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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”.
Here are the main findings for “La Clemenza di Tito” (full results available on request).
For this particular performance we asked the Jury their opinion of the contrast (in terms of image and sound quality) between the DVD part of the show (the first 15 minutes) and the HD Blu-Ray part (the remainder of the opera).
50% thought HD was outstandingly better
23% thought HD was much better
9% thought HD was appreciably better
5% thought HD was slightly better
14% thought HD was insignificantly better
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
75% answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.
NB: This Jury included at least 19 frequent opera-goers.
74% of them found this experience better than or comparable to a live performance.
Mozart’s last opera is a deep, humane reflection on relationships, power and forgiveness. Susan Graham’s most extraordinary Sesto and Christoph Prégardien’s superb Tito set the standard for this riveting Opéra national de Paris performance, conducted by the outstanding Sylvain Cambreling
Vitellia, daughter of deposed emperor Vitellius, wants revenge against Titus and stirs up Titus's vacillating friend Sesto, who is in love with her, to act against him. But when she hears word that Titus has sent Berenice of Cilicia, of whom she was jealous, back to Jerusalem, Vitellia tells Sesto to delay carrying out her wishes, hoping Titus will choose her (Vitellia) as his empress. Read the rest of the synopsis here...
Lire l’argument en français ici...
By showing the first 15 min of this opera in standard Definition DVD and the remainder in Blu-Ray High Definition, the Jury were able to really appreciate - and rate — the difference in picture and sound quality.
Opinion on this production was quite sharply divided. Some adored it, while others felt there was too much recitative. Almost everyone praised the singing, and quite a large number criticised the staging with its mix of ancient and modern.
Interestingly, we had more experienced opera-goers on this Jury than at any other screening so far.
Excellent conditions for appreciating this magnificent opera on such a noble theme— forgiveness. Superb interpretation.
Magnificent voices. Great costumes with magnificent interpretation. Poor set.
Not very convincing set. Superb voices, particularly that of Susan Graham.
Very much liked Susan Graham’s performance. Also liked the sets, but the opera is too long and too slow. And it was unfortunate we saw so little of the chorus.
Very much liked the interpretation of Sesto by Susan Graham. However, liked less the many short sequences and the slightly silly costumes.
The voices were superb and the quality of acting very high. However, the sets lacked interest. Directed movement often too repetitive (Susan Graham’s wall hugging for example). The music is marvellous!
Sets too minimal, not quite so good costumes. Facial expressions superb and well directed. Needs a more poetic librettist. Too much recitative and too many repetitive arias. Mozart did a marvellous job with what little he had to work around, although the speed of this composition (only 18 days) would seem to tell.
Almost perfect although not impressed by some of the costumes. A note on seeing opera on the HD screen — while it lacks the excitement of a live performance it offers a much more intimate and involving experience.
Liked the voices of Sesto and Vitellia (Susan Graham and Catherine Naglestad). Less keen on Tito (Christoph Prégardien). Rather too many close-ups.
Two static—not enough movement. Lovely dresses but too modern for the conception of the opera.
Very much enjoyed the performance of the singer-actors but didn’t like the costumes.
Very much liked the character of Sesto. Didn’t like the audiovisual production: The title breaking up the overture, too many quick shots, very few shots of the orchestra, etc. The voices were given too much prominence.
Like many operas, some parts would benefit from being edited for modern-day audiences reading subtitles that tell the story and don’t require endless repetitions. But Mozart is always good and excellent in parts—the performance of the main characters was pretty good. The staging was a bit underwhelming. Not sure if the opera/story benefited from the pseudo-modern, traditional mixture of costumes.
I did not go for the costumes. Adored the opera —voices outstanding.
A wonderful evening and experience.
The actors were very good. But the set…. ! It’s “sobriety” made everything seem rather cold in my opinion. It was the kind of environment you would expect for a modern play.
Not very satisfying staging and set. Some of the acting rather overdone.
Singing / performance: B+
HDVD production: B+
Overall ranking: B-