Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing and Harrowing Operatic Shakespeare, 1 May 2006
By 
Edward Flaspoehler (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
This video of Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas is simply brilliant.

Baritone Simon Keenlyside as Hamlet is astonishing. He is a great actor, especially for a singer, and he adapts his light baritone to the dramatic requirements of the opera with intelligence and total conviction. He has a beautiful instrument and uses it well, with lovely shading alongside outbursts of dramatic intensity.

This was the first time I have seen soprano Natalie Dessay in action, although I have heard her several times on disk. She walked through Ophelia's mad scene as if it were a vocal stroll in the park, with shattering results. It was the most harrowing operatic mad scene I have ever seen.

The opera itself, while certainly interesting, is not the best work out there. The libretto, adapted from Shakespeare by Barbier and Carre to the tastes of Paris Opera audiences in 1868, takes some liberties with the Shakespeare plot in the process of being pared down to a three hour, five act opera, but there is nothing significant enough to worry about. This is, after all, a French Grand Opera and not the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The performance was recorded live at the Gran Theatre del Liceu in Barcelona in October 2003. The resonant ambience of the theater is clearly recorded on this video and adds a sense of live performance to the stereo sound, although from time to time the mikeing on the singers could have been a bit more forward. The pre-performance views of the recently restored Liceu are beautiful, and the audience during the live taping was as enthralled with the proceedings as I was.

The production by Christian Fenouillat, which features curved walls that are starkly lit with strong blues, reds and yellows to express mood and which move around to redefine space, may not be the most visually attractive, but it shows up well on the TV screen as a backdrop to the close ups of the singers. This production has apparently made the rounds in Europe, including London and Dusseldorf, before coming to Barcelona, and is hereby recorded for posterity.

All in all, this recording is about as definitive a performance of Hamlet as there is likely to be on DVD. It is worth watching just for Keenlyside and Dessay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still stunning and Dessay at her best, 22 April 2009
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
At the time of this recording Dessay was nothing like as hyper active as she has since become and all the better for it. It is great for operetta but the relentless "I can sing in any position" becomes a trick after a few performances. I do love her but in roles such as Zerbinetta she is in danger of distracting rather than acting.
I saw this at Covent Garden and it is a very faithful record of some great singing from Keenlyside - beautiful French, wonderful acting and sensational vocal control.
To the reviewer who commented "no Ballet" There IS a ballet to this but this production cut it out! I believe Bonynge had it in for the Australian production some years ago?
Anyway above all I love the sound and the score - forget Hamlet in the theatre as the play we know and, perhaps, love and think of this as a work inspired by.
The words are newly elegant and the matching to the sound is wonderful. Very French in every way this is the reverse of perhaps a Verdi or Puccini take on Hamlet!
As a test watch Mr Keenlyside bring down the curtain after the Players scene!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wonder why?, 29 Sept. 2004
By 
Thomas C. O'Shea (Mackay, Qld., Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
A good many years ago I heard an excerpt from Hamlet, I don't even remember what it was. Now I have heard and seen the complete opera and wonder why it has taken so long. Perhaps because it doesn't follow Shakespeare too closely certainly not like Macbeth or Otello, however, it is still a magnificient opera. The score, as directed by de Billy, is truly excellent. The performance of Dessay as Ophelia, especially in the mad scene, is truly breathtaking. Keenlyside's Hamlet is captivating and extreemly effective. Uria-Monzon (Gertrude), Vernhes (Claudius) and Hollop (the Ghost) also deserve special applause. The remaining cast including the chorus all contribute to the effectiveness of the drama. And a real french opera without a ballet! How did Thomas get away with that?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine performance of a fine opera, 22 Nov. 2011
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
With the advent of visual recordings offering good sound and especially, subtitles I have extended my recording collection over the last few years into a large collection of opera - a medium that must be seen as well as heard!
As a result there have been some pleasant discoveries and this is one of the best. This operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet is a completely rewarding and convincing operatic experience. It is quite able to stand comparison with many of the more well-known operas and should be better known itself.
This recording may help as the musical values are high with excellent singing from an impressive cast. Very importantly, the acting is excellent too and, as mentioned by another reviewer, this precedes the somewhat hyper-active later attempts by Dessay who simply delivers a convincing rendition. Keenlyside is excellent as usual.
The recording offers good surround sound and the camera work is sympathetic to both the music and the singers.
Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet, but not Shakespeare's Hamlet, 4 April 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
Simon Keenlyside has carved out a creative niche for himself. The English baritone's viral and powerful portrayal of the "so-called" indecisive Dane is masterful, entertaining and great theatre - that his voice is superb and just right for the role as Thomas created it is a bonus. Simon is an actor who can sing and the same can be said for this co-star, Natalie Dessay whose Ophelia is convincing even with the coloratura bel canto fireworks. An opera lovers must see. WKC
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grandissima natalie, 7 Feb. 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
molto ben fatte le riprese, la dessay è eccezionale, lamusica è un pò datata, ma la scena della pazzia e morte di ofelia vale da sola l'acquisto. non ci si stanca di rivederla.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars opera as it is when it is best, 30 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
Wonderful opera. Well performed with excellent singers, who also can act. it will give you a splendid time during the performance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
wonderful singing shame it is modernised why o why do they do that.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
it is great!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] (DVD)
Really great
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC]
Thomas: Hamlet [DVD] [2007] [NTSC] by Toni Bargalló (DVD - 2004)
£17.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews