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Offenbach (2)

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Jacques Offenbach

1. Les Contes D’Hoffmann Paris 2002 (Flv)

422 MB

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Hoffmann – Neil Shicoff
Lindorf / Coppélius / Dr. Miracle / Dapertutto – Bryn Terfel
La Muse / Nicklausse – Susanne Mentzer
Olympia – Désirée Rancatore
Antonia – Ruth Ann Swenson
Giulietta – Béatrice Uria-Monzon
Andrès / Cochenille / Frantz / Pitichinaccio – Michel Sénéchal
La Voix de la mère – Nora Gubisch
Maître Luther / Crespel – Alain Vernhes
Spalanzani – Christian Jean
Nathanaël – Jean-Luc Maurette
Hermann – Josep Miquel Ribot
Schlémil – Nigel Smith
Stella – Bambi Floquet

Paris National Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Jesús López-Cobos, conductor
Robert Carsen, stage direction

Recorded live from the Opera national de Paris, 2002.


Three stories of passionate affairs, lost loves and the illusions of an artist! Hoffman, a musician and poet, recounts his love for the automaton Olympia, the singer Antonia and the courtesan Giulietta. In his only grand opera, Offenbach created a fantasy- filled, dreamlike atmosphere. The opera, which culminates with the immortal „Barcarolle“ Belle nuit, ô nuit d‘amour „, is considered to be one the most successful in the French repertoire. Arthaus Musik presents a DVD of Robert Carsen’s celebrated staging of Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Opéra Bastille. The award-winning Canadian is one of the foremost opera directors of today, well known for his exquisitely crafted productions and the classic beauty of his opera interpretations. He first produced Les contes d’Hoffmann for the Opéra de Paris in March 2000, and because of its great success, this production returned to the stage in October 2002, when this DVD was recorded. The film captures this vibrant staging, oscillating between the famous chorus scenes at Luther’s inn and the intimate moments of Hoffmann’s tragic tales. The great American singer-actors Neil Shicoff and Susanne Mentzer as Hoffmann and his friend Nicklausse lead through the three stories with highly versatile acting, while famous Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel plays and sings the four evil characters with awe-inspiring conviction. ---arkivmusic.com

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2. Orphée aux Enfers (Mp4)

476 MB

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Eurydice - Natalie Dessay
Orphée - Yann Beuron
Asistée - Pluton - Jean-Paul Fouchecourt
Jupiter - Laurent Naouri
L'Opinion Publique - Martine Olmeda, Ewa Podles and other singers
Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra National de Lyon
Grenoble Chamber Orchestra
Ballet du Grand-Théâtre de Genève

Marc Minkowski – conductor, 1998

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of opera's most potent archetypes, the subject of the earliest experiments in the genre by Peri and Monteverdi. But Offenbach's wickedly witty operetta uses it as a vehicle to lampoon stuffy artistic conventions as well as the social and political realities of Paris in the Second Empire. In this sublimely ridiculous scenario, Eurydice is a flighty flirt only too happy to be separated from husband Orpheus, a dullard violin teacher, when Pluto kidnaps her into his realm. At the promptings of the moralistic figure Public Opinion, Orpheus reluctantly plays out the prescribed mythic pattern of trying to reclaim his wife, while a depraved assortment of gods intervenes. The collision here of sacrosanct myth with opera buffa seems almost to anticipate aspects of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos; there is, to be sure, no mistaking an artistic lineage that leads to the romps of Gilbert and Sullivan. Marc Minkowski teases Offenbach's over-the-top parodies (an irreverent quote of Gluck's "Che faro senza Eurydice," for example) and stylistic gear-changes into an irresistibly fizzy concoction, using essentially the original 1858 version with additions from the expanded score of 1874. The orchestra brings out the exuberance of Offenbach's persistent dance rhythms--whether waltz based or in the famous can-can galop of the bacchanalian finale--as well as the tune-rich nature of the score. And the cast sparkles, featuring the crystalline acrobatics of Natalie Dessay's Eurydice, Ewa Podles in dusky, scornful contralto as Public Opinion, and Laurent Naouri as a horny Jupiter--to mention just a few of the treats in store here. ---Thomas May

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 05 March 2014 16:00)

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