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Theodora [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] [NTSC]
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A new production of Handel's tragic opera moving the story from the ancient world to the present day. David Daniels takes the role of Didymus the Roman Soldier whose Christian conscience leads him to risk his life for the noble Theodora. A highly acclaimed production first broadcast on Channel 4.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story of Theodora, a Christian martyr of the Roman period (during the reign of Emperor Diocletian), is not a well-known one, but Handel took Thomas Morell's libretto and produced a masterpiece - one ravishing number after another.
The Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment under William Christie produces a first rate performance, even in Act 3 which in less assured hands can drag rather, without any significant action to be portrayed. Tempi and conventions are apposite, and the audience sit in stunned silence bemused by the unfolding scenes of Christian virtue and pagan obduracy.
Didymus (David Daniels) the Roman soldier loves Theodora (Dawn Upshaw), a Christian, but is under orders from the President of Antioch (Valens - bass) to persecute all those who will not honour the emperor's birthday. The Roman centurion Septimius (Richard Croft), whose job it is to ensure christian compliance with the pagan festival, is also friend to Didymus and later confronts a conflict of interest when he has to arrest his friend and have him and Theodora executed as Christians.Read more ›
The accompanying notes, written by Peter Sellars, are among the most helpful one is ever likely to encounter. Reading them helps greatly in the appreciation of this work, whose two lead characters are early Christian martyrs and not biblical characters as one might expect in an oratorio. I am so pleased to have these notes, which I find help greatly towards deeper enjoyment of the work itself. Mr. Sellars is equally successful in his direction of this work, which has to be an all time great performance. Sadly, there are some operatic works when one wonders why they are messing around with this and that when they should be 'getting on with it'. There's none of that here. The music and singing just lifts you up and carries you along as if you're being borne through some magical landscape and, when it ends, you say to yourself: 'What a performance! I'll never tire of watching this one!'
Frode Olsen depicts the character of the brutal Roman governor Valens to a tee. He has both the right voice and the demeanour for the part. David Daniels is excellent in the role of hero Didymus, which he sings well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought to replace my old VHS, this is the best performance of Theodora I have by far.Published 2 months ago by G.J.Elliott
A very good, thought provoking production of an oper/oratorio I did not know.Published 11 months ago by Alan Brown
Singing was wonderful but stage production was dreadful .Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
Yet another musically excellent rendering of an opera let down by a silly modern director (Peter Sellars in this case). Read morePublished 17 months ago by ads
I bought this disc after seeing a clip from it on Antonio Pappano’s recent “Classical Voices” TV series. Read morePublished 19 months ago by David Garrett
Production-wise, I was profoundly moved by seeing/hearing the eternal and spiritual message of this precious music infused into a shocking depiction of the difficult moral and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Starwalker
The idea of turning Handel's 3 part oratorio into an opera is brilliant. This production is now seen to have movement and emotion. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Pdon