2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
better watched with your eyes closed!,
This review is from: Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades: Bolshoi Opera [DVD]   [NTSC] (DVD)
The Queen of Spades is one of my favourite operas and Elena Obraztsova is one of my favourite singers (she famously appeared barefoot as Carmen in Bolshoi in 1973 and gave us a proper image of a feisty girl from a Seville tobacco factory). She sings the Countess, looks the part, and the bedroom scene is quite blood-chilling.
Unfortunately, Liza, Herman et al are pudgy and static in the old operatic way which has long gone out of fashion (this live performance was recorded in 1983). What's more, the production employs white wigs and cumbersome outfits, which are perfectly correct for the period, but oh so unattractive. Whether it is the fault of this heavy gear or of the heavy-handed direction, but to my eye the singers often appear like stilted marionettes, not to say stuffed bears.
Most of the singing is world-class and sublime; but, apart from a very few dynamic moments, I found this DVD is best enjoyed with a piece of needlework...
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