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PETITGIRARD, L.: Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man



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Little Prince, Huge Imagination: Laurent Petitgirard talks to Jeremy Siepmann

PETITGIRARD, L.: Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man

DVD Clip
Laurent PETITGIRARD (b. 1950)

Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man

Elephant Man Jana Sykorova
Doctor Treves Nicolas Rivenq
Tom Norman, showman Robert Breault
Mary, nurse Valérie Condoluci
Eva Lükes, matron Elsa Maurus
Carr Gomm, hospital manager Nicolas Courjal
The Coloratura Magali Léger
Jimmy, showman's assistant Mari Laurila-Lili
Nice Opera Chorus · Nice Philharmonic Orchestra Laurent Petitgirard

DVD 9 · NTSC · Regions 1-6

Picture Format: 16:9

Audio Formats: Dolby Digital 2.0 · Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English · French · German

Running time: 166 mins

Cat no.: 2.220001

This month Marco Polo is proud to present its first DVD Video title. True to the label's eclectic vision we are thrilled to present French composer Laurent Petitgirard's opera Joseph Merrick, dit Elephant Man in the critically acclaimed stage production with an all-star cast from Opéra Nice.

Written in 1998, Petitgirard's opera differs from David Lynch's cult film in offering an entirely different perspective on the tale of Joseph Merrick, born in 1863 with horrific deformities, exhibited as a freak at the circus, taken in by Dr. Treves at the London Hospital and subsequently afforded celebrity status. Where the film is based largely on Dr. Treves' memoirs, the opera is based on biographies of Joseph Merrick giving his character a more central focus than in the film.

"The opera is many ways the most original treatment of the story. … The most revolutionary aspect of the opera is the writing of Merrick's part for a female singer. At first tempted to make Merrick a counter-tenor, Petitgirard finally decided that only the contralto voice could give him the effects he wanted. Certainly, in the theatre, this helps to create the aura of strangeness, of otherness, which Merrick personifies." The Independent

"Petitgirard's musical vocabulary reflects his French heritage - the influences of Fauré, Ravel, Poulenc and Satie are evident - but his subtlety, melodic gift and sensitivity to the drama make him well-equipped to inherit the mantle and create his own outstandingly original idiom. … No doubt [the opera] would prove even more powerful onstage than on disc." Opera News


Laurent Petitgirard is known mainly as a composer of orchestral works, including concertos, symphonic poems and film scores, and as a conductor. Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, his first opera, depicts the tragic story of Joseph Merrick, who was born with horrifying deformities and exploited both as a freak show exhibit and as a medical curiosity. Petitgirard’s compelling and moving score—the composer’s melodic gift is very much his own—shows us Merrick at different stages of his tragic life until his death aged 27 in 1890. ‘The composer conducts a gripping performance of this fine opera’ (Sunday Telegraph)

Petitgirard, Laurent

Petitgirard, Laurent

Nice Philharmonic Orchestra

Nice Opera Chorus

Breault, Robert; Condoluci, Valérie; Courjal, Nicolas; Ferri, Eric; Greco, Cristina; Imbert, Bernard; Juan, Gilles San; Jurgens, Liesel; Laurila-Lili, Mari; Leger, Magali; Magnanini, Giulio; Maurus, Elsa; Parenti, Corinne; Rivenq, Nicolas; Sýkorová, Jana

Label: Marco Polo

Genre: Opera

Period: Contemporary

Catalogue No: 2.220001

Barcode: 0747313500161

Release Date: 10/2004

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