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  • Iolanta/ Persephone (Ekaterina Scherbachenko/ Alexej Markov/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Teodor Currentzis/ Peter Sellars) (Teatro Real: TR97011DVD) [NTSC] [2012]
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Iolanta/ Persephone (Ekaterina Scherbachenko/ Alexej Markov/ Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Teodor Currentzis/ Peter Sellars) (Teatro Real: TR97011DVD) [NTSC] [2012]

8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ekaterina Scherbachenko, Alexej Markov, Pavel Cernoch, Dmitry Ulianov, Willard White
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Teatro Real
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008H2III4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,911 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Iolanta is a one act lyric opera, sung in Russian, by Tchaikovsky. Performed in the style of a nineteenth-century Italian melodrama, the scenes have a recitative introduction followed by a single arioso, aria, duet or chorus.

Persephone is a three act melodrama, sung in French, by Stravinsky. It is a story of regeneration, symbolised in Sellars use of dancers from the Cambodian dance company, Amrita Performing Arts.

Peter Sellars, one of the most innovative creators on today's stage, has linked these two productions by using the same stage setting, instantly archaic yet modern, and lit by rich colours to define the journey from darkness to light.

Review

The orchestra, under the expert direction of Teodor Currentzis, performed exquisitely. It surged through the mellifluous, Mozart-inflected string deluges of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, then picked along Stravinsky's cubist angularities, where flashes of stridency were momentarily backlit by lyricism.

--Wall Street Journal

'With Gerard Mortier at the helm, the Teatro Real de Madrid is going from strength to strength...Teodor Currentzis conducts both pieces impeccably: don't miss.' --Gramophone, January 2013

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Chandler on 7 Dec. 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have loved Yolanta on CD for decades and was delighted to read about this new production on Blu. I have the old Philips recording under Gergiev which is marvellous and comes with an excellent booklet. This new production is well sung and played but I could not warm to the wierd production. A 15th century French King in a business suit for Heaven's sake! I felt this was an unnecessary decision that did not help the opera at all. The booklet tells quite a lot about the background but NOTHING about the story! If you have the Gergiev booklet get it out and read it. The highlight of this opera to me is the twin bass arias by the King and the Moorish doctor Ibn Hakia, brilliantly sung here by Willard White. They are again beautiful to listen to but the production makes little effort to open up the story, quite the reverse, The same staging is used for Perséphone which again came with no explanation. This is an even more difficult opera to follow and although Stravinsky's music is light on the ear it has none of the power and compelling nature of his early masterpieces such as the Rite of Spring. It grows on one with repeat hearings and the Cambodian dancers do a good job but quite why they are there is not fully explained. This is an interesting disc and almost worth it for the two bass arias but with just a little more thought and care it could have been so much better produced.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linze on 5 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
If you want to see how potent minimalistic staging, costumes and acting can be in opera then Peter Sellars' twin productions of Iolanta and Perséphone, commissioned by Teatro Real's Artistic Director, Gerard Mortier, are the epitome of this style. From the moment the spotlight focuses on Ekaterina Scherbachenko and her attendants, and the first words of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta are sung, this production is captivating. The singing is superb throughout, as it has to be as there is nothing else happening on stage to hide any imperfection behind. Set on an otherwise empty stage the simple 'door' frames, with their improbably balanced obsidian stones, are used to indicate different rooms and structures within the imagined spaces of the story. This works exceptionally well with the lighting effects used giving both depth and definition to the artists movements on stage.

Sellars uses the same set for Stravinsky's Perséphone to great effect with changing backdrops and lighting giving the simple frame structures a completely different feel. Whilst I felt Stravinsky's piece was less compelling musically, it was beautifully performed and had the additional interest of the Cambodian dancers from Amrita Performing Arts who shadowed the story in their unique form of ballet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bleasby on 10 April 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Vocally fine, production varaible and a bit too 'clever'. The opera Iolanta is terrific and it's good to see it getting a bigger showing
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The opera itself and the soloists were all first class, in fact world class. This is a most unusual opera but very moving. However, as is often the case, the set and production left a lot to be desired. All those door frames and odd shapes on top. Also they used the same set to go straight into Persephone, also on the DVD, which made even less sense.
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