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Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, December 2017

This Blu-ray disc is a fitting tribute to star dancer Davit Karapetyan who retired from San Francisco Ballet earlier this year. He and Maria Kochetkova give convincingly moving performances in the leading roles and are strongly supported by the rest of a very accomplished company. Helgi Tomasson’s accomplished choreography offers a genuine alternative to other, more familiar versions and this release showcases it in exemplary sound and pin-sharp picture quality. © 2017 MusicWeb International

James A. Altena
Fanfare, November 2017

The dancing of all the soloists and the ensemble is impressive. …Karapetyan and Kochetkova dance gracefully and expressively and are fully convincing in their mutual passion, especially in act III. The supporting roles are well integrated. As Mercutio, Pascal Molat conveys the light-hearted, sportive nature of his character without falling into gratuitous silliness, while Luke Ingham as Tybalt is properly menacing without being overtly evil (he is defending his family’s honor, after all). I like the fact that Paris (Myles Thatcher, a most handsome blond) is made very gentlemanly instead of smug, and that Juliet initially seems to find him reasonably attractive; one imagines that if fate and Romeo had not intervened, their arranged marriage would have proved a happy one after all. Jim Sohm proves an effective Friar Lawrence, and Martino Pistone a fearsome Prince in his one brief appearance; a special commendation is owed to Anita Paciotti for her winsomely sympathetic nurse. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Elliot Fisch
American Record Guide, November 2017

PROKOFIEV, S.: Romeo and Juliet [Ballet] (San Francisco Ballet, 2015) (NTSC) 739008
PROKOFIEV, S.: Romeo and Juliet [Ballet] (San Francisco Ballet, 2015) (Blu-ray, HD) 739104

This San Francisco ballet performance recorded on May 7, 2015 is a new production with new choreography by the Ballet’s artistic director Helgi Tomasson. Tomasson’s choreography is very impressive and blends well with Prokofieff ’s wonderful score. The disputes between the Montagues and Capulets is clearly presented, the masquerade ball is nicely staged, and the swordfights are very impressive (a video extra explains the training the ballet dancers go through to do this effectively and not get hurt). The choreography is often very beautiful, and the dancers are also good actors. The balcony scene, as in most performances, is the most impressive sequence. Maria Kochetkova is a delight from her opening dance through to the tomb scene. Davit Karapetyan is also impressive. Pascal Molat as Mercutio steals every scene when he is on stage. The ballet ensemble is excellent. The tomb scene has a wonderful finale as Juliet dies in Romeo’s arms. The orchestra plays the score very well, the 16:9 Blu-ray video is super sharp, the camerawork captures the movements effectively, and the soundtracks are state of the art. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, October 2017

…for the performances from the dancers, they are quite fine, right down through the cast. Maria Kochetkova is exceptional as Juliet, her movements always graceful, supple and beautiful. Her facial expressions early in the ballet radiate an ingratiating childlike innocence and joy, but in the darker and more tragic moments later on transform subtly to frustration, fear and sadness. She is a fine actress and a great dancer. Davit Karapetyan makes a splendid Romeo: his dance scenes with Juliet exude passion and deep love, and his sword fight with Tybalt divulges both exceptional athleticism and gracefulness. Luke Ingham in the role of Tybalt is also very convincing, both in his dancing and acting skills. As suggested above the remainder of the cast is also quite good. © 2017 Classical Net Read complete review

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, August 2017

This is one of the very fine and promising set of videos from “Lincoln Center at the Movies”, a series of movie house showings of concerts of all genres as well as opera and ballet. …The sight and sound of this very fine performance of the San Francisco Ballet’s 2015 live performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is everything you would want.

…this performance of Romeo and Juliet and others like it is a valuable and rewarding experience. Prokofiev’s melodies and harmonies are often sweet and suggestive but occasionally a bit angular. The duets with the principal characters are beautiful and adequately depict young love. Similarly, the swordplay scenes and the kind of lightweight violence portrayed in ballet is well played and suggestive in music of a situation getting worse.

All aspects of this very familiar story and one of Prokofiev’s better known scores are quite good in this rendition. The two protagonists are danced by Davit Karapetyan and Maria Kochetkova—they do a wonderful job. The dancers are both very attractive people of approximately the exact age group which Shakespeare’s play depicts. The orchestra under the baton of Martin West sounds superb—the SF Ballet Orchestra is, arguably, the greatest of its genre in the world. © 2017 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, May 2017

Whether initially skipping girlishly and lightheartedly across the stage or, later, exhibiting emotional depths that almost appear to surprise herself, [Kochetkova’s] portrayal of Juliet remains of a piece yet simultaneously demonstrates a credible degree of character development. Moreover, Ms Kochetkova’s technique is consistently and skilfully deployed to develop and add to choreographer Helgi Tomasson’s conception of the role.

[Davit Karapetyan] is an example of what sometimes appears to be an endangered species these days, the danseur noble.

The San Francisco supporting cast is also very fine. Those impetuous young roisterers Mercutio, Benvolio and Tybalt are each well characterised and are danced, moreover, by clearly accomplished artists. I also enjoyed Anita Paciotti’s fussily quasi-maternal portrayal of Juliet’s nurse. The company’s corps de ballet performs with energy and enthusiasm and does a fine job in giving us a well-differentiated selection of those haughty aristocrats, flirtatious young ladies, busy townsfolk, even busier harlots, fearsome soldiers, befuddled if well-meaning clergy and assorted general onlookers who people Prokofiev’s vision of Renaissance Verona. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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