Giselle - The Royal Ballet (2016)/Frankenstein: Royal Ballet
(2016)/Handel (2005 - 2016/Glyndebourne/Darcey Bussell in the
studio with Liam Scarlett and Laura Morera 4 Disc Blu-ray set/all
Opus Arte)/Olivo e Pasquale (2016/Dynamic)/Un Ballo in
Maschera (2016/Unitel/all Naxos Blu-rays)
B+/B/B/B/B- Sound: B+/A-/B/B/B+ Extras: B/B/D/D/C Main
for our look at a new round of Naxos Blu-ray releases, including a
rare-so-far Dolby Atmos release....
start with two very different theatrical performances, Giselle
(an opera) and an odd ballet interpretation of Mary Shelley's
Frankenstein, both landing on disc in grand fashion thanks to
Opus Arte. Both were performed by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera
House, which is why we start with them combined.
stars Marianela Nunez, Vadim Muntagirov, Bennet Gartside, Johannes
Stepanek, Elizabeth McGorian, Gary Avis, Itziar Mendizabal, Olivia
Cowley, and Beatriz Stix-Brunell. The show features music by Adolphe
Adam, Choreography by Marius Petipa, and direction by Ross Macgibbon.
This is my second Giselle disc and our fifth, so you can
read more about the work starting at this link...
stars Federico Bonelli, Laura Morera, and Steven McRae with direction
for the screen by Ross MacGibbon and fascinating choreography by Liam
Scarlett, an ambitious ballet version of the Horror classic.
features are presented on Blu-ray disc in 1080p high definition but
the audio specs are quite different. Frankenstein has a
beautiful Dolby Atmos 11.1 track (still too rare for these releases)
that simply sounds stunning while Giselle has both LPCM 2.0
and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless tracks comparable to most
opera discs as of late.
to Giselle with Peter Wright and the Artists
introduction to Frankenstein
Lieberman and Liam Scarlett on the music
Macfarlane on designing Frankenstein
Glyndebourne/Darcey Bussell in the studio with Liam Scarlett and
is presented in grand fashion on Blu-ray with a new box set that
features three iconic works Giulio Cesare (2005), Rinaldo
(2011), and Saul (2016). All three performances feature music
performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Giulio Cesare, David McVicar directs an all-star cast aided by
vivid playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under
conductor William Christie. In Director Robert Carsen's spin on
Rinaldo, some interesting props are featured that include
lacrosse sticks and flying bicycles, which was pretty amusing. The
storyline may be more interesting to those that enjoy horror and
fantasy as there are interesting fantasy-based warriors and evil
witches. The main attraction is the strong music, which is led by
conductor Ottavio Dantone.
Barrie Kosky's critically acclaimed Glyndebourne debut, Saul
is the newest performance in the collection and seems a bit more
polished than the other two entries. Under conductor Ivor Bolton,
the Old Testament story is retold to take place in the era when
Handel lived, which is a pretty interesting addition. Also worth
noting are the gorgeous costumes by costume designer Katrin Lea Tag.
1080i transfers on the discs with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio
are not terrible but not particularly astounding either. The sound
mixes are pretty strong on the discs with 2.0 LPCM and 5.1 DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) lossless tracks that are clean and clear throughout
and provide great detail on all of the musical cues that leave little
to complain about. Subtitles are also on the discs in English and
several other languages.
Dynamic comes the riveting opera performance of Olivo e Pasquale,
a fan favorite that has delighted audiences for years. Known also as
Melodramma giocoso, or romantic comedy opera about the title
character brothers and their conflicting lives with those around
them, this is the 1827 Neapolitan version with slight revisions and
recorded for the first time at the 2016 Donizetti Festival of
show stars Bruno Taddia (Olivo), Filippo Morace (Pasquale), Laura
Giordano (Isabella), Pietro Adaini (Camillo), Matteo Macchioni (Le
Bross), Edoardo Milletti (Columella), Silvia Beltrami (Matilde), and
Giovanni Romeo (Diego).
in 1080i/60 and a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio, the disc looks fine
but nothing too impressive in terms of visual presentation, yet still
better than standard definition. The audio mix is fine with a DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix and a PCM Stereo 2.0 mix both
included, depending on your home theater setup.
Ballo in Maschera
in Munich in March 2016, Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera
(aka A Masked Ball) is beautiful opera that you won't want to
miss. Featuring soprano Anja Harteros, singing Amelia for the first
time and tenor Piotr Beczala, director Johannes Erath's new
production was a huge hit with audiences and is now finding its way
onto disc thanks to Unitel.
by the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Orchestra, the show co-stars
George Petean, Anja Harteros, Okka von der Damerau, and Sofia Fomina.
This version is on par with the previous two productions we've seen
over the years on Blu-ray as follows:
Real/Royal Opera House/Opus Arte
in 1080i with 1.78:1 digital High Definition widescreen presentation
and a nice sounding PCM Stereo lossless track (along with a better,
lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track) - the show looks fine on
Blu-ray save a little bit of motion blur on some moments. The show
is nicely photographed for a nighttime look with heavy blues and
whites with long flowing white curtains. The program is nicely lit
and probably looked magnificent in person. Wish this were 2160p.