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Minkus: Don Quichotte / Paris National Opera Ballet

Minkus / Dupont / Florio / Legris / Bart
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Arthaus Musik   Catalog #: 107009  
Composer:  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus
Conductor:  Ermanno Florio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Ludwig Minkus

Kitri – Aurélie Dupont
Basile – Manuel Legris
Espada – Jean-Guillaume Bart
La danseuse de rue – Marie-Agnès Gillot
La Reine des Dryades – Delphine Moussin
Cupidon – Clairemarie Osta
Les deux amies – Mélanie Hurel, Veronique Doisneau
Don Quixote – Jean-Marie Didière
Sancho – Fabien Roques
Gamache – Lauren Queval
Lorenzo – Alexis Saramite
Le gitan – Karl Paquette
La demoiselle d’honneur – Fanny Fiat

Les Etoiles, les Premiers Danseurs et le Corps de Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris

Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris
Read more Ermanno Florio, conductor

Rudolf Nureyev, Choreography and Stage Direction (Opéra de Paris 1981, éditions Mario Bois) based upon Marius Petipa’s ballet

Recorded live from the Opera National de Paris, April 2002

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Menu language: English
Running time: 122 mins
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W: 3443020.az_MINKUS_Don_Quichotte_Ermanno.html

MINKUS Don Quichotte Ermanno Florio, cond; Aurélie Dupont ( Kitri ); Manuel Legris ( Basilio ); Jean-Guillaume Bart ( Espada ); Marie-Agnès Gillot (Danseuse de Rue ); Jean-Marie Didière ( Don Quichotte ); Delphine Moussin ( Reine des Dryades ); Clairemarie Osta ( Cupidon ); Mélanie Hurel; Véronique Doisneau; Fabien Roques; Laurent Quéval; Alexis Saramite; Karl Paquette; Fanny Fiat; Rudolf Nureyev, based upon Marius Petipa (choreographer); Paris Op Ballet & O ARTHAUS 107 009 (122: 00). Live: Paris 4/2002

Ludwig (or Léon) Minkus does not rank very high on anyone’s list of distinguished composers, but his music nonetheless survives thanks to the tuneful scores he turned out for the ballet, particularly for the choreographer Marius Petipa. And it is probably Don Quichotte that is the best-known today, closely followed by La Bayadère . Until the Russian ballet companies began touring the West in the 1950s and 60s, audiences knew only the pas de deux, which was a staple of many a touring company. But once the Kirov and Bolshoi showed us that there was considerably more to the work, productions began to proliferate. Rudolf Nureyev even made a full-length film of the ballet almost 50 years ago with the Australian Ballet Company, which allows us to see the captivating Lucette Aldous. He then went on to stage the piece for many other companies, including the Paris Opera. Aside from the fact that today we don’t know how much of Don Quichotte is actually the work of Petipa, as it was revived and revised by Alexander Gorsky, among a great many others, rendering meaningless the credit “based upon Marius Petipa,” what Nureyev gives us is his version of the ballet as danced by the Kirov during his time with that company.

The Paris Opera Ballet has gone all out for this production, with colorful sets and costumes, outstanding dancers, and fidelity to Nureyev’s concept. We can appreciate the attempt to convey a vitality to the surroundings, but when the choreographer gives the performer of Basilio some extra dancing, we easily recognize the kind of posturing for which Nureyev himself was famous. Aurélie Dupont’s Kitri shows another facet of her talent after her Sleeping Beauty and Sylphide, entering wholeheartedly into the fun while demonstrating a flawless technique. Manuel Legris, now retired and director of the Ballet of the Vienna Opera, is the ideal partner, matching Dupont in the fullness of his portrayal. Jean-Guillaume Bart is a virtuoso Espada, while Marie-Agnès Gillot is not as flamboyant as usual as the Street Dancer. And what happened to the solo with the daggers planted in the stage floor? They are in the old film. Delphine Moussin’s Queen of the Dryads lacks some of the amplitude we usually associate with her solo, but Clairemarie Osta is piquant as Cupidon. It is unfortunate that Jean-Marie Didière in the title role wears a mask so that his face is totally unexpressive. Conductor Ermanno Florio leads an effective performance, but does not seem to stimulate the dancers, so many of the special moments do not have quite the effect we have seen on other occasions, for example the one-handed lifts near the end of act I or the previously mentioned solo of the Queen of the Dryads.

FANFARE: Joel Kasow
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Works on This Recording

Don Quixote by Léon Fyodorovich Minkus
Conductor:  Ermanno Florio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869; Russia 

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