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  • Handel: Rinaldo (Glyndebourne 2011) (Sonia Prina/ Varduhi Abrahamyan/ Tim Mead/ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Robert Carsen/ Ottavio Dantone) (Opus Arte: OA1081D) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]
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Handel: Rinaldo (Glyndebourne 2011) (Sonia Prina/ Varduhi Abrahamyan/ Tim Mead/ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Robert Carsen/ Ottavio Dantone) (Opus Arte: OA1081D) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]


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Handel: Rinaldo (Glyndebourne 2011) (Sonia Prina/ Varduhi Abrahamyan/ Tim Mead/ Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Robert Carsen/ Ottavio Dantone) (Opus Arte: OA1081D) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] + Handel: Giulio Cesare [DVD] [2012]
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Product details

  • Actors: Sonia Prina, Varduhi Abrahamyan, Tim Mead, Anett Fritsch, Brenda Rae
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 30 July 2012
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008EKMGPA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,985 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Skin-tight rubber and lacrosse sticks bring contemporary chic to this timeless fantasy of warriors and witches in Robert Carsen's fun-filled transformation of Handel's first London triumph. Conducting from the keyboard just as Handel himself did, Ottavio Dantone leads a youthful cast of today's luminaries in the dramatic art of Baroque opera, the 'affecting' Sonia Prina, the 'unadorned intensity' of Anett Fritsch and 'fire-breathing flair' (The Observer) of Brenda Rae.

Review

A splendid cast and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted with a firm hand by Ottavio Dantone, kept ones spirits up. Sonia Prinas mezzo-soprano excelled. --The Telegraph

Great music, great orchestral playing, magnificent singing. --Daily Express

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Latedeveloper on 21 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Very happy to see that this production is being released (hopefully on DVD as well as Blu Ray). I was surprised at the review above. I saw this production on television and thought it was very good - it pleased the eye. But, it was the singing that made me give it a 5 star review. Sonia Prina was beyond excellent - I couldn't wait to hear her next song/recitative. She stood out for me, but the other voices were good too. If you can't get to Glyndebourne (and many of us can't), this is a good substitute. It will go on my Christmas list!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Aug. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
It's always good to have a fresh outlook placed on the subjects of Handel's Baroque operas - or at least I think so anyway. Whether it's traditional (although I've never seen a Handel opera done "authentically" period), whether it's in a modern setting, or according to a more abstract conception, it helps if there is a strong vision that is able to reconsider what the essential themes of the work are and how they can be best presented to a modern audience. The purpose of any production, modern dress or otherwise, must surely be to reflect on what the work is actually about, not recreate a historical performance, and if it can break through the rigid formalism of opera seria and actually make it entertaining at the same time, well then so much the better.

Recognising that Handel's first London opera from 1711 is not the most consistent work, the majority of it cobbled together like a remix of Handel's earlier greatest hits, it certainly does no harm to try and make it look as fresh and meaningful as Handel somehow manages to make it all sound. Robert Carsen makes his intentions clear from the outset, asking the question "Were the Crusades political or inspired by an act of personal vengeance?" This message is written in chalk across a blackboard and it's an English boys' boarding school that acts as the backdrop or framing device to delve into the personal sentiments expressed so beautifully if somewhat generically in what is after all a patched together piece. In response to this history lesson question, a young boy, bullied and teased by his classmates, his life made a misery by his authoritarian teachers, imagines himself the great warrior Rinaldo and sees the mighty forces of Goffredo coming out from behind the blackboard to slay his tormentors.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Leonardo on 14 Aug. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
I like to visit Glyndebourne most summers and last year I was all set to buy tickets for this production. On reading that it was to be directed by Robert Carsen I decided to save my money. I also avoided the touring production so it was not until it was broadcast on BBC4 recently that I caught up with it.

Rinaldo is a comedy about Christians and Saracens during the first crusade. Most directors seem to be averse to taking it at its face value though. Carsen has the wet idea of staging the piece as the dream of a bullied and abused schoolboy. The crusaders are schoolboys with breastplates worn over their school uniforms. The headmaster becomes the Saracen king and his schoolmistress becomes the sorceress Armida, played by Brenda Rae as a sort of Miss Whiplash in a rubber dress. Her furies are St Trinian's schoolgirls. Rinaldo meets his beloved Almirena in the bicycle shed. She is kidnapped by Armida and imprisoned in the school gym. And so it goes on with a mind-numbing paucity of invention.

It was clear from the interval interviews that Sonia Prina, who plays Rinaldo was unhappy with the entire concept and that she and Carsen were at loggerheads over it. She is a petite mezzo and her inclination is to play a trouser role heroically then along comes Carsen who dresses her as a little boy so that she loses all credibility. The role of Rinaldo has some beautiful and demanding music but, sadly, I felt that Prina could not make much of it. Part of the problem is that we hear also with our eyes. If she is standing in the bicycle shed behind a wire mesh singing "Cara sposa, amante cara" it just has no credibility.

This is not the world-class cast that we expect at Glyndebourne. Varduhi Abrahamyan makes little impression as Goffredo.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andy Pilborough-Skinner on 17 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I am open to interpretations of operas and shifting the action to different eras. I particularly enjoyed the Glyndebourne production of Julius Caeser and was hoping for something similar. This production however was distracting and added nothing to my understanding of the piece. S & M schoolmistress in vinyl, St Trinians schoolgirls et all added nothing and seemed to be there just because the producer felt like throwing everything he could think of for cheap effect. Some great singing of some beautiful music but overall a disappointing purchase.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dr. S. J. Wyatt on 20 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray
After Glyndebourne's imaginative and illuminating productions of Handel's Theodora, Rodelinda and Giulio Cesare, this Rinaldo is a real disappointment. The singers, orchestra and conducting are up to the usual high standard but Robert Carsen's production is not. His "concept" is that the opera is a fantasy in which a public schoolboy takes revenge on his cane-wielding teachers and bullying schoolmates. Cue St Trinians schoolgirls and "teachers" in bondage gear. There's obviously a problem in finding a visual equivalent for the heroic world of the opera but Carsen's interpretation is both distracting and belittling. The production divided audiences but I'm with the Independent music critic who said it would be better enjoyed in the Proms concert performance without decor or costume. This DVD is therefrore a very mixed blessing.

(Revised version of earlier review)
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