the benchmark for this role, but Wixell may have raised the notch another level.

    The sets are just over the top in color and richness and may not be to everyone’s taste.

    Turandot (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Zubin Mehta conducts a performance in the Forbidden City in Beijing. There is no question that visually this is unmatched by any other production and will likely continue to be unmatched for a very long time. The staging must be seen to be believed. Members of the Red Army are used as extras, in a staging that must be seen to be believed. And of course from a plot perspective this is filmed on location. I admit that I’ve heard some better recordings, but this is an absolute must.

    For DVD buffs, there are several scenes where you can choose alternate shots. My only quibble, is that the PCM track is only available with still photographs.

    Aida (Met), James Levine conducting and with Domingo as Radames and Aprile Millo as Aida. I’ve heard both Price and Tabaldi (a recording) in this role, and Millo is an equal to them. Listen to her waft a pianissimo. What beauty And a treat to have Domingo at his best. I consider the staging to be nothing special, but for musicianship its hard to go past this DVD. And there is a PCM track, so you can just put this on your 2-channel system, sit back and marvel.

    I have a great desire to get The Ring on DVD, but have so far not found anything appealing.
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  13. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    Yes, actually what I meant by "dubbed" is that the performances on-screen are not live (not that someone else sang them) - to me, speaking personally, there's not really a difference because it's nearly (if not fully) impossible to faithfully reproduce a vocal take, whether in mouth or whole-body mannerisms. For some people it doesn't matter; for me those nuances are all-important in watching opera.
    Cheers, [​IMG]
    ~Steve
     
  14. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    Just don't make the mistake of buying Dario Argento's Opera from Anchor Bay! You might be a bit, um, unnerved by the performances.
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  16. Gregg_Fritz

    Gregg_Fritz Extra

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    I accidentally came across some refernce to a Orchestra being filmed in Hi-def for DVD or for iMax. I can't recall who it was or the details about it... but I found it originally by doing searches on Google.CA on high definition.
     
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Can anyone give me a thumbs-up/down on these two Verdi DVDs:

    Requiem / Abbado, Gheorghiu, Barcellona, Alagna, Berlin Philharmonic (2001) DTS/DD/PCM (there's another DVD version with Abbado conducting, so please be sure you're commenting on the Berlin Phil 2001 version!)

    La Traviata / Richard Eyre, Solti, Gheorghiu, Lopardo, Nucci, ROH Covent Garden DD5.1 (not the Zeffirelli version!)
     
  18. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    You should try ARIA from 1987 - 10 or so opera arias, with accompanying vignettes imagined by famous film directors. Some of which are VERY striking. I'm not familiar with most opera plots, so may be missing the theme of a couple of them - and have NO idea what the Jean-Luc Godard scene has to do with the music, but the disk is a great start to an interest in opera on DVD.
     
  19. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    ...I suggest a visit to this site...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  20. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    I would love to know if someone has seen Wagner's ring cycle on DVD. Conducted by Pierre Boulez.
     

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