5.6 C
New York
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Advertisement

Delibes: Lakmé [Opera Australia/Joel-Hornak] 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
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Opera Australia
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

[amazon-product]B007C7FFEA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Lakmé on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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]

Opera tastes change over time and Leo Delibes’ Lakmé is one work that has had its ups and downs in the theater. When Lakmé premiered 130 years ago, there was great fascination with the Orient, and a number of operas like Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers embraced these exotic cultural themes. For most of us, Lakmé is mostly the Flower Duet and the Bell Song but I can assure potential viewers that there is a large quantity of gorgeous music in this score that really deserves to be heard. The story is set in 19th century India after the British occupation. Lakmé (Emma Matthews) is the daughter of high priest Nilakantha (Stephen Bennett). On an outing with his English girlfriends, Gerald (Aldo di Toro), a British officer, catches her off guard but soon the pair fall in love. When Nilakantha gets word of this development, he vows revenge. Later, at a bazaar, Lakmé is forced to sing the Bell Song to lure Gerald into view and when he appears, Nilakantha stabs him.Lakmé takes Gerald to a secret hiding place to recover from his wounds. As Lakmé prepares for her ultimate union with Gerald, Frederic (Luke Gabbedy), another British officer, suddenly arrives to remind Gerald of his responsibility to the regiment. Lakmé now realizes that they can never be together and takes poison.

Opera Australia’s 2011 production is captured in this Blu-ray and it is replete with period costumes and lush atmospheric sets. The vocalism is quite good for all of the major roles. Coloratura soprano Emma Matthews will not make me forget the legendary Lily Pons, but her portrayal of the Hindu priestess verges on the spectacular and is certainly good enough to carry the day. Tenor colleague di Toro has a pleasant lightweight if characterless voice that plays well with this score. The supporting cast is most competent. Young French conductor Emmanuel Joel-Hornak understands the idiom of this opera and gets across the Bizet-like elements that will sound familiar to those who have not previously heard Delibes’ music.  The performance’s sights and sounds are beautifully captured, adding to the enjoyment.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Lakmé is a very visual opera and this production does it justice. I was continually impressed with the camera work, the colors of the sets and costumes. The exotic atmosphere that Lakmé demands was ever present in staging that was almost over the top. Opera Australia continues to mount performances that are visually exciting and this one is no exception.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]


The recording is very voice-friendly but not at the experience of Delibes’ sumptuous orchestration. Thanks are due to the engineers and the maestro in the pit are quite due. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is excellent with some hall ambience and good depth.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

There is a brief documentary on Lakme by Roger Hodgson that will be useful to newcomers. A cast gallery fills out the extras short list.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]


Judging from the current catalog, Lakmé is not a household word with only one other currently available video disc, the venerable 1970 Australian Opera DVD featuring the late Joan Sutherland and her husband, conductor Richard Bonynge. While Dame Joan’s performance is hors de concours, the remainder of the cast and production is pretty ordinary. This makes the current release so important to Lakmé lovers.  It has the all of the elements for which you attend the opera: great visuals, marvelous music, superb singing, and gorgeous presentation. I had not seen Emma Matthews perform previously but, based on this performance, I will certainly look forward to seeing more of her in the future. As regards Opera Australia, continue to bring ‘em on, mates.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B007C7FFEA[/amazon-product]

Purchase Lakmé on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Join the Discussion on Our Forum


Advertisement

Related Articles

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.

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

Stay Connected

299FansLike
0FollowersFollow
0FollowersFollow
- 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

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Criterion gives us a brilliant new 4K restoration on Blu-ray of Jim Jarmusch's 1999's indie classic about a loner assassin who follows the way of the samurai.

Westworld: Season Three — The New World (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The third season of HBO's flagship sci-fi series sends the Hosts into the real world for a somewhat disappointing eight episodes but a magnificent 4K Ultra HD release.
%d bloggers like this: