- 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
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Opus Arte
- Blu-ray Release Date: October 25, 2011
- List Price: $24.99
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(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Sergei Prokofiev’s music drama, Peter and the Wolf, has been a perennial favorite for young listeners. This new ballet version was recorded last year, and we get a preview of the dancers of the future, as the main roles are taken by students of the Royal Ballet School. This BD is one of those happy occasions where the stars aligned and we get to see Matthew Hart’s choreography as it was intended. While the sets are modest and the scenery provided by representational dancers, the principal dancers convey a fine sense of theater and the 30 minutes fly by in no time. Musical direction and videography are both first rate.
The camera work covers the piece expertly. There is a good sense of the stage and Sergei Polunin’s Wolf is spectacular. The younger dancers are also given their visual due. The color palette is rich, and engaging, The close ups of the dancers’ faces conveys the obvious joy that they experienced during this performance.
The orchestra is well captured on the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. The stage noise which can be distracting, is minimal. The narrator, Will Kemp, is clear and kept in good sonic perspective.
None are provided.
The Definitive Word
This Peter and the Wolf will be an instant favorite with young and old. Forget, for a moment, that you are watching mostly ballet students rather than professionals. The level of performance is astonishingly high and the overall production values consistent with what one expects from the Royal Ballet, that is top notch. The smallish pit orchestra is crisp and clear, letting Prokofiev’s music speak for itself. There are other versions of this work but I think that this one is effective in getting the story’s message across. My only cavil would be the extremely short run time of 30 minutes and lack of supplements.
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