Romeo Et Juliette: Salzburg Festival (Yannick Nezet-Seguin) [Blu-ray] 
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Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor led by Rolando Villazon and Nino Machaidze and accompanied by the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg in this lavish production of Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, staged by Bartlett Sher at the 2008 Salzburg Festival.
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Top Customer Reviews
An excellent recording from all points of view - technically, artistic singing and acting, costumes ....
One of the best tributes which can be given to this opera performance is to be able to find it rivetting despite being fully familiar with the story. Nino Machaidze singing Juliette is a real find. Not only beautiful to look at, she has a superb and powerful voice and acts the part to perfection. Rolando Villazon partners her as Romeo and puts his heart and soul into the role. The rest of the cast are also very strong to make Gounod's Romeo and Juliette extremely musically satisfying. The fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed and very dramatic. The same set is cleverly used throughout and the costumes are brilliant. No apologies for such a rave review as this production is truly exceptional. If you love opera, this is a MUST for your collection.
The two key roles of Romeo (Rolando Villazon) and Juliet (Nino Machaidze) are perfectly cast with Villazon being passionate and finally desolate as the drama progresses and with Machaidze being delightfully playful, then passionate and finally distraught. Both sing with total conviction and with complete technical and musical assurance.
The supporting roles do not let the production down for a moment. Tybalt (Juan Gatell) and Mercutio (Russell Braun) are utterly believable in their respectively driven roles. Susanne Resmark makes the most of her role of the nurse, Gertrude, bringing out the necessary humorous counterbalance to the tragic events unfolding around her. The remaining roles of Caplet (Falk Struckmann), Paris (Mathias Hausmann), the duke of Verona (Christian van Horn), and Frere Laurant (Mikhail Petrenko) are all performed equally well.
The chosen cast for this production underlines once again how fortunate we all are to be living at a time when there are so many fine young singers who are able to act as convincingly as this in addition to possessing fine vocal techniques. The days of stand and deliver are thankfully seemingly at an end. We are also fortunate to be living at a time when recording technology is as good as this almost by default. The combination of fine acting/singing and modern recording technology make for a potent mix.Read more ›
I have not seen or heard this work before and so cannot compare it to other performances. But I find it hard to imagine this performance being bettered.
The Mozarteum Orchestra is excellent under the baton of Yannick Nezet-Seguin who is surely one of the finest conductors of our day. Brian Large's video direction is outstanding. He really knows how to film opera. The chorus are superb both when singing and acting. The whole cast is top class but special praise must go to Rolando Villazon and Nino Machaidze. She is convincingly young and beautiful as Juliette but also sings and acts brilliantly with teenage charm at the start developing into convincing passion and love. Rolando Villazon matches her in all these respects bringing out the passion and fiery nature of Romeo. The sword fight is startlingly realistic.
All in all, a triumph for everyone concerned.
If you prefer your opera productions to be traditional then this minimalist one is not for you. Having said that, it's worth having for the individual performers alone as their interpretations are excellent both vocally and visually. Also, the wonderful costumes detract from the somewhat simple one-fits-all stage set.
Nino Machaidez whom I'd never heard of previously was quite a revelation (watch our Netrebko!) and Rolando Villazon was perfect in the role of Romeo. The supporting soloists were also first class and Nezet-Seguin produced a great sound from the Mozarteum Orchestra.
If you are a Gounod fan then this recording is a must-have for your collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The performances from the Salzburger Feltspiel are always excellent; this one is no exception. I think the balance of the orchestra and singers was fine. Read morePublished on 27 May 2012 by Mr. John C. Hawthorn
The sound level for the orchestra is much higher than the singers. The latter sound very echoey and distant with the orchestra set at a reasonable level. Read morePublished on 7 Mar. 2012 by Radar