This month sees the release of an attractive mix of five outstanding video entertainment recordings:
- Adolphe Adam's ballet Le Corsaire in an entirely new and much acclaimed interpretation by Manuel Legris
(‘...a brilliant piece of work...’ – Attitude)
- orchestral works by four composers representing the best of the German and French traditions in the Cleveland Orchestra's Centennial Celebration concert
- a trio of grand musical settings of much-loved fairy tale operas under the distinguished musical direction of Colin Davis (Hänsel und Gretel), Vladimir Jurowski (The Cunning Little Vixen) and David Parry (The Adventures of Pinocchio)
- Shakespeare's Macbeth in which ‘Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack make a gripping central couple.’
(The Stage ★★★★★)
- and the three-act ballet Woolf Works (‘ ... a ballet that is both intelligent and tender’ – The Independent ★★★★) which won the 2015 Critics’ Circle award for best classical choreography and the 2016 Olivier Award for best new dance production
Adolphe ADAM (1803–1856)
Ballet in three acts
Robert Gabdullin • Maria Yakovleva
Wiener Staatsballett • Manuel Legris, Ballet Director
Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper • Valery Ovsianikov, Conductor
With its narrative of buccaneering bravado, exotic opulence, romance and traitorous intrigue, Le Corsaire is one of the most impressive narrative ballets of the 19th century, and it remains one of Adolphe Adam’s best-known works. Director of the Wiener Staatsballett, Manuel Legris, has choreographed a new version that draws on the rich performance traditions of Russia and France, and carefully combines spirited action, Adam’s delightful music, choreography, scenery and costumes into an elegant and impressive production which brings to life the colourful events that surround the leading couple of Conrad and Médora.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (NBD0090V)
Interview with Manuel Legris
Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854–1921)
Hansel and Gretel
Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, Directors
Tiffin Boys' Choir and Children's Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Colin Davis, Conductor
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928)
The Cunning Little Vixen
Melly Still, Director
The Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski, Conductor
Jonathan DOVE (b. 1959)
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Martin Duncan, Director
Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North
David Parry, Conductor
Fantastic storylines abound in opera, but these grand musical settings of much-loved fairytales embrace the imaginary, giving free rein to dreams. The Royal Opera’s acclaimed Hansel and Gretel combines the directors’ characteristic wit and knack for dark comedy with the story’s enduring charm. Glyndebourne’s recounting of the quick-witted fox’s escape intro nature balances the opera’s whimsy and mysticism. Opera North’s enchanting staging of Jonathan Dove’s 21st opera is a wittily inventive feast for the eyes and ears, shining new light on Collodi’s original tale, by turns magical and dark. Recorded in true Surround Sound.
Also available in Blu-ray (OABD7246BD)
William SHAKESPEARE (1564–1616)
Polly Findlay, Stage Director
‘Something wicked this way comes...’
Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder.
This contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller marks both Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return of Niamh Cusack to the Company.
Max RICHTER (b. 1966)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Vasko Vassilev, Concert Master
Koen Kessels, Conductor
Wayne McGregor, Direction and Choreography
Virginia Woolf defied the false order of narrative conventions to depict a heightened, startling and poignant reality. Woolf Works recreates the synaesthetic collision of form and substance in her writings.
Each of the three acts springs from one of Woolf's landmark novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves – but these inspirations are also enmeshed with elements from her letters, essays and diaries. Woolf Works expresses the heart of an artistic life driven to discover a freer, uniquely modern realism, and brings to life Woolf's world of 'granite and rainbow', where human beings are at once both physical body and uncontained essence. Woolf Works (2015) was Wayne McGregor's first full-length work for The Royal Ballet.
Also available in Blu-ray (OABD7247D)