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Tchaikovsky: Classic Ballets [Marianela Núñez, Thiago Soares, Miyako Yoshida] [Opus Arte: OABD7131D] [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] [NTSC]
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This special collection brings together three definitive Royal Ballet performances of Tchaikovsky's celebrated masterpieces: the tragic and gloriously romantic Swan Lake
in Anthony Dowell's acclaimed production, Monica Mason's enchanting and visually striking Sleeping Beauty based on the classic 1946 production, and the enduring
Christmas favourite The Nutcracker at its most captivating in Peter Wright's timeless production. The collection is a showcase for The Royal Ballet's inimitable style and
virtuosity. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true Surround Sound.
"Alina Cojocaru's Aurora was the ballet's radiant centrepiece, charming, in control and filled with a palpable delight in every pretty step." (The Times - Sleeping Beauty)
"Anthony Dowell's production...offers the ultimate classical experience, with the sights and sounds of a proud 19th century tradition running at full throttle. Fancy a romantic tragedy in a tutu? Then this is the ballet for you...The production as a whole is beautifully formed and dramatically convincing...And praise, too, for the corps, who made us feel the sorrow and anger of the swans’ collective misfortune." (The Times - Swan Lake)
"All in all a fine performance of a justified favourite is given the presentation it deserves." (Musicweb International - Nutcracker)
CastAlina Cojocaru (Aurora in Sleeping Beauty)Federico Bonelli (Florimund in Sleeping Beauty)Marianela Nuñez (Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty & Odette in Swan Lake)Thiago Soares (Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake)Miyako Yoshida (The Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker)Steven McRae (The Prince in Nutcracker)
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Valeriy Ovsyanikov (Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty); Koen Kessels (Nutcracker)Choreographer: Marius Petipa; Peter Wright
Catalogue Number: OABD7131DRunning Time: 442 minutesAspect Ratio: 16:9Label: Opus Arte
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Region A/1 this not true they work on European region blu ray players.(blu-ray discs have region 0 symbol) superb audio quality.Also wise decision for budget...
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The current production at the Royal Opera House London was created by Anthony Dowell premiered in 1947. This present recording was made in March 2009.
For this production, Dowell incorporates sections usually omitted currently from the 1895 Ivanov - Petipa score. Thus the ballet is somewhat longer and the story is filled in with more detail. One change is the cross-bow for hunting the swans is not a gift of ma-ma and another you will note is the children that enter with Odette in act 2. Dowell has also updated the action from Medieval times of the E.T.A. Hoffmann's original tale to the 1880's of Tchaikovsky's era. It all seems to work quite well and the extravagant décor and costumes are quite beautiful. But all would be naught if the soloists and corps were not up to par. They are good; they are superb!
In my dozens of recordings of Swan Lake very few are as satisfactory as the magnificent performance by Marianela Nunez. She is phenomenal! Her arms are like liquid waves; she talks with her fingers and eyes. It is truly magical. I know her work from several other roles. Whether she is the cold, frosty Queen of the Wilis in Giselle or the betrayed Odette in Swan Lake she IS that part.
A special nod and thank you to the corps of the Royal Ballet; they really act as a unit.
The Sleeping Beauty is a fairytale by Charles Perault and had the good fortune to have Petipa as choreographer (with Vsevozhsky ) and of course the music of Tchaikovsky. It opened at the Marinsky in January 1890 and was a firm success.
It is less dramatic and is filled with character dances and ensembles of great variety as is the Nutcracker.
The main character is Princess Aurora. In this lavish production from the Royal London premiered in February 1946 she is here danced by one of the most beautiful looking and superb dancing ballerinas of the day, the Romanian star Alina Cojocaru. She is a pleasure to look at and enthralling to watch dance. The corps is also great as the Royal always is. Recorded in 2006.
The Nutcracker is another tale of E.T.A. Hoffmann. It was commissioned after the success of Sleeping Beauty and had the choreography of Lev Ivanov done from detailed plans of Maurice Petipa (who was ill) for the Marinsky. The music was by Tchaikovsky. It opened in December 1892 and was not well received by the first public. The critics said it was too simple and was "child's play"; which is true. But it is filled with charm and beauty and lovely melodies. No one dies here, no one is betrayed, just a journey to the Kingdom of Sweet and a fun-filled battle with the Mouse King. Of course today it has become a tradition for children (of all ages) at Christmastime so that dozens of big and smaller companies put it on annually. The Royals version is by Peter Wright and premiered in 20 December 1984.
This version is still fresh and vibrant and the corps really shines. Recorded here in December 2009.
The one thing that I notice here in reviewing these three ballets together as performed by the Royal London is the consistent virtuosity of this company and the soloists. One knows that this company will be up to par before one sees the performance. The is also true for me with the beloved Paris ballet. This is not always found in some other troops.
This album of three great dances makes a great gift!
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