Roméo et Juliette (2 DVD) - Villazón, Machaidze
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Roméo et Juliette (2 DVD)
Composer: Charles Gounod
Release Date: January 2009
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Orchestra: Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg
Record Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Stage Direction: Bartlett Sher
Region: Region Free, Worldwide
The sensational hit of Salzburg’s 2008 festival season stars tenor Rolando Villazón in a stunning performance. Soprano Nino Machaidze, only 25 years old, burst upon the Salzburg stage with an emotionally vulnerable and vocally spectacular performance. With movie star good looks and a large, warm voice, Machaidze wowed the press and audiences alike.
Bonus materials includes “Salzburg Impressions—Behind the Scenes of Roméo et Juliette,” “Love and Death in Verona” and Villazón giving an introduction to the opera.
Gounod's Roméo et Juliette
Perhaps the most enduringly successful of the many operatic settings of the world’s consummate love story, Roméo et Juliette is an excellent example of French Romanticism, a tradition that values subtlety, sensuality, and graceful vocal delivery over showy effects. In the opera there is a slight shift of focus away from the word games of the original play and a greater focus on the two lovers, who are given four irresistible duets, including a brief final reunion in the tomb scene that does not appear in the play.
World premiere: Théâtre Lyrique, Paris, 1867.
Charles Gounod (1818–1893) showed early promise as a musician and achieved commercial success with his opera Faust in 1859. Among his most famous works is a setting of the Ave Maria based on a piece by J. S. Bach.
In Shakespeare’s lifetime, Italy was a land of many small city-states in constant warfare with one another, but this same country was also the cradle of the Renaissance, with its astounding explosion of art and science. The image invoked by the story’s setting in the ancient city of Verona, then, is a beautiful but dangerous world where poetry or violence might erupt at any moment. The Met’s new production moves the action to the 18th century.
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