I'm not a great opera lover and if there's one thing I hate it's people miming to music. So, on the face of it, I should have been giving this production a big thumbs down. However, this is such an enchanting work that both these objections are swiftly overcome. The film is essentially a visualisation - almost balletic at times - of a studio recording of the opera (and a very good recording it is too). Apart from Thomas Hampson, who acts and sings (as The Dark Fiddler), there's a clear distinction between actors playing the roles on screen and the singers on the recording. It's been done before and it doesn't always come off, but here it works almost to perfection.
One major plus of "AVR&J" is that it isn't all singing. There are huge chunks of orchestral Delius at its best, including "Walk To The Paradise Garden" - real shiver down the spine stuff! This suits the film interpretation particularly well.
But if two hours of top quality entertainment was not sufficient, this DVD comes with the huge bonus of an hour long documentary on Delius. Lots of fascinating stuff on this, along with decent chunks of music (unlike so many contemporary music documentaries where you get miserly short snippets). Really good to hear from people like Sir Charles Mackerras, and particularly from Eric Fenby who, of course, had known Delius in his last years.
This DVD represents excellent value and is highly recommended.