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Meyerbeer: Robert Le Diable [Bryan Hymel, Patrizia Ciofi, John Relyea] [Opus Arte: OABD7121D] [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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A grand opera that dominated the stages of Europe for most of the 19th century, Robert le diable is a masterpiece. Director Laurent Pelly breathes new life into Giacomo Meyerbeer's great spectacle and audaciously entertaining moral fable, in this colourful new staging for The Royal Opera. The wonderful score includes brilliant arias, dramatic ensembles, rousing choruses and a ballet of ghostly nuns, and with the wavering hero of the title sung by Bryan Hymel, acclaimed for his role as Énée in Les Troyens for The Royal Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, this is an unmissable experience.
"‘‘…some amazing singing. Bryan Hymel as Robert and Patrizia Ciofi as his beloved Isabelle tackle their immense roles with tremendous panache and stamina." (The Guardian)
" ... the production is worth seeing for anyone interested in the history of opera and it may well be another 120 years before Covent Garden stages it again." (The Washington Times)
"... the opportunity to see this particular Meyerbeer creation, last given at Covent Garden in 1890, should not be missed bv lovers of the composer's music." (International Record Review)
CastBryan Hymel (Robert)Patrizia Ciofi (Isabelle )John Relyea (Bertram)Marina Poplavskaya (Alice)Nicolas Courjal (Alberti)David Butt Philip (Master of Ceremonies)
Royal Opera Chorus; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Daniel OrenStage Director: Laurent Pelly
Catalogue Number: OABD7121DDate of Performance: 2012Running Time: 211 minutesSound: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTSAspect Ratio: 16:9Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, JP, KRLabel: Opus Arte
Whatever the reasons, the opportunity to see this particular Meyerbeer creation, last given at Convent Garden in 1890, should not be missed by lovers of the composer's music. --IRR, Sept'13
The high standard of filming and sound is indeed everything one would expect from Opus Arte. --Gramophone awards issue, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
The detail of the cover(s) says it all. The disc comes in a slipcase depicting the gaping mouth of Hell from a medieval Miracle Play. The centre piece features the satanic tempter Bertram. But it is in fact a careful cutout, and when the cover is removed, we are presented by a strikingly attractive montage showing the hero flanked his two heroine mentors (Alice and Isabelle), with his demon-father(Bertram) beneath in infernal fire.
This colourful and rather glamorous image effectively reveals the thematic configuration of this operatic parable of the human dilemma and its spiritual dimension.
It should be said right away that this production is bright and absorbing, rich in iconic allusion and consistently making reference to intriguing artistic prototypes and models in presenting the very rich and complex symbolism of the story
The ROH production of `Robert le Diable' nonetheless did leave much to be desired. At least it was not of the same dreadful nature as the `Eurotrash' productions staged in Berlin (2000, set in a cinema) and Erfurt (2011, set in a mental asylum). The producer Laurent Pelly always has his own perspectives and agendas---as is the case in these days of the "producers' opera". Some of his ideas nevertheless do have considerable innate interest.
Pelly has used a series of medieval artistic concepts to underpin certain symbolic elements in the scenario.Read more ›
The opera shows potential on this Blu- Ray which makes it understandable why it was so influential in the 19th century But except for the gambling scene in Act 1, Act 3 and the last twenty minutes it lacked any tension that could have been brought about by more powerful singers and a far more credible production. There is good singing from John Relyea, Marina Poplavskaya who is showing better projection and Patrizia Ciofi especially in her wonderful Act 4 Aria but earlier seemed to lack belief . The artificial colours of the horses which match those of the women's courtly dresses and lighting are hideous. They are supposed to resemble, or so I am told by Laurent Pelly on this Blu-Ray, those used on illuminated manuscripts.But these are natural colourings and can't compare with those used in this production
I am thankful that I was on holiday and missed this production at the opera house..
Which is understandable, but a pity nonetheless. If nothing else Robert le Diable is an opera experience like no other. Musically and in terms of plotting it's not the most sophisticated, but Meyerbeer packs the five acts of the opera so full of melodies and dramatic development, underlining it with grand choral refrains, lyrical expression, comic interplay and over-the-top gothic imagery with some ballet sequences thrown in for good measure, that it's never anything less than pure value-for-money entertainment. Pelly's production, unfairly criticised I feel, attempts to put all the colour and the darkness of the work up there on the stage in the sets and costumes, and he does so rather well. It's faithful to the spirit of the work, playing it straight where it ought to be, exaggerating in other places, but never stooping to making fun of the melodramatic developments and wild declarations.Read more ›
This is a well sung production with experimental staging, far removed from traditional concepts, that includes hearty knights clad for war, vividly coloured horses and small movable castles. There is a continuity that does complement the action and production values are fortunately far removed from anything resembling a Zurich style mishmash. It is unfortunate that in a misplaced attempt at marketing the DVD's producers have decided to enclose the jewel case in an outer cover depicting the mouth of hell. This necessary property makes only a brief appearance in the final act but its use in a blatant attempt to boost sales will offend as well as attract customers. This is yet another example of Covent Garden's questionable priorities for the booklet, although containing an informative essay and a synopsis, lacks both chapter headings and time frames.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WHERE ARE THE SUBTITLES IN SPANISH LENGUAGE ¡¡¡
OPUS ARTS SPENCER AND BAD PRODUCT , SPANISH IS THE SECOND LENGUAGE IN THE WORLD NO KOREAN... Read more
I agree with the reservations expressed earlier by 'Owl' (qv), especially the very disappointing rendering of the ballet of the nuns. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Giles Penfold
This performance is acceptable and a useful to the operatic repertoire. I suspect that further playing would raise my opinion of this rarely performed opera.Published on 1 May 2014 by Dr Terry Sheppard
This was one of the foundations of 19th century French Grand Opera and was much imitated by later (and better?) composers. Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2014 by Mr. Brian Johnson
What is so special about this DVD is that it allows modern audiences to thrill at a long-forgotten opera that held the entire musical world in thrall when first it appeared in... Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2014 by David Faiman
I had not heard of this opera before but I read reviews of it on your website and decided to buy it. I was not disappointed and the reviews were correct. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by golfer stan
Bright and cheerful, fun, unusual and thoroughly enjoyable, great designs and excellent singing with the great orchestral accompaniment. A good buy.Published on 13 Nov. 2013 by Isabella
This video is given a 4 star primarily because of Bryan Hymel's superb performance. He is in top form vocally.Published on 1 Nov. 2013 by Pollifan
This immensely successful and influential opera thoroughly deserves to be resurrected. The music is tuneful, memorable and very moving at times. Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 2013 by Colin W