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Carmen: Royal Opera House (Pappano) [Blu-ray] [2008]

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: £15.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Carmen: Royal Opera House (Pappano) [Blu-ray] [2008]
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Total price: £43.23
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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Caterina Antonacci, Jonas Kaufmann, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Norah Amsellem, Antonio Pappano
  • Directors: Francesca Zambello, Jonathan Haswell
  • Writers: Georges Bizet, Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
  • Producers: Oliver Macfarlane
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Colour, DTS Surround Sound, Anamorphic
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Decca
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Nov. 2008
  • Run Time: 152 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CZVVXW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,805 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Jonas Kaufmann and Anna Caterina Antonacci bring rare erotic intensity to the drama of Don Jos and Carmen in this darkly passionate reading of one of the most popular operas. With an image up to six times sharper than conventional DVD and superior high definition sound, Blu-Ray lets you watch opera and ballet performances from the front row of the theatre. Experience every detail, no matter how small, in the highest quality possible. With five times the memory of standard DVDs, Blu-Ray is a completely new way to experience the theatre at home.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This Royal Opera production, in superb Blu-ray or DVD formats, features a darkly aggressive Carmen with mutual hatred and a desire to destroy brought out strongly. This approach is made far more effective by use of the spoken script as Bizet intended rather than the recitatives that replaced the script later and are still often used.

The opening scene rightly emphasises Don Jose's murderous past more strongly than usual prior to joining the army as his escape from the law with an opening stage sequel showing Don Jose being taken off to be executed. Early in the opera Don Jose informs his commanding officer of his violent past which led to his joining the army. This essential violence in Don Jose's character is matched by that of Carmen but not understood by her for its likely conclusion. Kaufmann's Don Jose is not a weak man but rather a dangerously unstable man.

Antonacci, in this production, portrays Carmen as an essentially dominant woman intent on controlling men through sexual availability in order to achieve conquest over them. This is not the same as being interested in having a serial sexual interest in men. There is no indication in this production that this Carmen actually enjoys either men or sexual relationships. This is simply a story about power and control with a strong undercurrent of latent violence which leads to its inevitable conclusion.

Both Kaufmann and Antonacci sing and act their respective parts well and convincingly. Kaufmann is especially impressive in this dark portrayal and one which his voice suits perfectly. His portrayal is of such an outstanding nature that Don Jose's character and decline has an equal dramatic weight to match those features of Carmen.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a difficult production to criticise as there is a lot of passion and fine acting and singing from Anna Antonacci as Carmen and Jonas Kaufmann as Don Jose BUT the balance between the vocalists and the orchestra is wrong.
The audio quality is fine with the orchestral sound excellent but it dominates the vocalists with their sound recessed and distant. Add in that Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is a less than compelling Escamilo making this production a limited success.
A pity because the vocal/orchestra unbalance is the fault of the engineers who by this bad audio mixing have depreciated the efforts of some very fine singing. My previous favourite Carmen was also a Covent Garden effort but 15 years earlier and on laserdisc. I put it on just to see if my memory was an illusion but no, Maria Ewing is a sensational Carmen AND the vocal/orchestral mix on this LD production is what it should have been on the latest BluRay. But the video quality on this old laserdisc is pretty ghastly with washed out colours so no real competition to the 2006 effort.
Many of the scenes are dark and this has not favoured otherwise clear picture quality. So I have only given this BluRay video 4/5 overall.
So there you are, glorious orchestral sound but the overall audio balance not good. That said it is a great, tuneful and dramatic opera. It is not a disaster, but a bit of a disappointment for me.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A superb production of Bizet's classic opera. I have seen many a lack lustre performance of Carmen but from the very first beat, this show is pure excitement mingled with red raw sexual passion. Great Artistes, Set and Production. A must have DVD.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is an excellent quality recording with both the orchestra and the vocals sounding nicely "present".

The only thing that doesn't go well with my taste is Norah Amsellem's singing. This may be just me but I find her vibrato on higher or louder notes somewhat excessive and grating, which is annoying as the general characteristic of her voice is lovely. I may have a dissenting opinion to some other reviewers, but it is interesting that the one problem for me is another reviewer's highlight...
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