André GRÉTRY (1741-1813)
Peter the Great
From the Helikon Opera Moscow 2002
Comic Opera in Two Acts
Sung in French, with dialogue in Russian
Nikolai Dorozhkin, Anna Grechishkina, Mikhail Davydov,
Chorus and Orchestra of the Helikon Opera, Sergey Stadler
Stage Production: Dimitry Bertmann
Sets and Costumes: Igor Nezhuy and Tatiana Tulubieva
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Surround 5.1, DTS
Picture Format: 4:3
Menu Languages: D, F, GB, SP
Subtitles Languages: IT, D, F, GB, SP
Region Code: 0 worldwide
Running Time: 146 mins
DVD 9 / NTSC
Cat no.:101 097
"[Gretry's] music is very approachable; light frothy soufflés,
full of charm and sharply observed wit. Calculated to cheer."
A rarity on Arthaus this month, a performance of Peter the Great staged
to celebrate the 300th anniversary of St.Petersburg.
Gretry's opera, premiered in Paris 1790, is one of the first operas about Russian
emperor Peter I. Despite the fact that there are real historical characters
in the comic opera, it reminds a fairy tale. There are no negative characters
here; no one performs improper deeds; Virtue, Friendship and Sincerity are glorified.
Andre Gretry has been described as the "Molière of music".
He studied in Rome and later settled in Paris, and the multiple influences he
absorbed over these two periods of his life can be keenly felt in his music.
He is mainly known for his opéra-comique works, of which there
are over 50.
"The Helikon struck gold with house resident tenor Nikolai Dorozhkin
as Tsar Peter. The role lies beautifully for Dorozhkin's grainy tenor, and he
evidently enjoyed every moment of it. His height and bearing aid him greatly."