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Handel : Theodora [DVD]  [NTSC]
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A new production of Handel's tragic opera moving the story from the ancient world to the present day. David Daniels takes the role of Didymus the Roman Soldier whose Christian conscience leads him to risk his life for the noble Theodora. A highly acclaimed production first broadcast on Channel 4.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story of Theodora, a Christian martyr of the Roman period (during the reign of Emperor Diocletian), is not a well-known one, but Handel took Thomas Morell's libretto and produced a masterpiece - one ravishing number after another.
The Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment under William Christie produces a first rate performance, even in Act 3 which in less assured hands can drag rather, without any significant action to be portrayed. Tempi and conventions are apposite, and the audience sit in stunned silence bemused by the unfolding scenes of Christian virtue and pagan obduracy.
Didymus (David Daniels) the Roman soldier loves Theodora (Dawn Upshaw), a Christian, but is under orders from the President of Antioch (Valens - bass) to persecute all those who will not honour the emperor's birthday. The Roman centurion Septimius (Richard Croft), whose job it is to ensure christian compliance with the pagan festival, is also friend to Didymus and later confronts a conflict of interest when he has to arrest his friend and have him and Theodora executed as Christians.Read more ›
However the appalling camera work wreaks the whole production. 4 second camera movements and an overuse of close ups. A pointless set -
and why oh why does this director feel an overture cannot stand alone. So we are distracted with a chorus "doing things". All totally unnecessary.
Clearly Sellars thinks he is more important than Handel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good, thought provoking production of an oper/oratorio I did not know.Published 4 months ago by Alan Brown
I bought this disc after seeing a clip from it on Antonio Pappano’s recent “Classical Voices” TV series. Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Garrett
Production-wise, I was profoundly moved by seeing/hearing the eternal and spiritual message of this precious music infused into a shocking depiction of the difficult moral and... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Starwalker
I have watched and watched this historic performance of Theodora, the first ever staging of Handel's long ignored masterpiece. Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2013 by Sheena Vernon
Typical Handel, in other words music of the highest order. A most worthy performance by all concerned.
Very, very good
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Dawn Upshaw and David Daniels play out this heady intense drama with such ravishing singing that beauty is the only word I can use to express my delight at... Read morePublished on 3 Aug. 2013 by Chris Dilworth
This was my favourite opera production of all time so it would have been easy for the video of it to disappoint... but it did not. It's excellent. Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2010 by Purplebrighton