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Dvorak: Rusalka -- Paris Opera/Conlon [DVD] [2006]

4.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Robert Carsen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Tdk Mediactive
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Nov. 2003
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DK4T6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,684 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Rusalka -- Renee Fleming
Jezibaba -- Larissa Diadkova
The Prince -- Sergei Larin
The Water Spirit -- Franz Hawlata
The Foreign Princess -- Eva Urbanova
The Gamekeeper -- Michel Senechal
The Kitchen Boy -- Karine Deshayes
1st Wood Nymph -- Michelle Canniccioni
2nd Wood Nymph -- Svetlana Lifar
3rd Wood Nymph -- Nona Javakhidze
Voice of a Huntsman -- Kevin Greenlaw
Orchestra and Choirs of the Opera National de Paris conducted by James Conlon

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Dvorák's 'Rusalka' is by far his most effective opera and the only one that has made its way in the non-Slavic world. Based on de la Motte Fouqué's fairytale, 'Ondine,' but with additions from Hans Christian Andersen and the Czech ballads of K. J. Erben, and with a symbolist libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, Dvorák's music captures the story's ecstasy and anguish perfectly. Briefly, it is the story of a water nymph who falls in love with a Prince who visits the lake where she, her three sisters and her father, the Water Spirit, live. She wishes to become mortal so she can be with him and implores the witch, Jezibaba, to grant her that wish. Jezibaba does so but with two provisos: she will become human but lose the power of speech, and if her lover rejects her she will be forever cursed. Well, the Prince initially loves her but, dismayed by her muteness, is soon won over by the blandishments of the evil Foreign Princess, so Rusalka, with her father's help, flees back to the water world. Jezibaba tells her that her only way of extracting revenge is to kill human males by kissing them and when the Prince, who has seen the error of his ways, comes to reclaim her, she warns him (having gotten back her voice) that she cannot come with him because her kiss would be fatal. He says that to 'die upon a kiss' would be the only way he could ever attain peace. They sing a rapturous duet, she kisses him and he dies. Curtain.
Rusalka is a signature role for Renée Fleming; her audio recording of the opera six years ago was a huge hit. This production, from the Paris Opéra, conducted by James Conlon, followed in 2002. The direction of Robert Carsen and set and costume design by Michael Levine emphasize the duality and symmetry of the mortal and fairy worlds.
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Format: DVD
[Note: You can now get a box-set of DVDs of Fleming at the Paris Opera in Manon, Rusalka and Capriccio for a very reduced price: Renee Fleming At Paris Opera [Renée Fleming, Marcelo Álvarez, Jean-Luc Chaignaudr] [Arthaus: 107529] [DVD] [NTSC]

[This is a reissue on the Arthaus Musik label of a production of 'Rusalka' previously issued on TDK which I reviewed in 2004. It is, as far as I can tell, identical with the earlier DVD. I append my earlier review.]

Dvorák's 'Rusalka' is by far his most effective opera and the only one that has made its way in the non-Slavic world. Based on de la Motte Fouqué's fairytale, 'Ondine,' but with additions from Hans Christian Andersen and the Czech ballads of K. J. Erben, and with a symbolist libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil, Dvorák's music captures the story's ecstasy and anguish perfectly. Briefly, it is the story of a water nymph who falls in love with a Prince who visits the lake where she, her three sisters and her father, the Water Spirit, live. She wishes to become mortal so she can be with him and implores the witch, Jezibaba, to grant her that wish. Jezibaba does so but with two provisos: she will become human but lose the power of speech, and if her lover rejects her she will be forever cursed. Well, the Prince initially loves her but, dismayed by her muteness, is soon won over by the blandishments of the evil Foreign Princess, so Rusalka, with her father's help, flees back to the water world.
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I love this opera and for me having heard and seen Renee Fleming in the role, there could be no-one else to equal her performance !It was magic and very moving.I agree with the other review that every single voice was top quality, particularly Franz Howlata,who plays Rusalka's Father.Loved the production although it may not appeal to all ( but nothing ever does ).A DVD not to be missed !!!!
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This is a fine performance by one of the greatest sopranos ever and Renee Fleming is backed by an excellent cast of singers in an exceptionally imaginative production. I absolutely loved it and will treasure this filmed record of such a wonderful singer.
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Format: DVD
I was stunned as I watched Robert Carsen's Jungian and stylistically unsurpassed staging of 'Rusalka' in Paris. And not less now that it's available on a gorgeously produced DVD. Some of the grandeur of designer Michael Levine's sets is impossible to recreate in a format that demands a variety of shots, long-shots, medium-shots, close-ups, but what we see is magnificent and tellingly so in the context of Dvorák's luckless mermaid.
In the first act the water surface is broken in a perfectly horizontal mirroring of a peach-coloured, utterly tasteful petibourgeois dream of human solidity and, well, a sort of happiness. When Rusalka enters the bedchamber, finally as a human being in her own right, the mirroring is vertical, so that everything that takes place around the marital bed is mirrored on the other side of the room. In the penultimate scene - as beautiful as any you're ever likely to see - the doublebed, turned over bedlamps, carelessly strewn red roses and messy sheets are hung on the back-wall, suggestively lit through gaze. A trophy? An eternal reminder of base human horniness?
What the close-ups do that an actual performance always have a hard time trying to do is get us up close and personal with the protagonists. This is, after all, a very human story of repressed sexuality, dreams and sublimation. Renée Fleming, enveloped in Dvorák's warm and sensual orchestra amidst evocative pizzicati, fully exploits her melancholic timbre with an instrument so well-focused and slender as a moonbeam.
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