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RAMEAU: Les Boreades - Opera National de Paris, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (2 DVDs)
RAMEAU: Les Boreades - Opera National de Paris, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (2 DVDs)

RAMEAU: Les Boreades - Opera National de Paris, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (2 DVDs)

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Barbara Bonney (Alphise); Paul Agnew (Abaris); Laurent Naouri (Boree); Stéphane Degout (Borilée); Nicolas Rivenq (Adamas);

Director Robert Carsen and his creative team flood the stage with summer blossoms, drifts of autumn leaves, winter snows and thunderous spring storms. The cast of 140 are attired in elegant costumes inspired by late 1940s Dior. This mythical tale of a young queen, Alphise, determined to abdicate rather than contemplate an enforced marriage to a descendant of Boreas, is nothing less than highly-charged.

"It's possible to recreate everything about an eighteenth century opera except the audience, says director Robert Carsen in a documentary included with this DVD. "My work is for modern audiences". And how...In this brilliant production, Carsen goes to the heart of the drama...Michael Levine's stylised, bold designs allow the story to unfold with gripping clarity and, remarkably, some of the spectacular set-pieces (especially the storm in Act III) work even better on DVD than in the theatre itself. Barbara Bonney is vocally and dramatically stunning as Alphise…Conductor William Christie responds to Rameau’s varied and colourful score with élan, and Édouard Lock’s choreography " a version of classical ballet deconstructed and then pumped with amphetamines " is breathtaking." (Classic FM - DVD Best Buy)

"The cast ... is excellent ... The hero of the occasion is the conductor. Once again William Christie justifies the florid metaphors he used when naming Les Arts Florissants." (The New Statesman)

Extra features

'The Triumph of Love' - 60 minute documentary on the background of the production, including interviews with Robert Carsen, William Christie, Barbara Bonney, Paul Agnew and Laurent Naouri and other members of the cast.