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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes - But..., 5 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Aida: Metropolitan Opera (Gatti) [Blu-ray] [2011] (Blu-ray)
This is a great production with a vocally splendid cast. However for me it it was almost ruined by the Met's constant drive to make opera "accessible" - whatever that means. At least the cast interviews are now placed as extras on the DVD. However why do they feel it is necessary to show highlights from virtually every scene and set as part of the menu to the DVD thus destroying any sense of wonder at the staging as the production progresses? Why do they begin the production back stage so you see the set 'nuts and bolts' before the curtain rises? Why - in an opera as spectacular as Aida do they seldom allow you to see the full stage effect but rather concentrate on silly little details like the tops of flag poles or minor set decorations? In the opera's most spectacular moments why do they insist on giving high angle shots which spoil the "reveal" so that you are not given the privileged moment of magic the audience experiences? Why do they insist on so many edits when all that most of us want is to see, and concentrate on, the singers performing? And last but far from least - why oh why do they focus-in so closely on the faces of the performers - in HD showing every wrinkle, blemish, and ounce of make-up and wig line??? That is NOT what theatre is about. It's about illusion. And when you have (sorry about this) "mature" singers of limited physical attraction, as you have in this production - it does no one any favours to be literally looking up their noses!! Come on Met, find someone like Brian Large the British tv director of some of the best versions of televised opera, and relegate whoever is advising you on the recording of your productions, to a dark back room. The tragedy is that the Met's Blu Rays are reasonably priced and normally have wonderful productions and casts. However the crass recording of many of them really does let them down so much!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Apr 2012 09:40:33 BDT
T. Wei says:
I agree with most of what you say but these annoyances aren't confined to the Met productions. Take the Vienna New Year's Concert which Brian Large has produced on some occasions you also see frequent edits, ceiling shots and close-up face shots of members of the orchestra. It's even worse if you watch the US delayed broadcast of the concert because the US producers edit it, change the waltz titles from German to English, add a host to talk about Viennese places and history in between every waltz and poka. I suppose with Aida at least we should be grateful no host takes you to Egyptian places in between arias! Note I'm not the one who gave you a negative vote.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012 15:41:30 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
Thank's for your comment. I did however see Brian Large's "Eugene Onegin" blu ray from the Met a couple of night's ago and wow - was that done well. But of course that was produced a few year's ago and he may have gone the way of the world by now too. I work in theatre and keep asking actors to trust the words. I really think TV producers should do the same when it comes to opera. I wish they would trust the production, and not try to produce it themselves by give it more brio or whatever through camera angles - and in the case of the Met productions not doing some strange Brechtian deconstruction of the production. It really does drive me mad.
Onwards and upwards though....as at least the Met blu rays are competitively priced....
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