Here's news about high-definition video recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, fine-art documentaries, and paintings. I call these recordings "HDVDs." In the journal below are independent (and hard-to-find critical) reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.

October 15. We are getting again into symphony titles and the existential issue of DVDitis. I just posted a story on a Mahler 2 recording at the Gewandhaus that might be considered DOA from the dread plague.

I recently put up a story about the 3rd version (!) of the same Giselle production published by Opus Arte. I recently posted a story about the Ekman Midsummer Night's Dream ballet (which has nothing to do with Shakespeare). I also just posted two stories about Shakespeare's The Tempest. The first is a definitive stage play version by the RSC. The second is an updated review of The Tempest movie staring Helen Mirren as Prospera (the female version of Prospero). The movie is streamlined - try it first. Then move on to the RSC "real deal", which is probably the best The Tempest ever made for home viewing.

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Entries in NVC Arts (1)

Wednesday
Aug212013

Cinderella

Cinderella ballet. Music by Sergei Prokofiev. The Birmingham Royal Ballet is directed and choreographed in 2010 by David Bintley in a new production. Stars Elisha Willis, Iain Mackay, Gaylene Cummerfield, Carol-Anne Millar, Marion Tait, Victoria Marr, Momoko Hirata, Lei Zhao, Angela Paul, Delia Mathews, Jamie Bond, Joseph Caley, Alexander Campbell, and Mathias Dingman. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is conducted by Koen Kessels. Set and costume design by John F. Macfarlane; lighting by David A. Finn; video direction by Ross MacGibbon.  Released 2011, disc has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Grade: B+

This disc proves once again that a ballet company with moderate resources can do wonderful work that can be turned into a fine HDVD to be sold all over the world. It's August 2013, and subject title now has competition from a Cinderella mounted recently by the Dutch National Ballet. But subject title remains the better choice for a mixed audience of adults and children or for an audience of just kids. It's a straight-forward recital of the familiar fairy tale with its simple but deep lessons---no updating, adult themes, or other overlay to make it "relevant." I'll demonstrate this with screenshots.

Why does Cinderella (Elisha Willis) look so frightened?

Faced with this, you would be too! In this production, Cinderella is apparently an orphan (no father in sight) and completely at the mercy of her stepmother (Marion Tait):

The step-sisters. Center is Skinny (Gaylene Cummerfield) and on the left is Dumpy (I call her Dumpling) played by Carol-Anne Millar in a clever fat suit. The sisters are screaming, "We're going to the party for the Prince and you are not!":

 

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