7.4 C
New York
Friday, December 4, 2020
Advertisement

Cavalli: Il Giasone [Teatro Pergolesi] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Korean
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Dynamic
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • List Price: $42.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]

Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676) was a leading composer of the Italian Baroque era. During his long career, he penned more than 40 operas; Il Giasone (Jason) falls about midway in the Cavalli catalog. This 2010 performance comes by way of the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, and features period instruments conducted by baroque-era specialist Federico Maria Sardelli. As has become more common in today’s productions, the sets are a combination of eras, mostly modern, while the costumes appear to be a potpourri of early 20th century. A number of the roles are doubled: tenor Emilio Pons (Sole/Egeo); mezzo-soprano Angelique Noldus (Amore/Alinda); baritone Andrew Ashwin (Ercole/Oreste); counter-tenor Yaniv d’Or (Delfa/Eolo); and bass-baritone Josef Wagner (Giove/Besso). The leads, Giasone sung by counter-tenor Christophe Dumaux, Isifile (and mother of his twin boys) by soprano Robin Johannsen, and Medea by mezzo-soprano Katarina Bradic, are all young and upcoming talents

The story is based on the legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece. Like its mythologic counterpart, the plot is very lengthy and convoluted, dealing with multiple relationships between Giasone and Medea, Giasone and Isifile (his true love), Egeo and Medeo and their various go-betweens. After a number of dramatic contortions, broken up with considerable levity by the scenes involving Oreste, Delfa and Demo, the right couples are reunited and Giasone saved from a watery grave.

The updated industrial staging and wardrobe do not work to the disadvantage of this ancient music and, despite its three hour-plus playing time, there is enough visual and vocal interest generated to keep the drama moving along.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Young French director Mariame Clement has become something of a hot property in the past decade. One can see the reason for this reception with the brilliant stage direction of what could have been just another static exercise in baroque opera. Medea is the obvious sex kitten of this piece, with countless costume changes a la Cher that accentuate her striking good looks. There is also a good bit of stage play like Giasone’s conquering of the bull arcade game, complete with toreador outfit, and Medea’s brewing up visual mischief. The videography is generally outstanding with a few minor rough spots in the beginning dark sequences, possibly due to the scrim.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Crystal-clear is the word for the audio with no word left unintelligible. The pit orchestra is well recorded and individual instrumental voices are quite distinct. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack does a great job of putting listeners in the good house seats, an important consideration given the length of the proceedings. The Dolby Digital (lossy soundtrack) and PCM 2.0 alternatives are reasonably good, but noticeably flat in terms of their presentation in comparison.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

I was fascinated by the interview with director Clement. This brief (5-minute) monologue gives you not only the motivation for this production but great insight into the director herself. An intense young person, she shows you the very essence of the creative process.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Even if you are a new to this operatic genre, as most viewers will be, Il Giasone is a very entertaining evening in an intimate setting replete with great singing, musicality, and stage direction.  I am happy to report that there is not a weak link in this cast, largely unfamiliar to US audiences. If there are discoveries to be made from this unusual video, then mine was mezzo-soprano Katarina Brandic who was not only lovely to behold but who produced some gorgeous vocalism. Counter-tenor Dumaux lacked the obvious physique of a hero (maybe some Greek home-cooking would have helped) but contributed a consistent and appealing performance. The supporting cast both sang and acted quite well. Modern dramaturgy of ancient works can work either for or against the original piece. Here director Clement does a great job with making a nearly 400 year-old work new and vibrant for today’s operagoers. Cavils about wardrobe and sets aside, a real revelation into the world of opera antiqua.  

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

Purchase Il Giasone on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”ca” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-20″]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B007RTO59E[/amazon-product]

Purchase Il Giasone on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Advertisement

Related Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.
%d bloggers like this: