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Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [NTSC] [2010]

Misha Didyk , Emily Magee    Exempt   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Misha Didyk, Emily Magee, Lado Ataneli, Ludovic Tézier, Elena Zaremba
  • Format: CD, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 31 May 2011
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UU31Y8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,688 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Obsessive in gambling and in love, the soldier Hermann is the protagonist of Tchaikovskys Pique Dame, based on a story by Pushkin. He is smitten with the aristocratic Lisa and fixated on learning the winning secret of the three cards from her grandmother, the Countess, played by iconic contralto Ewa Podles. This opulent production from Barcelonas Liceu captures St Petersburg in the era of Catherine the Great, while the houses Music Director Michael Border conducts a large and impressive cast.

Product Description

Pique Dame (2 Dvd)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying production 24 Jun 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The two reviews before this contrast as much as night and day, with Mr.Aitken's 5 stars and Mr.Account's account reading just one star. I seem to agree more with Mr.Aitken who is absolutely on the dot insofar as the music and singing goes.

The Pique Dame that I was quite familiar with is the Kirov/Mariyinsky/Gergiev production with Grigorian (Hermann), Gulegina (Lisa) and Filatova (Countess). I can quite confidently state that this particular production is in every which way as good in most parts, lacks a bit here and there and better in others.

Herman's part is very very well sung and enacted by Misha Didyk. Yeletsky by Ludovic Tezier and Lado Ataneli as Tomsky do justice to their parts. The Liceu chorus sound great throughout.

However, Emily Magee is no comparison to Gulegina in the Kirov production (both are miscast insofar as their age and looks are concerned). Magee just does not come as through for her role, with her acting leaving much to be desired. The suicide scene here is a real damp squibb which by itself pulls down one star.

But Ewa Podles, is the best Countess I have ever seen and heard in the 4 productions of this Opera I have seen on DVD.

The dances of the second act are something to marvel at. No comparison with the Mariyinsky for pomp, splendour and sheer technique etc... but the sequence in this production is more earthy, more traditional in the sense that since the sequence within the opera is a throw back to the Roccocan period with music to match, the dances actually synchronize well the time frame, rather than in the Mariyisky production with a gold painted eros and dances with the 20th century sophistication that just did not exist in the time frame of the story/music and the dances.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Queen of Spades from Barcelona 3 Jun 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I have given a 5 star review to this blu ray although 4.5 was a possibility at some points, however the final scene edged it to the 5. First things first. This is a fairly traditional production which received its premiere at the Liceu in 2010. The production itself is colourful and effective although it does sometimes plod along to no great purpose. The stage is sometimes overpopulated and there can be a stand and deliver attitude which makes for some dull moments. An irritating black screen moves to and fro across the stage and this must have annoyed the audience no end! So, why the 5 stars? Well it is very very well sung and in Misha Didyk the young Ukrainian tenor, an ideal Hermann can be found. A wonderful virile voice accompanies a handsome stage presence and his thoughtful characterisation of the tormented Hermann is marvellouly well portrayed. The men dominate the vocal stakes here with a splendid Yeletsky from Ludovic Tezier, Lado Ataneli a fine Tomsky and the smaller roles strongly cast. The men of the Liceu chorus contribute much to the success of the final scene. The ladies are more problematic. Emily Magee sings well as Lisa but her scting is rudimentary and her suicide in the Neva goes for nothing. Ewa Podles, a huge favourite in Barcelona, essays the role of the elderly Countess, but the clarity of blu ray makes her make up and demeanor more grotesque than is comfortable on the eye. She does of course sing it all very well and this is not often the case in this opera. Elena Zaremba makes an effective Pauline and some of the lesser roles are very well cast; Stefania Toczyska is excellent in the small role of the Governess. The orchestra plays well under Michael Boder and I derived a great deal of pleasure from this performance.The final scene in the gambling house has got to succeed brilliantly if the opera is to work its magic and here it emphatically does, so much so that the little quirks that may irritate before fade into insignificance and the 5 stars remain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This production of Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame was recorded in 2010 and is a recording of a production also first seen in 2010. The production is essentially traditional in feel and is sumptuous in its use of period costume and scenery. The cast includes quite a number of Russians and this adds considerably to the authentic feel of the vocal textures. There are some impressively cavernous lower range male and female voices to be savoured in this production about which there will be more detail further on.

The crowd scenes, which feature considerable numbers of chorus members, are frequently delivered as tableaux with movement limited to the minimum. This is probably as much a practical consideration in terms of stage space as opposed to interpretation and it seems to me that this is perfectly justifiable in the circumstances. In effect these moments work rather like the chorus to be found in Greek tragedies. The chorus members have clearly been coached well in the Russian language and sing well so, even though they are generally not required to show great acting skills or interaction, the chorus work remains effective.

The ballet and ballroom scenes provide good and believable choreography which maintain the concept of opulence.

The unaccompanied Russian male voice choir setting of the assembled gamblers who sing immediately after Hermann's suicide is a remarkably powerful moment in this performance and requires a special mention as it utterly retains the tension of the moment so the opera ends with tension rather than as an anti-climax that can happen with a less successful handling of this conclusion.

There are some stand-out solo performances which must be mentioned.
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