This Don Giovanni is Dmitri Tcherniakov’s rethinking of an operatic warhorse that simply goes all wrong from the beginning.
Cherubini’s operatic version of the Medea legend gets a serious update by several centuries in this Belgian production. Soprano Nadja Michael steals the show in the title role. Some of the stage and costume decisions might offend traditional opera goers.
Le Nozze di Figaro gets a revival of the classic Giorgio Stehler staging from Paris. Musical production values are top-notch, but the video quality yields a bit of ground to the current competition.
Tchaikovsky’s perennial favorite ballet, The Sleeping Beauty, gets a big-time production from the Bolshoi company. Lead dancer David Hallberg is simply spectacular and is reason enough to go for this blu-ray disc.
One of the most romantic operas of all time, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette is given a massive performance with outrageous sets and costumes and, staged most appropriately in Verona’s outdoor arena. The leads are young and appealing but the visual qualities are a bit disappointing.
Giselle, one of the most popular of the classic ballet repertory, receives an enjoyable if not outstanding performance by the Bolshoi Ballet company. Videography and sound recording are excellent, enhancing the less than ideal Grigorovich choreography.
The Bolshoi Ballet has mounted a less conventional, but visually and dramatically effective production of the beloved Tchaikovsky ballet. This Nutcracker has many magic moments with excellent sound and visual recording.
A 20th anniversary tribute to legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins shows off the ballet corps of the Paris Opera Ballet. The Robbins pieces are stunning as witnessed by the videography.
Francis Poulenc’s only opera, Les Dialogues des Carmelites, is given a musically sound but visually disappointing performance at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Director Dmitri Tcherniakov must shoulder the blame for some of the dramatically misguided notions of recasting this masterpiece’s era and even its highly effective plot.