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Rameau: Les Boréades / William Christie/Opéra National de Paris, Bonney, Agnew [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Rameau, Jean-Philippe : Les Boreades
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Written in 1763, this opera was abandoned in rehearsal, for reasons still unclear. Rameau died the following year and the work disappeared from public view for more than 200 years. In this production, Director Robert Carsen and his creative team flood the stage by turns with summer blossoms, mountainous piles of autumn leaves, harsh winter snows and thunderous spring storms. The cast of 140, including soloists, chorus and dancers are attired in costumes inspired by late 1940s Dior.

Les Boréades is an opera in five acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau. It was the last of Rameau's five tragédies en musique. This mythical tale of a young queen, Alphise, determined to abdicate rather than contemplate an enforced marriage to a descendent of Boreas, is nothing less than highly charged. Her forbidden love for Abaris is reciprocated, but seems hopeless until his divine origins are revealed, whereupon darkness is turned to light and Boreas' dingy domain is suffused with glowing colors, both literally and metaphorically. In addition, included is an extra feature, The Triumph of Love, which is a 60-minute documentary including interviews with Robert Carson, William Christie, Barbara Bonney, Paul Agnew and Laurent Naouri.

"The question these days isn't whether Baroque opera is going to be performed in modern dress on a barren stage, but will it work? In this particular case, I think it does. While I have major concerns about the choreography, this filmed, live staging of Les boreades achieves its goals. Fortunately, they include the musical and dramatic goals of Rameau, though they add their own to the mix... As it is, we have a radical staging coupled to a musical production that's the last word in scholarly authenticity. These musings aside, I'll take my Rameau where I can find him, at least, when he's performed as well as this." - Barry Brenesal, Fanfare

Gramophone
tragédie en musique... rich in invention and musically thrilling...

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 218 min.
Region: 1
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish



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Works Details

>Rameau, Jean-Philippe : Les Boréades
  • Performers: Toby Spence (Tenor); Nicolas Rivenq (Baritone); Anna Panzarella (Mezzo Soprano); Laurent Naouri (Bass); Stèphane Degout (Baritone); Barbara Bonney (Soprano); Jael Azzaretti (Mezzo Soprano); Paul Agnew (Tenor)
  • Conductor: William Christie
  • Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta