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Hector Berlioz - Les Troyens (Theatre du Chatelet, Paris 2003) [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Eliot Gardiner, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Susan Graham, Ludovic Tézier, Laurent Naouri
  • Directors: Yannis Kokkos, Peter Maniura
  • Format: Classical, DTS Surround Sound, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: French, English, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: OPUS ARTE
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Mar. 2010
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003757W1A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,661 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Berlioz's grand opera Les Troyens received its premiere performance at the Théâtre Lyrique in 1863 in a heavily cut version which only featured the last three acts set in Carthage. Berlioz never saw it performed and, due to its epic scale and the forces required to perform it, Troyens was never staged complete as the composer intended. In terms of artistic ambition Les Troyens follows in the footsteps of Rossini's monumental Guillaume Tell (1829), which also was heavily cut at its premiere, and anticipates the later music dramas of Wagner.
In 2003 the complete Les Troyens was triumphantly staged at Le Châtelet in Paris and Opus arte is thrilled to present this 3 DVD visual document of this lavish production. American Gregory Kunde, known for his great in the French operatic repertoire, as Aeneas and Anna Catarina Antonacci as Dido leads an international cast that also includes Susan Graham and Topi Lehtipuu. John Eliot Gardiner, one of the leading Berlioz conductors of our times, conducts. A truly unforgettable experience.

Press Reviews

"In October 2003 John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique had a great success when they visited Paris to give Berlioz's epic opera in the relatively intimate Theatré du Châtelet but, as the video shows, the stage production by Yannis Kokkos neatly achieves clarity and directness in the complex plot with an economical but effective staging....The performance gains from the fine singing in the central role of Cassandra of Anna Caterina Antonacci, then coming to the fore as a star of the future. Ludovic Tezier is also excellent as her lover Chorebus, and the final chorus of Trojan women, led by Cassandra, brings a thrilling climax." (The Penguin Guide)
"Les Troyens hasn't fared well on DVD, but this superb authentic-instrument performance of October 2003 from the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, equals Sir Colin Davis's pioneering original. Orchestrally it's everything we've come to expect from Gardiner's Berlioz, his tempi swift and dynamic, sharing the composer's delight in complex rhythmic interplay, yet always propelling the drama. Passages like Andromache's entrance and Hector's ghost nevertheless have their proper gravitas and sombre hues against the brighter shades of Carthage. Colour is the great gift of the period instruments, revealing a wide range of sonorities, and creating a sense of freshness and discovery." (Gramophone)
"This lavish production, mounted at the Châtelet in Paris to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Berlioz's birth, must have been eagerly awaited by fans of the composer. Picture and sound quality are superb, with sensitive TV direction from Peter Maniura capturing faithfully the epic yet suitably modernist staging by veteran Yannis Kokkos, Greek-born but resident in Paris for some thirty years now.
"
(Musicweb International)
Awards Gramophone Award: DVD (2005)
Cast
Susan Graham (Didon)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra / Clio)
Gregory Kunde (Énée)
Ludovic Tézier (Chorèbe)
Laurent Naouri (Narbal / Le Grand Prêtre)
Monteverdi Choir; Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique; Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Stage Director: Yannis Kokkos
Catalogue Number: OABD7059D
Date of Performance: 2003
Running Time: 312 minutes
Sound: 2.0 PCM & 5.0 DTS
Aspect Ratio: 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES
Label: Opus Arte

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 22 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This new production of Les Troyens at the Chatelet had been one of the major events in the celebrations for the 200th birthday of one of France's greatest composers, Hector Berlioz. Les Troyens is one of the greatest masterpieces of 19th century opera, one that stands alongside with Verdi's 'Otello' and Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde'.
Director/designer Yannis Kokkos created wonderful classical sets, brown - gray for the first two acts, white - blue for the second part of the opera and directed a very effective and moving show.
John Eliot Gardiner conducted his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique magnificently. Various period brass instruments are used on stage according to Berlioz instructions. The Monteverdi Choir combined with the Chatelet Choir make a wonderful and precise sound. The linkage of the music of Berlioz with Gluck is presented here more than in any other performance of this masterpiece I have heard in the past.
Major roles have been given to lighter-voiced singers than one usually associates with this score, but Gardiner assembled a great cast of wonderful singers - actors. Anna Caterina Antonacci is a magnificent Cassandra: a beautiful woman, a fascinating actress. She has a real sense of the text and sings with great beauty. Susan Graham sings a great performance of Dido with big violence and involvement for the tragic last scene of the opera.
Tenor Gregory Kunde sings a lot of bel canto roles, while the heroic Aeneas needs voices like Vickers, Heppner etc. but Kunde as Aeneas is a great surprise. Ludovic Tezier as Chorebe is one of the best baritones singing in French. Mark Padmore sings Iopas aria 'Blonde Ceres' beautifully, and Laurent Naouri is an impressive Narbal. So is the young Mezzo from Croatia Renata Pokupic. Tenor Topi Lehtipuu sings the young sailor Hylas's Act V aria 'Valon sonore' beautifully.
Great opera. Magnificent performance!
Highly recommended. Should be in every opera fan collection.
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Format: DVD
As ever so often with the house of BBC Opus Arte, this is an outstanding product, with superior packaging and domumentation, hair-rising state of the art sonics and video quality, and relevant and interesting material supplementary to the main "feature" (a full-length documentary on the production itself deriving from a BBC TV programme, with interviews with the main singers, the conductor and the producer and a sound -i.e., read- detailed synopsis of the opera's plot with visual references to the performance itself). "The Trojans" is nor precisely a repertory work so these extra items do mean an important advantage.

In fact, there's practically nothing at fault here, although not all reviews in this site are favourable. I suppose US viewers will find it unnecessary that the greek invaders in Act 2 wear US Military uniforms and wield mock M16 rifles aimed at the trojan women, a precision at odds with the general timelessness attempted with the clothing, a stylised mixture of styles from several centuries (20th century raincoats, suggested antique breastplates made of some synthetic fibre, antiquity gowns, and the like). The same US guns are used by Aeneas's followers when they are summoned to help Dido's own forces repeal invaders of her realm, further on; an uncalled-for theatrical reference to the US as a world provider of violence instruments?
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By A Customer on 13 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This new production of Les Troyens at the Chatelet had been one of the major events in the celebrations for the 200th birthday of one of France's greatest composers, Hector Berlioz. Les Troyens is one of the greatest masterpieces of 19th century opera, one that stands alongside with Verdi's 'Otello' and Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde'.
Director/designer Yannis Kokkos created wonderful classical sets, brown - gray for the first two acts, white - blue for the second part of the opera and directed a very effective and moving show.
John Eliot Gardiner conducted his Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique magnificently. Various period brass instruments are used on stage according to Berlioz instructions. The Monteverdi Choir combined with the Chatelet Choir make a wonderful and precise sound. The linkage of the music of Berlioz with Gluck is presented here more than in any other performance of this masterpiece I have heard in the past.
Major roles have been given to lighter-voiced singers than one usually associates with this score, but Gardiner assembled a great cast of wonderful singers - actors. Anna Caterina Antonacci is a magnificent Cassandra: a beautiful woman, a fascinating actress. She has a real sense of the text and sings with great beauty. Susan Graham sings a great performance of Dido with big violence and involvement for the tragic last scene of the opera.
Tenor Gregory Kunde sings a lot of bel canto roles, while the heroic Aeneas needs voices like Vickers, Heppner etc. but Kunde as Aeneas is a great surprise. Ludovic Tezier as Chorebe is one of the best baritones singing in French. Mark Padmore sings Iopas aria 'Blonde Ceres' beautifully, and Laurent Naouri is an impressive Narbal. So is the young Mezzo from Croatia Renata Pokupic. Tenor Topi Lehtipuu sings the young sailor Hylas's Act V aria 'Valon sonore' beautifully.
Great opera. Magnificent performance!
Highly recommended. Should be in every opera fan collection.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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