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The People'S Passion [DVD] [2000]

 Exempt   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German, Spanish, English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: 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: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 1 April 2000
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004SX68
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,058 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

The People's Passion is a BBC/NVC Arts co-production, originally shown on BBC in short instalments, but presented here as a single 50-minute programme. This is a musical version of the story of Holy Week, the narrator sung by the leading American opera star Jessye Norman, commenting on the action played-out by a very familiar British television cast. The use of modern dress and readily identifiable faces such as Robert Hardy (Pilate), Patricia Hodge (Procula), Ron Moody (The Donkey Minder) and Kevin Whatley (Judas) is an excellent device to stress the contemporary relevance of the story. Though if this is the aim, it is a brave move to refuse to "dumb down" musically, Donald Fraser's score being more in the English classical tradition of Vaughan-Williams' Pilgrim's Progress, than a populist Jesus Christ, Superstar musical. Rather old-fashioned, too, is the portrayal of Jesus, who does not speak but is danced in Spirit by Jonathan Cope, and given voice by the boys of St Paul's Cathedral Choir. With Thomas Allen also appearing as The Centurion--in rather more dignified style than John Wayne in The Greatest Story Ever Told--this is a direct, uncluttered and highly effective version of The Passion.

On the DVD: The picture is presented at approximately 1.7:1 ratio, but lacking anamorphic enhancement for widescreen televisions. The sound, disappointingly for a 1999 production, is PCM stereo. The booklet offers biographies of only Jessye Norman and Jonathan Cope, but does not include the libretto, which can be printed out via a DVD-ROM. The programme can be viewed with or without English subtitles. --Gary S. Dalkin

Product Description

Artist: Jessye Norman
Manufacturer: CLASSICAL

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting concept, presenting the Easter story as a television musical, although it is really much closer to a dramatised oratorio than to a musical. There are elements of musical here, Ron Moody is excellent and presents a humorous sequence as the Donkey Minder, but most of the music is much more like oratorio. The very best parts are the sequences that involve the two great opera stars, Jessye Norman as the Narrator and Thomas Allen as The Centurion. They are both excellent actors as well as outstanding singers. Jessye Norman is at her best when she takes on the person of Mary in the Lachrimae Maria section where both music and drama come together highly successfully to portray the mother's sorrow when she receives the body of her dead son. Elsewhere as always, Jessye Norman has both the magisterial presence and beautifully expressive face to deliver the great words at key points in the drama, ranging from the Sermon on the Mount, through the Lord's Prayer to the opening of John's gospel 'In the beginning was the Word'. Thomas Allen is also outstanding as the Centurion coupling his great baritone voice to a truly convincing and dramatic portrayal of the leader of the crucifixion squad. Jonathan Cope portrays the Spirit of Jesus in dance and is very successful in doing this. He also makes a very convincing body in the scenes with Mary and at the tomb.

The performance is less successful when it comes to the use of some well known actors to portray characters who also have significant singing roles. The most successful of these is Kevin Whately, who makes a dramatically credible and interesting Judas. He has a good attempt at the singing and pulls it off reasonably well, although singing is clearly not his strength.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful original production 11 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is an unusual production with much vibrancy and a delicious delivery from Jessye. I would highly reccomend it to anyone who loves any form of musical, classical music or indeed the great diva herself.
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