Productions from The Royal Ballet, the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy, the 2018 Donizetti Festival and Ballet Prelcojac comprise our latest selection of audiovisual recordings featuring the finest performers of drama, opera and dance:
- Angelin Preljocaj, one of France’s leading contemporary choreographers, explores the famous traditional Chinese tale of La Fresque (The Painting on the Wall).
- Star sopranos Jessica Pratt and Carmela Remigio give stunning performances in the world premiere video recording of Donizetti's 1829 opera Il Castello di Kenilworth.
- A ground-breaking, all-female stage production, adapted from William Shakespeare's two plays about King Henry IV, Prince Hal and Falstaff, and presented as if performed by inmates of a women's prison.
- A new production of Swan Lake with opulent designs providing an atmospheric, period setting for this enthralling love story, illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s sublime score.
Angelin PRELJOCAJ (b. 1957)
(The Painting on the Wall)
Music by Nicolas Godin (b. 1969)
The famous traditional Chinese tale of La Fresque (’The Painting on the Wall)’ tells of two travellers who take shelter at a small temple, one of whom becomes so enraptured by the image of a beautiful girl in a fresco that he is transported into another dimension. Angelin Preljocaj, one of France’s leading contemporary choreographers, explores this mysterious relationship between representation and reality with a spectacular and unforgettable ballet filled with dynamic action, emotive lyricism and powerful responses to the music of Nicolas Godin, one half of the celebrated music duo Air. La Fresque has been admired for its ‘breath-taking scenes’ (La Terrasse) and its ‘dark and splendid beauty’ (L’Humanité).
Also available in Blu-ray Video (NBD0094V)
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848)
Il Castello di Kenilworth
Melodramma - Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola
Jessica Pratt • Carmela Remigio
Xabier Anduaga • Stefan Pop
Orchestra Donizetti Opera • Coro Donizetti Opera
Riccardo Frizza, Conductor • Maria Pilar Pérez Aspa, Director
Recorded during the 2018 Donizetti Festival, Il Castello di Kenilworth was first staged at Naples’ San Carlo in 1829. Based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott and adapted by librettist Leone Tottola, this rare opera has long been unjustly neglected. The recording features the original version of the score, with the role of Warney entrusted to a tenor (the composer changed the voice to baritone in his 1836 revision). Il Castello di Kenilworth was followed by several other successful works that Donizetti similarly based on British history (Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Rosmonda d’Inghilterra, Emilia di Liverpool, Lucia di Lammermoor); it presents the character of Queen Elizabeth I, torn by the inner struggle between a monarch’s duty and a woman’s feelings. The fundamental pivot of the drama is the antagonism between the two female characters who both dwell and suffer in loneliness in a male-dominated world.
The performance received excellent reviews, praising the richness of the costumes, the sobriety of the stage setting, and above all the vocal and acting skills of the whole cast, which features first-rate singers such as star sopranos Jessica Pratt and Carmela Remigio, who share the stage with talented tenors Stefan Pop and emerging talent Xabier Anduaga.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (DYN-57834) and CD (CDS7834.02)
William SHAKESPEARE (1564–1616)
Phyllida Lloyd's All-Female Production
Starring Harriet Walter
This innovative film, recorded before a live audience, documents the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female stage production, adapted from William Shakespeare’s two plays about King Henry IV, Prince Hal and Falstaff.
The bold, contemporary production is presented as if played by inmates of a women’s prison and was described by critics as ‘unforgettable’. The director for both stage and screen is Phyllida Lloyd, and Dame Harriet Walter is Henry IV.
The Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy began in 2012 with an all-female production of Julius Caesar led by Dame Harriet Walter. Set in a women’s prison, the production asked the question, ‘Who owns Shakespeare?’ Two further productions followed: Henry IV in 2014 and The Tempest in 2016, all featuring a diverse company of women. The Trilogy enthralled theatre audiences in London and New York and was shared with women and girls in prisons and schools across the UK. The film versions were shot live in a specially built temporary theatre in King's Cross in 2016, and now offer screen audiences unique access to these groundbreaking productions.
Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893)
Ballet in four acts
Marianela Nuñez • Vadim Muntagirov
Liam Scarlett, Choreographer
after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Koen Kessels, Conductor
Swan Lake is perhaps the best-loved of all classical ballets and has a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. This new production by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett features additional choreography while remaining faithful to Petipa and lvanov’s classic. John Macfarlane’s opulent designs provide an atmospheric, period setting for this enthralling love story, illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Marianela Nuñez brings both poignancy and glitter to the dual role of Odette/Odile, with Vadim Muntagirov as the yearning Prince Siegfried, while the corps de ballet are showcased at their spellbinding best as the enchanted swans and cygnets. Recorded in true Surround Sound.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (OABD7256D)