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André Tchaikowsky: The Merchant of Venice [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free]

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Ainslie, Adrian Eröd, Richard Angas, Charles Workman, Erik Nielsen
  • Directors: Keith Warner, Felix Breisach
  • Writers: André Tchaikowsky, Jack O'Brien, William Shakespeare
  • Producers: Bergenzer Festspiele
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Polish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sept. 2014
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00LJHZ0TE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,640 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Composer Andre Tchaikowsky first made his mark in Great Britain as a concert pianist. Despite his immense success, Tchaikowsky's real passion was for composition. 'The Merchant of Venice', after William Shakespeare's play of that name, was to remain his only opera.

The score is intricate and dark, with moments of both brutality and lyricism, not to mention flashes of acerbic wit. It defies attribution to any one definite style of 20th-century compostion, intelligently drawing on Benjamin Britten, Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy.

The tried and trusted team behind Keith Warner and an elite cast make the posthumous premiere at this year's Bregenz Festival 'a restitution to remember' (London Telegraph).

Picture Format: 1080i Full HD 16:9
Sound Format: PCM Stereo DTS HD Master Audio 5.0
Region Code: 0
Duration: 205 minutes
Recorded: live from the Bregenz Festival 2013
Subtitles: Polish English German French
Booklet notes: English German

Review

The Merchant of Venice was the only opera by the Polish pianist-composer André Tchaikowsky, who died from cancer aged 46, in 1982. Intended for English National Opera, who rejected it, it only received its premiere at the 2013 Bregenz festival, where this DVD was made. Bergian in idiom, it's a fine if uneven piece. Tchaikowsky, who was gay and Jewish, is particularly good when it comes to depicting Shylock cracking under racist pressure, and Antonio's hopeless love for Bassanio. But he found the poetry and magic of Belmont elusive, and his elision of the three casket scenes into one leads to a dramatic wobble from which the opera takes time to recover. Keith Warner's production updates it to the turn of the 20th century, and places telling emphasis on Shylock (Adrian Eröd) and Antonio (Christopher Ainslie) as outsiders in a prejudiced society who are nevertheless catastrophically unable to understand one other. The singing is variable. Magdalena Anna Hofmann is a superb Portia; Jason Bridges exudes charm as Lorenzo; Eröd and Ainslie are heartbreaking and unforgettable. --Guardian, 11/12/14

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I bought this because it will be performed at the opera house next year and I knew absolutely nothing about it. On three viewings now I find the music well crafted to fit the drama of the piece and it is the complemented by the vocal score which is brilliantly sung. The acting skills are excellent and shown well by good camera work to bring out the tension in this moving work The scenes in the production are explained in a documentary but I found the maze scene when the suitors have to choose between three caskets and the large box of water Act 3 overdone. i am glad to have got to know this opera and look forward to seeing it next year performed for the first time in London.
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Tchaikowsky's only opera finally staged many years after his death. What a talent we lost. This is I think the only successful opera based on this one of Shakespeare most loved plays. A wonderful production well sung and played.
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Andre Tchaikovsky's only opera. Here it is given a first rate staging with very impressive singing from all the principals. A very intersting documentary is including which looks comprehensively at this first staging. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bad piece of drama 16 Feb. 2015
By Dr. J. J. Kregarman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found it difficult to watch his opera. The Merchant of Venice is Shakespeare's anti Jewish play. True, it was based on an historical incident, but in the original account it was the Christian who demanded the pound of flesh from the Jew! Yet it's fun to play villains and Shylock is a juicy role and some productions try to downplay the hatred in the play. Not this one which emphasizes the fiction that Jews have little better to do with their lives than revenge themselves on kind, giving Christians. I've read that Andre Tchaikowsky was Jewish, and this opera is quite worthy. I found the music, as much as I heard, OK, but could not get past the production.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Feb. 2015
By Linda Ade Brand - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
fascinating.
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