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John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, July 2013

The production is full of life, especially in the market and outdoor scenes, which revel in plenty of color and vibrancy. The drama is usually uppermost, which makes for a more exciting production.

The orchestral backing is also excellent, in spite of the cramped conditions of their below-stage orchestra pit. None of the other companies seem to dance this ballet as well as the Royal Ballet, and no ballet lover should be without this terrific Blu-ray. I’m not a balletomane, but my favorite ballets are this and Khachaturian’s Spartacus. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, June 2013

This new effort on Opus Arte from the Royal Ballet…features splendid dancing by the principals, with Lauren Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli making a splendid Roméo and Juliet. Really, I should extend my praise to including the entire cast of dancers, as they all turn in simply excellent work.

Clearly, this Royal Ballet performance is probably now the frontrunner in the Roméo and Juliet video sweepstakes…

…Barry Wordsworth draws fine playing from the Royal Opera House Orchestra…everything generally sounds spirited and sensitive to the many emotional swings in this heartrending story.

…Kenneth MacMillan’s choreography is imaginative and quite effective…The sets and costumes evoke a Renaissance-era sumptuousness and regality, and the lighting, camera work and sonics are excellent. For those interested in ballet in general or Kenneth MacMillan in particular, or in theatrical Prokofiev, this Blu-ray disc should offer a high measure of enjoyment. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review

Nicholas Sheffo
Fulvue Drive-in, May 2013

…it is a very richly, extravagantly produced ballet piece conducted by Barry Wordsworth featuring the classic music of Sergey Prokofiev…I cannot imagine a more lavish production and this runs 158 minutes, but is never boring, never dull and impressive throughout. One of the best ballets we’ve seen on Blu-ray to date, here’s one not to miss. © 2013 Fulvue Drive-in Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2013

London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, present their celebrated version of Kenneth MacMillan’s choreography in a theatre performance filmed in March 2012. It certainly does not seem forty-eight years ago since I was drooling over the young Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn dancing the leading roles at the theatre against a backdrop of spectacular sets. I really have lost count of the number of performances I have seen since then, but those of use who were fortunate enough to see Marcia Haydee on the enormous stage in Rio de Janeiro, a decade or more later, will tell you that her’s was the ultimate Juliet. I suppose today’s audiences will be speaking in such terms when describing Lauren Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli, for in looks and stature they are perfect for the age of the star-struck young lovers. They dance with a limpid beauty that leaves the athleticism to others, Alexander Campbell outstanding as Mercutio in the dual scene with Bennet Gartside’s malicious and fractious Tybalt. And yet it is the superb dancing and characterisation of the Three Harlots from Itziar Mendizabel, Laura McCulloch and Samantha Raine that comes precious close to upstaging those all around them. Certainly the big ball scene of the first act is suitably spectacular as the stage becomes packed with dancers, and throughout the costumes make the production a blaze of colour. You see the rapiers actually bend as they clash, showing just how dangerous are the fight scenes, and MacMillan did not fudge the need to effect rapid changes of scene, the booklet recalling the original stage staff coming near a nervous breakdown. Here everything is very slick, the camera work managing to capture the mass of action on the stage, while getting very close at the appropriate moments. In the orchestra pit the performance has one of today’s great ballet conductors, Barry Wordsworth, directing the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. In Blu-ray the colours and sound are excellent, but there is also a standard DVD on OA 1100D. Very highly recommended. © David’s Review Corner

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