Titles by Category

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

Feb 11.  Finally we have a good grade (A-) to brag about for the new Don Quixote from the Vienna State Ballet.  Recently we posted a F+ grade for the new C Major Bruckner Symphony 3 and an F- grade for that C Major Mahler S1-10 Box performed by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. How can a major publishing house turn out something that gets an F-?

We recently posted more than you wanted to know about that Brahms Cycle Box from Belvedere. Now you can buy the 3 discs in the box independently. We bunched the 4 different deals together near the top of the Journal.

We just updated our manifesto about the best ballet and dance videos.


Entries in NVC Arts (1)



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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