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9 Reviews
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic
The ingredients for this production - Gardiner at the helm, the marvellous Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, the equally wonderful Monteverdi Choir, and the simply breathtaking Magdalena Kozena - give you a fair impression of the quality and sheer artistic beauty of this recording. In this case, though, and at the risk of probably deserved hyperbole, the recording...
Published on 21 July 2005 by Chris Marshall

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars an unpleasant experience.
The music is a joy, but this production seemed to be filmed in the dark, I could make out very little, and the audience coughed loudly all through. I had to give up half way through the second act. I could not recommend this DVD to anyone who fancies a night at the opera. A great disappointment.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs S Curry


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic, 21 July 2005
The ingredients for this production - Gardiner at the helm, the marvellous Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, the equally wonderful Monteverdi Choir, and the simply breathtaking Magdalena Kozena - give you a fair impression of the quality and sheer artistic beauty of this recording. In this case, though, and at the risk of probably deserved hyperbole, the recording is even more than the sum of its parts; it certainly transcended my lofty expectations.
Completely spellbinding from start to finish, Gluck's masterpiece tells the story of the mortal who entered Hell in order to recover his lost lover. This production is of Hector Berlioz's revision of the breakthrough opera seria, reconciling the original piece with the expanded French version that Gluck created in 1774 with the librettist Pierre-Louis Moline. Dramatic and rather sombre throughout, the sell-out ending will irritate, but hardly blemish the unmitigated beauty of the piece.
The only slight reservation I have about recommending this recording is the bout of influenza that must have been going around Paris at the time of the live performance; the audience seems to cough their way through most of the overture, and quite a lot of the opening scene, a distraction the listener could really do without.
This notwithstanding, I unreservedly suggest purchasing this DVD. I bought it a month or so ago and with the number of times I've listened to it I must have got my money's worth at least twice over.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orphee: North/Gardiner -good production!, 4 July 2009
By 
J. Mcdonald "Yelochre" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orphée et Eurydice, opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2000) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC] (DVD)
Those of you who had been considering the (now unavailable) Arthaus DVD of this opera should consider this; it is the same production and presumably, the same film but at a more affordable price.
The direction by Robert North should alert you to the style of the interpretation; lots of walking sideways, backward, strange poses and gestures - that aside, this is a wonderful presentation, the minimalist set design and subdued colouring and lighting effects very much in keeping with the spirit of Gluck`s own (for his time) radical aesthetic. The result is a timeless and quite beautiful vision of the piece. This was, apparently a troubled production, but you would never know it; the three singers are marvellous in their roles and Kozena in particular is mesmerising.
The DVD presents a 16.9 widescreen version of the film (not fullscreen as listed) the necessary subtitles and the only extra is a 25min trailer reel.
A very good buy and worth shopping round for.
Addendum.
I offer this review in good faith, as I enjoyed this production regardless of omissions/performance issues (this is based upon the Berlioz revision, apparently). North and Kozena may divide opinion and this is a modern realisation - I liked it, you might too! If you have doubts look elsewhere, but I stand by my rating; if you`re tempted, it can be found at a reasonable price if you look around. Also, check out the reviews of the Arthaus DVD; search DVD: Magdalena Kozena.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumph in Artistry. Ravishingly beautiful., 12 July 2005
By 
F. N. Riordan "Ferdia Riordan" (Cootehall, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Both visually and aurally, this surely must be one of the pinnacles in artistic achievements.
Ravishingly beautiful melodies.Surreal set and lighting.
All three protagonists,Magdalena Kozena as Orpheus, Madeline Bender as Urydice and Patricia Petibon as Cupid are perfectly cast.
Kozena's rich coloratura voice is very beautiful indeed. Bender is equally so and Pitibon's interpretation of Cupid is light and fairly-like.
The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique are, as we have to to expect under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, as near to perfect as is humanly possible.
Stage direction (Robert Wilson) and TV direction(Brian Large) quite outstanding.
A masterpiece - don't hesitate.
Ferdia Riordan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars an unpleasant experience., 18 April 2013
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This review is from: Orphée et Eurydice, opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2000) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC] (DVD)
The music is a joy, but this production seemed to be filmed in the dark, I could make out very little, and the audience coughed loudly all through. I had to give up half way through the second act. I could not recommend this DVD to anyone who fancies a night at the opera. A great disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Body Expressionism!, 6 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Orphée et Eurydice, opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2000) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC] (DVD)
A modern expressionistic version of this classic opera.

Picture quality 5
Sound quality 3 - audience coughing and some tremble on the highest notes.
Sets 5 - minimal sets against different coloured backgrounds. Think of Rothko paintings. Very effective in this production.
Music making (orchestra) 5
Direction (camera work) 5
Storytelling 5
Singing/acting 5/5 - Orfeo 5/5, Amor 5/5, Euridice 5/4, chorus 5/5. Acting is in the form of slow body movements with no facial expression.
Costumes 5 - 'designer' ancient Greek type clothing.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars glucked out of hell, 12 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Orphée et Eurydice, opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2000) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC] (DVD)
The dvd arrived very promptly, and was in mint condition, and the service was absolutely stunning in its speed and efficiency and quality. The dvd itself was, musically, just stunning, and was a welcome replacement for my scratched cd. So musically, Orpheus's descent to hell was, for me, an ascent to seventh heaven. Visually I found this particular production perplexing. I had no difficulty at all with the singers being static. In fact, it helped me to concentrate on the music. But why the singers had to stand with arms outstretched, like a cross between frozen semaphore and ladies drying their nail varnish, was a real puzzle. Despite that, I absolutely loved the excellence of the singing. And as it was all about the singing I am, therefore very happy. But please, - no more drying of nail varnish!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great aesthetic experience, 19 April 2003
This must be one of the greatest aesthetic achievements, both visually and musically, that I have had the pleasure to experience! For those who love opera this is a must have. Even for those that are reluctant in accepting a 'modern' stage production, you will have to agree with me when you see it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous performance, 28 Aug 2011
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Mrs. E. Watts (Barnsley England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orphée et Eurydice, opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2000) [DVD] [2009] [NTSC] (DVD)
I'm one of those people who greatly dislike non-traditional productions. But here I'm going to give one 5 stars, a thing I never would have believed I'd do before seeing this performance.

Why? First of all the quality of the singing and conducting is superb. Second, although the production is minimalist, and the actions of the characters very stylised, this tends to suit Gluck's elegant, formal music much better than it would suit, say, Mozart.

In case you were wondering, since no other reviewer has mentioned it, the Act II aria in the Elysian fields is sung by Euridyce rather than A Happy Spirit (this is apparently acceptable performance practice, although it doesn't make much dramatic sense; the singer of the aria is happy in her existance in the afterlife, whilst Euridyce, a few minutes later, clearly wants to get out of there and back to life!)

I recommend this production very highly.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is out of this world, 6 Jan 2004
Everything about this DVD is perfect. Just buy it.
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