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Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008]

Karita Mattila , Marcello Giordani , Gina Lapinski    Exempt   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 10.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008] + Puccini - La Boheme [The Metropolitan Opera HD Live 2008] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, Dwayne Croft, Dale Travis, James Levine
  • Directors: Gina Lapinski
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian, German, English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EMI Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sep 2008
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DHE9KQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,481 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Puccini's first successful opera, the tale of a beautiful young woman destroyed by her conflicting needs for love and luxury, returns to the MET under the baton of James Levine. Finnish soprano, Karita Mattila, gives a career high performance in the title role.

Product Description

DVD Metropolitan Opera/James Levine

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a letdown ! 31 Jan 2009
What on earth possessed the Met to engage Karita Mattila for the title role? As she candidly admits to Renee Fleming in the between acts interview, she is now 47 and she is just not convincing as a young and coquettish Manon. Her voice remains strong across a wide range but has a
maturity beyond the needs of this role. It would be more understandable if Mattila was reprising a role that made her famous but this is the first time she has sung Manon on stage ! The last act of Puccini's opera in the wilderness of Louisiana can be heart rending but I remained totally unmoved by Mattila'a "Sola,perduta,abbandonata". Marcello Giordani sings competently but is lacklustre as Des Grieux - but who can blame him ? Other parts are well sung, notably Dwayne Croft as Lescaut but his singing just reminds me of the same part he took in that wonderful Met recording with the wonderful Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti also conducted by James Levine.

Chris Burbidge
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Exception 24 Mar 2009
By Grade A
You can usually rely on the Met to produce solid operas with a few forays into the spectacular.

Manon Lescaut, however, is a disappointment - its flaws are too obvious. The casting of the two leads do not work. Manon Lescaut, herself, has a look and voice too mature for the role, and this impacts Des Grieux who seems disinterested. People fall in love quickly in operas, but from the moment Karita Mattila disembarks from the carriage, you know this is going to be a struggle to make this believable; and hence Act 1 is strangely disengaging, which in turn has an ill effect on the whole opera.

As neither Mattila nor Giordani are the top singers in their field and, this, combined with the ropey casting, means this version of Manon Lescaut is flat. This is a shame as, musically, this is one of Puccini's better scores and the Pit in this production perform a fabulous job.

Unfortunately this all adds up to a recommendation to seek Manon Lescaut out, but not this version. If you would like an introduction to the Met Operas on DVD, I would recommend their version of La Boheme (available on this site)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing......... 17 Sep 2012
I was very disappointed with this - I had borrowed a mates copy of the version with Cura and Guleghina (TDK) and after reading the amazon reviews on it, totally agreed with what was being said. So, as my two other DVDs were quite old recordings (the Met 1980 and ROH 1983) and the Cura version wasn't very satifying, I decided to invest in this new Met recording. Unfortunately, although all three of these productions are good, the two recordings from the 1980s leave this one in the third division and struggling to avoid relegation.
With the current dearth of excellent tenors available, what on earth possessed the Met to employ Marcelo Giordani as Des Grieux? He is wooden, removed from the action, possesses limited acting skills and sings only competently (in fact, on a couple of occasions, he made me cringe). My wife often says of such performances, ' was nice of him to turn up'. I feel that it would have been nicer if he had stayed at home!
I have always admired Karita Mattila and was one of the few to defend her against the critisism of her Tosca at the Met. Here, though, she is totaly out of depth and I really wish she hadn't done this. She doesn't look right, her acting is right either and her voice does not suit this role. It is nothing to do with her age, as one reviewer suggested - Scotto was older when she sang it here in 1980 and so was Freni when she recorded it with Pavarotti in the 1990s - she is just wrong for the role. Perfect examples can be found in Act II - compare her 'In quelle trine morbide..' with Freni and Scotto and I think you will see what I mean.
I also agree with the reviwer who commented that hearing Dwane Croft only served to remind us of what we were missing from the wonderful studio recording with Freni and Pavarotti.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good choice 17 Oct 2013
By Juan
Verified Purchase
Puccini's Manon is one of my favorites works by the composer from Lucca, full of beautiful melodies and themes during the whole score. Karita Mattila has a very special voice that transmit many feelings, and her own voice color tends to sadness, which is particularly special during acts 3 & 4. Marcelo Giordani is a good tenor but not so as an actor. In this case Domingo's Des Grieux with Renata Scotto is more passionate. Dwayne Croft has never been one of my favorites baritones. That russian accent makes me feel sick. I prefer Thomas Allen (with Kiri) and Pablo Elvira (Renata). Maestro James Levine know perfectly this music and the best of all, know perfectly the human voice, so he can managed the Met forces the way he wants. The production is the same one with Scotto and Domingo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting casting 22 Jan 2013
The musical standards are as high as one could expect from The Met I did think however that the desert scene ending was a little drawn out.
The sets were very effective, from the bustling Inn courtyard to the exotically furnished rooms of Geronde, and the atmospheric dock of act 3. The desert scene seemed to be beyond the designers however and was pretty ordinary.
The chorus who have quite a number of moments were much to my liking.
The best character performances were from Croft as Lescaut, and Travis as Geronde, and their voices were very good too. The small parts were all up to standard, both in presentation and in singing.
I have saved our two main protagonists till last. Nothing wrong with their voices apart from being rather more mature than I would really like, but Mattila and Giordani were really tackling the impossible. Mattila in her attempts to be girly failed miserably, 17 going on 40 was too much to ask of her, and the same applies to Giordani, thats what I call a really mature student, my other version is Domingo and Scotto, and it suffers from some of the same problems, and I think despite my critisism I do marginally prefer this one. Much as I like Puccini, I still prefer Massanets take on the story. I have four versions of that !
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