Audrey Luna · Isabel Leonard Alek Shrader · Alan Oke Simon Keenlyside The Metropolitan Orchestra and Chorus Thomas Adès
Production: Robert Lepage
Int. Release 16 Aug. 2013
0440 073 4932 8 DVD-VIDEO NTSC GH STEREO: PCM / SURROUND: DTS 5.1 Picture Format: 16:9 · Filmed live in High Definition Subtitles: German/English/French/Spanish/Korean A Metropolitan Opera High-Definition Production
Audrey Luna, Isabel Leonard, Iestyn Davies, William Burden, Toby Spence, Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Feigum, Kevin Burdette, John del Carlo, Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Thomas Adès
Audience Applause, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Thomas Adès
Total Playing Time 2:05:43
Thomas Adès a magnifiquement compris les enjeux et la symbolique délirante du sujet traité au théâtre par Shakespeare . . . Une réussite absolue. Prospero anthologique, félin, délirant, au dire millimétré, Simon Keenlyside a trouvé de fait et de facon indiscutable, un rôle taillé pour son tempérament vocal et scénique. Hier Ferdinand amoureux, Toby Spence, tout aussi excellent dans un registre plus aigu, incarne avec quel trouble et ambivalence le déloyal et pervers Antonio ; les autres ténors sont à la fête, au diapason d'une direction d'acteurs qui associe finesse et présence : Alek Shrader (le joli et aimable Ferdinand), William Burden (Roi de Naples) et Alan Oake (pétillant Caliban). Même enthousiasme pour les dames . . . C'est un triomphe légitime tend la réalisation sert une partition admirable. Londres a enfanté un chef d'oeuvre lyrique contemporain . . . A voir et s'en délecter de toute urgence.
Record Review /
Adrien De Vries,
Classiquenews.com / 05. November 2013
. . . ["The Tempest"] est un enchantement musical et vocal rehaussé, dans cette captation . . . En conservant au mieux la qualité sonore grâce un enregistrement d'une technique irréprochable, le DVD permet, par les divers angles de prise de vue, les plans rapprochés et lointains, de bénéficier de tous les détails des superbes décors et d'une direction d'acteurs particulièrement subtile, tout en gardant une vue d'ensemble de ce spectacle en tous points remarquable . . . Les couleurs, les costumes, les maquillages, les tatouages (de Prospero) sont magnifiques . . . La beauté de la langue anglaise . . . est magnifiée par la diction des chanteurs, tous excellents. On est frappé par la présence scénique de Simon Keenlyside, en homme mûr dont le torse musculeux évoque le pouvoir et l'expérience, mais aussi la science grâce aux tatouages dont il est orné. De même ne peut-on qu'être saisi par le jeu intense (et très physique, voire acrobatique) d'Audrey Luna en Ariel toujours situé(e) dans les airs, d'Alan Oke en Caliban au plus proche de son élément . . . ou ému par la gracieuse Isabel Leonard irradiant de charme et découvrant le monde . . . ébloui par la candeur du bel Alex Shrader . . . À la justesse des corps, de leur apparence et de leurs mouvements répond celle des voix, d'une beauté à couper le souffle. Pour qui découvre à la fois l'oeuvre et ses interprètes, l'émerveillement est double. Au sein de cette musique proprement ensorcelante . . . le baryton à la fois viril et vulnérable, puissant et sensible de Simon Keenlyside exprime la maîtrise absolue des éléments et son inévitable contrepartie, la solitude et l'isolement. Tour à tour conteur et spectateur de l'action, le chanteur déploie une palette de nuances, alterne les inflexions propres aux divers affects, semble être le messager du compositeur démiurge . . . L'agilité et la puissance vocales de la soprano Audrey Luna sont fascinantes car elle vont, dans leur tenue et leur durée, bien au-delà des coloratures aigues du répertoire . . . Assurément, cet enregistrement est "de l'étoffe dont sont faits les rêves".
Record Review /
Forum Opéra / 28. November 2013
A Conversation with Robert Lepage
You’ve directed multiple productions of The Tempest over the years. Why do you keep coming back to this play, and what about the work asks for and allows for re-interpretation?
It’s a work I love. It’s a very refined piece, and it’s like a “best of” of all Shakespearean works. You get tragedy, you get comedy, you get fantasy. The reason it lends itself so well to be adapted into an opera is that all of the magic spells and the art of Prospero is through music in the play. His principal servant Ariel, as his name indicates, is made of air, and he bewitches and attracts people onto the island with sound, with beautiful music. Caliban at one point talks about how the island is “full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs.”
The poetry of The Tempest is conveyed in such a simple, economical manner. It’s a very simple, strong, bewitching piece.
What about the work asks for and allows for re-interpretation?
The reason it lends itself so well to be adapted into an opera is that all of the magic spells and the art of Prospero is through music in the play. His principal servant Ariel, as his name indicates, is made of air, and he bewitches and attracts people onto the island with sound, with beautiful music. Caliban at one point talks about how the island is “full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs.”
How did the remarkable music guide your work as a director?
Well, the music stands by itself, of course. But there are certain things that the libretto and the score demand from the staging, where you really need to clarify situations, because you are playing with a world of the real and the surreal. You know, you have real characters onstage, and then you have this array of spirits and illusions and all of that. So you have to make sure that you understand, within the music, what accompanies what, what music is the actual subtext of the real characters and what layer of music is actually the charm, the illusion, and the magic. They cohabitate very, very closely. You have to really lend an ear and say, “Okay, this actually is the movement of the waves. What I hear underlying is actually the activity of Ariel. And this other part of the music actually represents what the stranded character of Prospero feels, his rage, his bitterness.”
Ariel’s music lies incredibly high. Adès points out that high notes in opera are usually used to express extreme emotion, but says that in the case of Ariel, it’s just where he lives.
Ariel is asking for his freedom, because he wants to go into higher spheres and do what spirits are supposed to do. He doesn’t want to be enslaved by Prospero. And that’s represented in how he sings. The word “liberty” comes up all the time. Caliban is enslaved also, the slave of Prospero. And you have Ferdinand, who becomes enslaved by Prospero, and the only way to find his freedom is if Miranda allows him to. I feel in the music and in the singing how everybody is claiming their freedom, and how their voices want to be liberated. The play originally was written at a time of this brave new world: people were sending ships into this unknown world, reinventing, with new visions of society.
Adès says Meredith Oakes’s language is both modern and archaic. How would you describe it?
Meredith actually dared to take Shakespeare’s verse and sculpt it, for lack of a better word, because she made it her own thing. She’s been extremely faithful to the spirit of Shakespeare by betraying him. Without vulgarizing Shakespeare’s text to make it more approachable, she simplified, but in a good sense of simplification. A good work is always a simple work.
The way she uses the interaction between the spirits and the political characters is extremely well done. She borrows from the scenes and kind of rearranges things to make things clearer and more contemporary. She managed not only to create a beautiful approach to the language of Shakespeare, but one that’s very easy to understand and very musical.
What new perspectives have you gotten on the Shakespeare play by working on this opera?
I think that one of the heavy-duty things in The Tempest is the political plot. The backstory, what happened before they were stranded on the island. All of the intricate plotting between Naples and Milan, the exposition of that is complicated, normally. And you don’t really care for these characters when they show up. In the opera, it’s exactly the opposite. And suddenly these things are exciting, and we care for these characters. We care for the king, for his loss. We root for the good, and we want to boo the evil. And it doesn’t seem to contradict all the poetry and the magic. Meredith did amazing work on the dramaturgical stakes - what’s at stake in the piece, and the politics of it, the poetry of it. She positions Caliban in a way that gives him a better argument than in the play, to defend himself as an aboriginal. She gives much more modern psychology to a character like Prospero, who is about to lose his daughter and who has no control over her, and the audience can relate to that much more. In the play, Prospero even commands Miranda’s feelings for Ferdinand. He has planned Ferdinand’s presence and how they are going to fall in love. And Meredith had the courage to kind of dislocate that to a point where, actually, the power of love is stronger than Prospero’s magic powers. That’s a very strong statement, and it’s very clear in the piece.
Adès and Oakes felt the freedom to play with Shakespeare. You’ve even created and acted in a one-man play, Elsinore, inspired by Hamlet.
In my work at the Royal National Theatre in 1992, I got to meet some fantastic scholars and specialists. They told me, “Shakespeare is pretty much what you want it to be,” because, for example, Hamlet exists in three different versions, and nobody knows exactly what’s really the authentic thing. Everybody had their roll with their own lines on it, without the lines of the other characters. That [ambiguity] gives you the freedom to kind of say, “Well, what if there’s a scene missing?” or, “What if the line is not exactly that line, but that other line?” Something that’s very obvious when you read the plays, in the way they’re structured - they are not the product of somebody who’s in an ivory tower, with a quill, waiting for inspiration or for a muse to come in. That’s Shakespeare in Love. He was not just an extraordinary poet who had an amazing talent for words. He was a man of the theater, who wrote for a system in which you had to have people change sets and change costumes and do all these things. And that, for me, is an extraordinary source of solution-finding and inspiration. — Elena Park