Notes & Reviews:
Matthew Bourne's SLEEPING BEAUTY sees the choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer's ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the Christening of Aurora, the story's heroine, in the year of the ballets first performance; the height of the Fin de siècle period when fairies, vampires and decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As Aurora grows into a young woman, we move forward in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long Summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any Fairy story.
Tchaikovsky's intoxicating music comes magically to life through Bourne's theatrical inventiveness and richly textured choreography.
Britain's most successful choreographer will blow your mind with his sheer imagination, wit and brio.
Extraordinary. Fantastic. Dazzling. Masterful.
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The Romantic Hero - all French program with arias from Werther, Carmen, Faust, Manon, L'Africaine, Contes d'Hoffmann, La Juive et al. / Vittorio Grigolo, tenor; Sonya Yancheva
'Belcanto Operas' - Donizetti: Lucrezia Borgia (Renée Fleming; Michael Fabiano, Elisabeth DeShong, Vitalij Kowaljow); Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Nicole Cabell, Joyce DiDonato, Saimir Pirgu, Eric Owens) [4 DVD]
J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier / John Paul, lautenwerck
Helix: No Rest for the Wicked [Digipak]
Callas Remastered - Bizet: Carmen (1964) / Callas, Gedda, Guiot, Massard, et al.; René Duclos Chorus; Jean Laforge, dir.; Jean Pesneaud Children's Chorus; Paris Opera National Theater Chorus; Georges Prêtre, cond.
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90 / Stephen Gould, Evelyn Herlitzius, Georg Zeppenfelds, Iain Paterson, Raimund Nolte, Christa Mayer, Tansel Akzeybek, Kay Stiefermann. Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Thielemann [Blu-ray]