L’OperaDou Jury ratings are also posted on the authoritative HDVD Arts site
which lists ALL Fine Art HDVDs currently available.
We hope you find these ratings and opinions useful. Let us know!
As usual, in addition to the Jury ratings we also conducted a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
NB: This Jury included at least 10 experienced opera-goers.
75% of them found this experience better than or comparable to a live performance.
Premiered in February 2011, The Royal Opera described this as "provocative in its themes, exciting in its bravura style and thrilling with its sheer contemporary nerve." It also comes with an impeccably high–art cast and crew — and a warning of "extreme language, drug abuse and sexual content."
Yes, this really is quite a show, tracing the brief life of Anna Nicole Smith from working in a Krispy Fried Chicken restaurant to her lap-dancing and “Playmate” days, “massive” breast enhancement, marriage to an 89 year old billionaire, his death and her subsequent war with the family over the inheritance. Decline and tragedy follow. This true story has all the makings of an opera libretto and is brilliantly directed. Absolutely fabulous !!!
Read the “Daily Telegraph” review here
Read “The Independent” review here
Part of a review posted on the HDVDArts website by L’OperaDou:
The cast is consistently excellent, especially Eva-Maria Westbroek. Everyone looks the part - and sings or dances the part with superlative style… This show certainly has something for everyone, and will appeal to people who may be put off by more conventional operas. They cannot fail to be impressed by this mixture of over-the-top brashness and the sheer pathos of this girl and her story.
What the Jury liked:
Several jury members commented on Eva-Maria Westbroek’s excellent performance in the title role in the way the story was told. The singing overall and acting was also highly praised. “The emotion conveyed by the characters and the originality of the costumes were outstanding,” one juror commented.
“Edifying biography which was both profound and sincere while still having an edge of caustic humour.”
“So different from ‘conventional’ works, surprising in its modernity, expressing life in the 21st-century and the American dream. Fascinating, and disappointing at the same time. Superb music and ‘daring’ words but very moving. I loved it very much.”
“A real modern opera. An absolute triumph in technical and emotional terms. Surrealistic, and yet a real expression of “America” - makes you deeply reflect on the way society is evolving. Deciding to show this story in such a way was a stroke of pure genius.”
What the Jury liked less:
50% of the jury had no negative comments to make. However, as might be expected one or two found some of the language a little too “vulgar” for their taste.
Two people did not feel comfortable with the “modern” musical language.
Several people made comments about the sound being “flat” and/or “monotonous” and not quite up to the very high standards we are used to on Blu-ray disks.
One person complained that, “It didn’t make me cry.” (!!!)
Singing / performance: A-
HDVD production: B-
Overall ranking: B