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Britten: The Rape Of Lucretia [Sarah Connolly, Christopher Maltman, Catherine Wyn-Rogers] [Opus Arte: OABD7135D] [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Sarah Connolly, Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley, Orla Boylan, Paul Daniel
  • Directors: David McVicar
  • Writers: Benjamin Britten
  • Producers: English National Opera
  • Format: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Nov. 2013
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,929 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Sarah Connolly's 'outstanding' (The Guardian) portrayal of the wronged Roman noblewoman, written originally for Kathleen Ferrier, lies at the heart of David McVicar's powerfully stark production for English National Opera as 'an everyday sort of woman who  could be living at any time or place.' Her nemesis is the arrogant Tarquinius of Christopher Maltman, 'who  made the air tingle with danger' (Financial Times).

Press Reviews

" ... the cast is so superb and Paul Daniel's conducting so sure-footed. Every element in Britten's score needs to glow with beauty. The 13 ENO instrumentalists deliver gloriously.

Christopher Maltman's ferocious, magnetic Tarquinius distils all the charisma and youthful sexuality that the music describes. Sarah Connolly's Lucretia is powerful and robust yet strangely sexless, almost boyish.

The opera is a feast of musical moments. The simplicity and directness of McVicar's staging ensures that every detail in text and vocal lines gets attention, and McVicar uses the Coliseum's wide stage space brilliantly." (The Evening Standard)
"Christopher Maltman, a memorable Billy Budd for the Welsh National Opera, had ideal cat-like virility in voice and physique as Tarquinius, with Sarah Connolly an impassioned, robust Lucretia. Paul Daniel, conducting, and the excellent 13-strong chamber ensemble savoured every nuance and texture of the score, from sour, nervy harp refrain to plangent cor anglais and alto flute lament." (The Observer)
"... excellent at every level and provides a forceful reminder that, despite the schoolgirl gush in Ronald Duncan's overly "poetic" libretto, the piece stands as one of Britten's most musically cogent and dramatically subtle achievements.

Sarah Connolly's Lucretia, sung with great intelligence and beauty of line ... Christopher Maltman's crisply focused baritone and taut physique radiate all the mindless macho potency that fuels Tarquinius.

Paul Daniel's impassioned conducting was alive to all the nervy intensity of the amazing score. Did Britten ever again use the orchestra with such inventiveness?" (The Daily Telegraph)
Sarah Connolly (Lucretia)
Christopher Maltman (Tarquinius)
Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Bianca)
Mary Nelson (Lucia)
Leigh Melrose (Junius)
Clive Bayley (Collatinus)
Orla Boylan (Female Chorus)
John Mark Ainsley (Male Chorus)
Orchestra of English National Opera; Paul Daniel

Stage Director: David McVicar
Catalogue Number: OABD7135D
Date of Performance: 2001
Running Time: 120 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, JP, KR
Label: Opus Arte


The main cast delivers a superlative response from start to finish. Performance **** Picture& Sound **** --BBC Music Magazine,Jan'14

Connolly's performance sets a standard that's perhaps as important to The Rape of Lucretia as Jon Vickers was to Peter Grimes. Daniel makes every note count in this ultra-spare score. --Gramophone, Feb'14

The Rape of Lucretia is a masterly yet problematic work. This is a thought-provoking and ultimately satisfying attempt at a solution. It is also superbly well sung, played and acted. --IRR, Feb'14

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Though it's come late in the year of the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten, has done much to consolidate and even raise his reputation as Britain's greatest composer and highlight some unjustly neglected works. It must be hoped that this belated release of David McVicar's 2001 production of the Rape of Lucretia for the English National Opera, recorded by the BBC at the Aldeburgh Festival, will bring this work - more deserving perhaps than Gloriana - to the attention of a wider audience.

Following Peter Grimes, The Rape of Lucretia marks something of a rethinking of approach to opera that would have a significant impact on the style of much of the composer's later dramatic works. The subject of The Rape of Lucretia then is a sparse but powerful one which, when combined with Britten's musical scoring of it, is almost harrowing in its intensity. It's not difficult to see here themes that preoccupy Britten throughout his musical career and even in his personal life relating to the corruption of innocence. Lucretia, for Britten however is about much more than just the defilement of a woman's saintly virtue, but touches on the nature of society and the values that it assigns to men and women. In particular the work questions the nature of violence, in war and as a characteristic of men, and challenges whether pacifism isn't truer to the better nature of mankind.

It's Britten's musical arrangements however that are most innovative, distinctive, modern and relevant. The reduced orchestration highlights the expression of individual instruments and heightens the dramatic tone and tension of the subject.
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Britten was born 22nd November 1913,Lowestoft,Suffolk,England. Died 4th December,1976,Aldeburgh,where his festival is held.Because he was a homosexual and a pacifist,he felt isolated,oppressed and alienated.These feelings he acted out in his operas such as Peter Grimes. If you wish to understand Britten,understand his operas.However,the composer always thought in his younger years,that Britain should have a culture of opera written in the English language.In one of these opera's, The rape of Lucretia, Britten brings out his lyrical side; his love of Mozart,Schubert and Purcell,mixed with atonal music,inspired by Berg,Webern and Shostakovich.If you wish to hear more of Britten, read my review on the box set,Britten the complete works box set,where I have reviewed most of the works.This will help you, if you wish to buy one of the individual sets of the big box set.Also, Britten-the performer.

The premiere was held at Glyndebourne,Sussex,England,on the 12th July 1946.Out of this opera came the English Opera group,for which Britten became its resident composer.The Premiere was conducted by Ernest Ansermet,with Lucretia,the part especially written for Kathleen Ferrier-a contralto.(Decca the World of Ferrier Vol 1 & 2).Joan Cross and Peter Pears as the chorus,Otakar Krauss as Tarquinius and Brannigan as Collatinus.The opera has eight vocal soloists and 13 instrumentalists.

Synopsis:"Rome,510.With a male(ten) and female(sop).Chorus commenting and eventually drawing a Christian moral,the opera relates the story of the period,destructive Tarquinius(bar). He rides from the camp where news has arrived of the Roman wives infidelity to make an attempt on the virtue of the sole exception,Lucretia(Mezzo),wife of Collatinus (bass). Claiming hospitality,he later enters her room and rapes her.
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By Pdon on 22 April 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
a first rate production of Britten's neglected opera. Only in this country would such works by such a composer be so neglected. Shame on you Covent Garden . However here is a gem and especially Sarah Connolly as Lucretia.
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