Our latest line-up of new audiovisual releases features outstanding performances from the worlds of opera, dance and drama. There's a spectacular production of Adolphe Adam's opera Le Postillon de Lonjumeau from the Opéra Comique in Paris; a new production of Puccini's Il Tabarro from Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; a triple bill of Royal Ballet performances featuring the work of legendary choreographers, set to music by Shostakovich, Elgar and Glazunov; and The Royal Shakespeare Company's new production of Measure for Measure, written in the early 1600s, but astonishingly resonant with life today.
Adolphe ADAM (1803–1856)
Le Postillon de Lonjumeau
Libretto by Adolphe de Leuven and
Florie Valiquette, Soprano • Michael Spyres, Tenor
Franck Leguérinel and Julien Clément, Baritones
Laurent Kubla, Bass-baritone • Michel Fau and Yannis Ezziadi, Actors
Choir: accentus / Opéra de Rouen Normandie
Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie
Sébastien Rouland, Conductor • Michel Fau, Stage director
Adolphe Adam’s Le Postillon de Lonjumeau was a great success at its premiere in 1836, and, along with the ballet Giselle, has remained one of the composer’s most popular works. Following the great French tradition, this opéra-comique has it all: 18th-century Rococo Parisian glamour and a perilous love story involving the dashing and flirtatious Chapelou and his opposite, the powerful and clever Madeleine. This lavish and spectacular production from the Opéra Comique in Paris received widespread critical acclaim and also features costumes by the iconic French fashion designer Christian Lacroix.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (NBD0112V)
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924)
Opera in one act
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami
From La Houppelande by Didier Gold
Franco Vassallo • Angelo Villari • Maria José Siri
Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Valerio Galli, Conductor • Denis Krief, Director
This is a new production from Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Il Tabarro is one of the three one-act operas that make up Giacomo Puccini’s Il Trittico.
Michele is married to the young Giorgetta and shares a life full of hardships with her on a barge on the river Seine. She is in love with Luigi, a young longshoreman hired by her husband during the loading of the barge. When Michele overhears his wife arranging a night-time rendezvous with Luigi, he waits for the man and attacks him, forcing him to admit he is his wife's lover before finally strangling him. He then hides the body under his cloak (il tabarro), and when Giorgetta, in mortal fear, comes on deck and asks Michele if he does not wish her to come and rest near him under his cloak, her wronged husband throws it open and Giorgetta discovers in horror her dead lover’s body rolling at her feet.
The element of Didier Gold’s Houppelande that most attracted Puccini was the opportunity to represent a river in music; it acts as a backdrop to the plot and determines its pace. The importance of this atmosphere is enormous, because it is linked to the mise en scène more tightly than is usual. The action takes place entirely on a barge on the Seine in Paris, which takes centre stage. The music describing the river uses a cyclic repetition of ostinato patterns, representing the monotonous flowing of the water, as inexorable as destiny and as regular as the flow of time. In the first part of Tabarro, the pulse of the river represents the life of the downtrodden in this world – longshoremen and boatmen. But even when it disappears, the musical identity between drama and location persists.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (57872) and Digital Exclusive (7872)
William SHAKESPEARE (1564–1616)
Measure for Measure
Antony Byrne • Sandy Grierson • Claire Price • James Cooney
Amy Trigg • Lucy Phelps • Joseph Arkley • Tom Dawze
Graeme Brookes • David Ajao • Michael Patrick • Amanda Harris
Patrick Brennan • Sophie Khan Levy • Melody Brown
Karina Jones • Hannah Azuonye • Alexander Mushore
Gregory Doran, Director
‘To whom should I complain?’
When a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her.
Shakespeare wrote this play in the early 1600s, yet it remains astonishingly resonant today. Artistic Director Gregory Doran directs this new production.
‘Gregory Doran’s assured production offers a perfectly judged portrait of public hypocrisy and seething sexuality.’
– The Guardian ★★★★
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Choreography by Kenneth Macmillan
Anna Rose O’Sullivan • James Hay • Yasmine Naghdi
Ryoichi Hirano • Mayara Magri • Kate Shipway
Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)
Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Christopher Saunders • Laura Morera • Paul Kay
Philip Mosley • Calvin Richardson • Reece Clarke
Beatriz Stix-Brunell • Matthew Ball • Romany Pajdak
Bennet Gartside • Francesca Hayward • Luca Acri
Erico Montes • Itziar Mendizabal
Alexander Konstantinovich GLAZUNOV (1865–1936)
Raymonda Act III
Choreography by Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa
Natalia Osipova • Vadim Muntagirov • Fumi Kaneko
Meaghan Grace Hinkis • Claire Calvert • Beatriz Stix-Brunell
The Royal Ballet • Kevin O’Hare, Director
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Pavel Sorokin, Conductor • Vasko Vassilev, Leader
From The Royal Ballet’s classical origins in the works of Petipa, to the home-grown choreographers who put British ballet on the world stage, this mixed programme highlights the versatility of the Company. Petipa’s Raymonda Act III is Russian classical ballet summarised in one act, full of sparkle and precise technique, while Ashton’s Enigma Variations is quintessentially British in every way – from its score by Elgar and period designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, to Ashton’s signature style, the essence of British ballet. Concerto, MacMillan’s fusion of classical technique with a contemporary mind, completes a programme that shows the breadth of the Company’s heritage.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (OABD7272D)