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on 8 January 2018
Enjoyable version of a favourite ballet despite being visibly dated compared to current production.
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on 13 January 2018
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on 9 January 2018
A beautiful ballet. My 6 year old granddaughter sat mesmerized by it, though she did already know the story. I hope she will now enjoy seeing it at the theatre.
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on 21 November 2017
I have several versions of the Nutcracker by different ballet groups & this is to my mind the best so far. The Royal Ballet have over the years honed the Nutcracker to perfection . Everything, the dancing, the stage , the lighting, all are superb . Throw in top class filming & sound recording & you have a “must have” Nutcracker.
Iohna Loots is ideally cast as Clara & Miyako Yoshida has made the Sugar Plumb Fairy her own over the years setting a standard for others to follow. My only criticism is that the children were not brought out for the encore & thus allowing the audience to show its appreciation of their performance which was a delight to see.
If you intend to have just one Nutcracker in your collection this is the one to have. That is until the next Royal Ballet Nutcracker comes out--- you never know---- it might be even better !.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 28 November 2011
This is the same Peter Wright choreography as in the previous, much loved, Royal Ballet production of about a decade ago. I, like many others no doubt, was rather hoping that that earlier recording would be transferred to the new Blu-ray medium. That was not to be, but instead we have a brand new recording of the same production, albeit with different or older, dancers to consider. For those interested in the DVD version only please note that Amazon does not allow such a distinction to be made when submitting a review of a disc available in Blu-ray. Please make allowances for that when reading the following and which may well contain useful comment anyway .....

As in all re-makes there is a mixture of pluses and negatives. The negatives will be most keenly felt by those who have formed a strong allegiance to the earlier issue of course. The same will no doubt be true of this issue in the fullness of time. As this recording was made during the current run with different lead dancers on different nights there will also be those who would wish the recording had been made on different nights.

None of that matters however when considering this new recording as the earlier one is not being transferred to Blu-ray and this is the only recording of this popular production now in its 25th year now available in the new medium. So this disc simply has to be considered entirely on its own merits as a recent example of this particular production. Bemoaning the lack of the previous production as a Blu-ray, or complaining about the choice of cast on this disc as some do are simply irrelevant considerations and not in any way helpful. Offenbach summed up this sort of situation as quoted at the end of this summary review.

In my opinion, given the circumstances and choices concerning this disc, it does very well indeed. All the lead parts are well danced technically and they are supported by excellent ensemble work. The magic of the ballet is fully caught and transmitted - one has only to listen to the enthusiastic support of the audience during the performance and the extended and rapturous 7 minutes of curtain calls at the end before the final fade-out to be sure of that.

The staging and costumes are both traditional and sumptuous in terms of ballet productions and the narrative is traditional and kind to all. The orchestra, under the direction of Koen Kessels, delivers attentive and high quality playing throughout, and what a fine score Tchaikovsky provided for our enjoyment. Pure musical bliss!

The actual recording is well up to the standards of Opus Arte with crisp and well defined visuals which provide a nice balance of close-up detail and panoramic views. The sound is both full and clear and is provided in both DTS-HD and stereo.

For me personally, much though I loved the earlier production referred to in the first paragraph, I feel more than compensated for by the many advantages of this new production, not least by the marvellous recording quality. Especially for those fresh to this production therefore, I am sure that 5 stars would seem to be an easily justified assessment. The same might be said for others such as me - I hope so, as in my opinion, it seems to be fully deserving issue and likely to give plenty of pleasure and satisfaction to many future purchasers.

As Offenbach advises in La Grande Duchesse 'If you cannot have what you love, then you must love what you have' .................... Appropriate advice perhaps for some enthusiasts in this particular case.
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on 27 December 2010
It is difficult to describe with mere words the sheer beauty and magnificence of this production. Every aspect of it is a pleasure to watch .... BUT, when the snowflakes have finished their superbly choreographed dance and the angles glide across the stage heralding the crystal sleigh of Clara and her prince taking them to a magical land it is sheer beauty and wonder.

I cannot imagine anyone not being moved by this sequence as to me it literally represents the passage of the mind from the world of reality to another place full of beauty and grace.

The production is stunning ... exactly the same as the 1985 and 2000 productions, both on disc and both I have ... BUT this is in BLURAY and the crystal clarity of the sound and picture is worth every penny of the price ... better than the best seats at Covent Garden which I can no longer afford.

Look no further, treat yourself to the very best version of this ballet by far and you will want to watch it again and again
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on 26 November 2012
It is true that the visual quality of this dvd cannot match the more modern versions from the ROH. But in all other respects it is outstanding and exceeds them.

A special quality shines out from the screen in this performance. Other reviewers have mentioned the standard of acting and dancing and this is exemplified in the first act when the children enter. Just look at their spirit and the interaction of the adult dancers.

It is above all, for me, the musical qualities which set the seal on this disc. Gennady Rozhdestvensky as conductor judges everything to perfection, lively in most of act 1 and yet beautifully warm and expressive in the Transformation scene. That same fine judgement as to tempo and expression are displayed throughout. I am sorry to say that other conductors seem quite pedestrian by comparison.

So yes, buy this dvd and give yourself a treat not only for Christmas but the whole year round.
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on 16 January 2017
I would caution anyone contemplating purchasing this DVD from giving too much weight to the extremely negative one and two star reviews which appear on this site apparently in connection with this DVD issued in 2005 as they appear to relate to later recordings of this production of Nutcracker.. Sir Peter Wright's production of Nutcracker staged for the Royal Ballet has had several recordings made of it over the years.
This recording was made in the 1980's with Collier and Dowell as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier when Sir Peter Wright's production was new. It captures the Royal Ballet at a time when it still had a recognisable company style.. Although Dowell was fast approaching the end of a very distinguished career as a dancer both he and Collier dance the choreography of each section of the Sugar
Plum Fairy pas de deux as a continuous flow of movement at a speed that the composer and choreographer might actually recognise. rather than employing the currently fashionable slow staccato style which sees choreography devised to be danced as a flow of movement reproduced in a way which emphasises its component parts rather than its architectural structure. The conductor sets the speed for the dancers rather than following them and both Collier and Dowell dance extremely musically.

This recording contains details which have since been revised and removed.In its pristine state Sir Peter's.production restored details from the original Ivanov production. In act one Harlequin and Columbine the Soldier and the Vivandiere emerge from pies and vegetables
as happened in the Ivanov original rather than the boxes now used. Sir Peter originally staged choreography for the snowflakes based on the original floor plan. The palate chosen for the act one costumes in 1980 may strike you as odd. There is a lot of brown. The designer was meticulous in her pursuit of historically accurate stage design for period productions.Some of her historically accurate chosen colours have been changed over the years.If you wondered about the designs for the second act the stage design for the Kingdom of Sweets is based on the decorations on the act one Christmas cake.

This DVD is a record of the Royal Ballet in the mid 1980's and of Sir Peter Wright's initial thoughts on the Nutcracker. It also happens to contain a very fine account of the traditional Ivanov choreography for the Sugar Plum Fairy and Sir Anthony is pretty good as well. Given the importance of Sir Anthony's career in the development of the Royal Ballet and the range of works which were created for him by choreographers like Ashton and MacMillan the limited range of official recordings of his work is little short of disgraceful. This DVD represents an opportunity to discover what made Dowell so special even at the end of his career and it lets you see what the Ivanov choreography looks like when it is performed at the right speed and something closer to period appropriate style than is now the norm.

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on 17 November 2016
The reviews I have read so far which are ostensibly linked to this product appear to relate to a later version. Not so clever of amazon. Anyway I bought this one and am very disappointed with the weak definition and the faded whites and greys throughout most of the opera. I cannot comment on the quality of the dancing, A huge difference from, for example, the GergievM arinsky Swan Lake DVD, which is beyond praise (IMHO).
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on 7 November 2017
Not the version I was looking for but it's growing on me. Very good and it wouldn't be Christmas without it
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