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Les Troyens (ROH) [Anna Caterina Antonacci, Bryan Hymel, Eva-Maria Westbroek] [Opus Arte: OA1097D] [DVD] [2013] [NTSC]

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Les Troyens (ROH) [Anna Caterina Antonacci, Bryan Hymel, Eva-Maria Westbroek] [Opus Arte: OA1097D] [DVD] [2013] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Caterina Antonacci, Bryan Hymel, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Fabio Capitanucci, Royal Opera Chorus
  • Format: Classical, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Sept. 2013
  • Run Time: 275 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00EWT17I4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,058 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Les Troyens is opera at its most epic. The sheer scale of its story, music, passion, staging and performers make this one of the great Royal Opera events of the decade. Berlioz's great work is one of the most fabulously rich of all operas, a tour de force of passion in music, with extraordinarily demanding roles for the principal cast.

Press Reviews

"David McVicar's stupendous production at the Royal Opera House would be worth seeing for Es Devlin's mighty sets and Constructivist Trojan horse alone. But Antonio Pappano's orchestra plays the ravishing score with such élan, and the singing and acting are so fine, especially Cassandra (Anna Caterina Antonacci), Dido (Eva-Maria Westbroek) and Aeneas (Bryan Hymel), that you can forgive the long, angular ballets that are like misbegotten descendants of Isadora Duncan and the Ballets Russes.
(The Wall Street Journal)
"Pappano drew a big-gestured, brightly colored and rhapsodic performance from the Royal Opera's impressive orchestra and chorus. The Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci triumphed as Cassandra (Cassandre).Her singing was lush, fervent, finely spun and noble. A lovely woman, she is a riveting actress, who achingly conveyed that Cassandra feels cursed by her prophetic powers. The Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek was a splendid Dido (Didon)." (The New York Times)
"Musically the show is top-notch, with the chorus on coruscating form, Antonio Pappano bringing out the instrumental colour with exemplary clarity, and a line-up of soloists led by three outstanding voices. Anna Caterina Antonacci incarnates prophet-of-doom Cassandra with a clear-eyed and commanding urgency. Eva-Maria Westbroek's full-toned Dido is ideally complemented by Bryan Hymel's Aeneas in their exalted duet ‘Par une telle nuit’. And when Hymel lets rip in his long wrestle with his conscience before deserting her, the ringing purity of his tone melts the heart. Other delights include Ed Lyon's exquisitely-sung Phrygian sailor, plus a succession of brilliant coups de theatre thanks to the synergy between McVicar's pageantry and Wolfgang Goebbel's lighting, which at times creates effects worthy of Gericault. A fabulous evening." (The Independent)
"Sir Antonio Pappano has the measure of this huge score, giving it with exhilaration and breathing space." (classicalsource.com)
"Sometimes it all works together extremely well, giving a result as moving as any artistic event can be. That was the case at Covent Garden in 2012 when Pappano and McVicar triumphed in Berlioz's greatest masterpiece Les Troyens.
Everyone in the cast list above is superb but especial mention must be made of Aeneas, Bryan Hymel; Dido, Eva-Maria Westbroek; Cassandra, Anna Caterina Antonacci and Anna , Hanna Hipp; simply because the scale of their roles is so large.
Top class.
- Recording of the Month -"
(Musicweb International)
Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra)
Eva-Maria Westbroek (Dido)
Bryan Hymel (Aeneas)
Fabio Capitanucci (Coroebus)
Robert Lloyd (Priam)
Narbal (Brindley Sherratt)
Ashley Holland (Panthus)
Daniel Grice (Soldier)
Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House; Antonio Pappano

Stage Director: David McVicar
Catalogue Number: OA1097D
Date of Performance: 2012
Running Time: 254 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic
Subtitles: EN, FR, DE, ES, JP, KR
Label: Opus Arte


There is plenty of fire and passion. --Gramophone, Jan'14

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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An incredibly dramatic performance. The staging is both arresting and sometimes alarming.
Acting and singing superb.
Fully recommended in every respect.
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So I read about a so called truly wonderful performance and a fire breathing horse which is obviously spectacular and weapons and military uniforms that are clearly not related to an Ancient Greek setting but this appears to be of no concern - WHAT? - I really don't think that Berlioz would agree. My favourite composer for a desert island is Berlioz and if the only equipment available to play this opera was per CD the choice would be easy - Colin Davis conducting his famous acclaimed recording. But on DVD other elements come to the fore as well as the pure music and that of the singers and orchestra which ARE - is it a traditional performance? - Is it set in the right period? - Are there any other 'way-out' things such as nudity where none is required? - These are the things that are important to Berlioz and opera enthusiasts like me and many many others who look for the manner in which these operas are performed. So back to the recent DVD release of The Trojans - that and two others pale into insignificance in comparison to the DVD of Les Troyens as performed by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by James Levine featuring Tatiana Troyanos, Jessye Norman, Placido Domingo and Allen Monk - "Brilliant". OK -so it is not wide screen nor are there fireworks coming from the nostrils of the horse - BUT what a brilliant performance!
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A great interpretation of Berlioz's masterpiece - spectacular visual effects that are not too intrusive. Very well sung and beautifully and dynamic playing from the ROHCG orchestra.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pappano Les Troyens - Covent Garden 2013 30 Dec. 2013
By R. C. Zink - Published on Amazon.com
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I would give this 4 1/2 stars actually. This production leaves nothing out. Everything in the DG Levine recording is included here and the Pappano only runs only a few minutes longer. The production is set in the time of Berlioz, which may bother some and guns are prominent. But, unlike a couple of more recent recordings of Troyens, eurotrash is held to a minimum. The role of Aeneas, which gave a couple of well known tenors at the Met fits, is well handled by Brian Hymel. The two female leads (Antonacci and Westbroek), are also standout. If you want a time-related version, get the Levine (I have it). But, if you want a great picture and performance, get the Pappano. Also, the horse in this one can't be topped. RCZ
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LES TROYENS OF BERLIOZ - One of the Greatest Epic Operas! 22 Dec. 2013
By Daniel B. - Published on Amazon.com
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I identified "Les Troyens" not as a Grand Opera (which it is) but as Epic Opera to emphasize the Vergilian source of Berlioz's inspiration. Berlioz had a profound appreciation of Vergil's "Aeneid" as did the whole Western world until the twentieth century when his star dimmed as Homer's grew brighter. Very few people read the "Aeneid" today apparently, compared to the relative popularity of Homer's epics, despite its importance in the shaping of aspects of Western culture. Personally, I too prefer Homer to Vergil, but the Roman poet has unique qualities which would have been unthinkable to Homer. For example, in Aeneas's account of the fall of Troy which makes up the first section of Berlioz's opera, Vergil emphasizes repeatedly the futility of violence. When Odysseus's descends into the Land of the Dead, he is shocked by the bleak, hopeless future for humans; when Aeneas descends, he encounters an after-life informed by the Orphic Mysteries, one of hope and bliss. Berlioz wisely ignores the second half of the "Aeneid" in which Vergil was reduced to writing propaganda for the Roman state. The much longer second of the opera dramatizes Book Four, the love affair of Dido and Aeneas. I admit to being overwhelmed by this production. Antonio Pappano is an amazing opera conductor, equally adept at intimate scenes and the huge crowd scenes. He unifies the many scenes into a coherent whole, thereby fulfilling Berlioz's epic scheme. I loved Anna Antonacci as Cassandra! She was so passionate, so poignant, so sensitive I was completely captivated. Eva-Maria Westbroek is a commanding Dido, but she is moving in revealing her doubts to Anna and tender in revealing her love to Aeneas. And what a powerful finale when she curses her faithless lover and his country an immolates herself. For me the role of Aeneas will always belong to the great heroic tenor, Jon Vickers. What a powerful voice! What a commanding presence! When he sings to his son, "Garde en ta memoire et d'Enee et d'Hector les exemples de gloire", I almost become a believer in those imperial Roman values. The surprise for me was how Bryan Hymel filled the role with his singing and acting, a very impressive achievement for this young tenor. And now the stage director, David McVicar: BRAVO, MAESTRO!! Yet another glorious production by this shining light among stage directors. I have been thrilled by his stagings of MEISTERSINGERS, SALOME, TROVATORE, ADRIANA LECOUVREUR. And now we can add this production of LES TROYENS to his achievements. I think I admire his restraint as much as his boldness, and he displays both qualities in virtually everything he directs. In this production, as in MEISTERSINGERS, he shows his ability to stage huge crowd scenes with excitement but also clarity; likewise, in the many intimate scenes in Berlioz's opera, he evokes both their stillness and tension. Berlioz never experienced his great work, which was not performed complete until the late 1950s. Now half a century later, we have this truly wonderful, thrilling, awesome production which shows Berlioz's faith in his genius and ability to write the Epic Opera of the "Aeneid" was fully justified.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic quality in all categories 1 Jun. 2015
By Frances Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
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Fantastic quality in all categories: score, libretto, design, singing, acting. Wow. Now that production is here in SF, CA! Brilliant design. Some of the same stars in it too like the bright and near perfect tenor Bryan Hymel. He sounds like a blend of Pavarotti and Domingo.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effective Staging of French Epic 30 Jun. 2015
By Matteo - Published on Amazon.com
Having seen this production live in San Francisco just recently (SF Opera is one of the producing companies) I can say that it is impressive and absorbing. Any production of an opera of this length is going to be a mixture of compelling and puzzling choices. However, David McVicar succeeds on the whole. The Industrial Revolution setting (basically setting it in the period just before Berlioz wrote it) makes for arresting theatre. Gone are the togas and garlands. We get a stark and bleak Troy on the verge of destruction, a nightmare out of the drawings of Piranesi. The Trojan Horse itself is a coup de theatre and is truly menacing. Acts I and II get the opera started off on very strong footing.

By contrast to Troy's oppressive mechanization, Carthage is all salmon colored stone, Moorish arches, and diaphanous lighting. Dido's realm comes off as a bit cartoonish in comparison to Troy. While it works to portray Carthage as actually Northern African, there is still a nod to a certain Orientalism in how blankly pretty Carthage is.

Act IV is a model of economy, during which McVicar lets the action unfold--the great love duet is all the more arresting for its simplicity and lack of directorial fuss. Berlioz's ballets (a must for French opera of the period) are integrated well enough. Act V is when McVicar makes some egregious errors for my taste. The set pieces become incoherent (the ship on which the sailor sings his glorious song is all but an afterthought) and Dido's immolation is completely botched as a robot threatens to eat Carthage. This is the most disappointing of McVicar's choices. He robs Dido of the spectacle she deserves at the end of what is essentially her opera.

But when you make strong choices you get failures. And McVicar makes choices here. As is his style, everything (except the robot) is tasteful and thoughtful and sometimes quite thrilling. This production will probably the definitive TROYENS of our time and will be around for many years.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 25 May 2015
By Humberto Vinas - Published on Amazon.com
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A great work by Berlioz with a great cast, outstanding the tenor Bryan Hymel, beautiful voice with spectacular top.
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