on 14 September 2011
I bought this DVD to add to my collection because of the bargain price and because it is always nice to see a production away from the mainstream of Operas that so often these days have lost all credibility due to over ego's of crazy directors who are only interested in their own wildly abstact ideas. Going back in time some twenty years you can usually get an accurate production of a work that has stood the test of time. By and large I was not too dissapointed with this Opera. Verdis early music so often criticised for being bawdy and hackwork has faded with time and , at least you can hear some lovely melodies that are recognisable. This opera is full of them both in arias and ensemble numbers that are so delightful. The story is a poor representation of the Joan of Arc story and completely untrue but serves as a good vehicle for the main characters who could really be called anything you like. Indeed, You could adopt the story to any thing you like. Just moving into the later abstract period of theatre design around the 90's this production is a bit of a mish mash. The use of what appeared to be old Michelin tyres as armour quite amused me along with the dunces caps! beautifully sung by all the leading characters and the chorus work as well but nevertheless extremely static. Characters walk on stage ,sing, and then walk off again in a very disjointed fashion. The only one with any acting ability was Bruson who seemed to struggle with his miserable, lifeless part to the point that he seemed to be overacting alongside the other dummies or is that just me being a bit too harshly negative. Even so I did enjoy it musically and as there is nothing else to compare it alongside it is a good addition to my collection.