NETREBKO The Woman/The Voice DVD-VIDEO

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ANNA NETREBKO
The Woman - The Voice

Werke von / Works by
Vincenzo Bellini · Antonín Dvorák
Mikhail Glinka · Charles Gounod
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart · Giacomo Puccini
Giuseppe Verdi

Directed by Vincent Paterson

With Making of, picture gallery and bonus video
Wiener Philharmoniker
Gianandrea Noseda
Int. Release 07 May. 2004
1 DVD-Video
DVD-VIDEO NTSC 0440 073 2309 0 GH
STEREO: PCM / SURROUND: Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9 (Bonus 4:3)
Subtitles: English/German/French/Spanish/Chinese


Liste de titres

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

1.
0:54

Anna Netrebko

Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)
La Bohème

Concert Version

Act 1

Anna Netrebko, Gianandrea Noseda, Wiener Philharmoniker

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

3.
3:58

4.
0:46

Anna Netrebko

Charles Gounod (1818 - 1893)
Faust

Act 3

Anna Netrebko, Wiener Philharmoniker, Gianandrea Noseda

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

6.
5:30

Anna Netrebko

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Don Giovanni, ossia Il dissoluto punito, K.527

Act 2

Anna Netrebko, Wiener Philharmoniker, Gianandrea Noseda

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

9.
4:30

Anna Netrebko

Vincenzo Bellini (1801 - 1835)
La Sonnambula

Act 1

Anna Netrebko, Gianandrea Noseda, Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Staatsopernchor

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

12.
4:20

13.
0:48

Anna Netrebko

Antonín Dvorák (1841 - 1904)
Rusalka, Op.114

Act 1

Anna Netrebko, Gianandrea Noseda, Wiener Philharmoniker

None
Anna Netrebko: The Woman - The Voice

15.
1:24

None

Durée totale de lecture 49:21

. . . the singing is glorious.

. . . ravishing eye candy.

This DVD is a jewel box, in the sense that there are things to make you gasp with joy, and glittery things . . . and just when you think you've found it all, you stumble on something else . . . The beauty and musicality of the voice, and the charm of the lady, are clearly evident.

It is in the bonus that we get to see the real Netrebko, in excerpts from live operatic performances from "La traviata" (Vienna State Opera, 2003) and "Ruslan and Lyudmila" (Marinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 1995). She proves to be the Violetta of one's dreams, and as Lyudmila, she is impossibly lovely visually and vocally. It is worth acquiring the video just for these excerpts and for the interesting interviews and biographical information in the bonus section . . . I'm very glad to have it . . .

Ein kräftiges Zeichen setzt die Klassik-Branche mit Anna Netrebko, der gegenwärtigen Primadonna Assoluta. Die russische Schönheit mit dem glutvollen Sopran steht im Mittelpunkt einer DVD-Veröffentlichung, die das Zeug hat, die verschnarchte Präsentation von klassischer Musik im Medium Film komplett zu revolutionieren. Anna Netrebko - The Woman, the Voice versucht für die Klassik, was die Clips von MTV für die Pop-Musik erreicht haben. Bilder zu finden, die zeitgemäß zur Musik passen . . . Die Veröffentlichung dieser DVD ist für die Klassik-Branche keinesfalls eine Randnotiz.

. . . the classical music industry is setting a strong example with Anna Netrebko, the prima donna assoluta of the day. The Russian beauty with the vibrant voice is spotlighted in a DVD release that has the stuff to completely revolutionize the stale presentation of classical music in the medium of film. Anna Netrebko - The Woman, The Voice attempts to do for the classics what MTV clips have accomplished in pop: finding contemporary images that fit the music . . . The release of this DVD is by no means a marginal note for the classical industry.

Auf ihrer . . . Produktion »The Woman, The Voice« geizt Anna Netrebko, aktueller Opern-Superstar, weder mit optischen Reizen noch mit vokaler Virtuosität . . . Akustisch-visueller Gesamtgenuss statt purem Hörerlebnis . . .

. . . kein Wunder, dass die russische Sopranistin seit mehr als einem Jahr nicht nur die deutsche Klassikbranche aufrollt, sondern live auch Maßstäbe setzt.

Seit Anna Netrebko ins Blickfeld der Klassik-Welt geriet, sind neue Ideale angesagt. Doch nicht nur Klangfülle und Intonationssicherheit sind der Kick der russischen Sängerin. Ihre wahre Innovation besteht darin, dass sie den Abstand zwischen dem Sexappeal von Pop und Klassik . . . so deutlich verringern kann . . . Mit Anna Netrebko hat die Optik in der Klassik einen neuen Stellenwert erhalten. Sie ist das singende Supermodel der Revolution . . . «Anna Netrebko. The Woman. The Voice» . . . bietet nichts anderes als die MTV-gerechte Bebilderung von fünf Arien der bekannten CD. Und betritt dennoch Neuland. Ein kleiner Schritt für Netrebko, aber ein grosser für die Welt hehrer Kunst-Ideale und rüschiger Abendkleider. . . Fest steht, dass sich der Imagewechsel, den die neue Netrebko-DVD vollzieht, nicht mehr im Sande verlaufen wird.

Ever since Anna Netrebko took the classical music world by storm, new ideals are the order of the day. But not only fullness of tone and secure intonation are the Russian singer's thing. Her true innovation lies in an ability to shrink the sex appeal gap between pop and classical. With Anna Netrebko the visual element has taken on a new importance in classical music. She's the singing supermodel of this revolution . . . Anna Netrebko: The Woman - the Voice . . . is nothing more or less than an MTV-styled illustration of five arias from her popular CD, and yet it breaks new ground. A small step for Netrebko, but a giant step for the world of noble artistic ideals and swanky evening dress . . . One thing is certain: the image makeover created by the new Netrebko DVD is here to stay.

Depuis qu'Anna Netrebko a pris d'assaut le monde de la musique classique, de nouveaux idéaux se sont imposés. La plénitude du timbre et l'intonation sûre ne sont pas les seules qualités de la chanteuse russe. Sa véritable innovation tient à sa capacité à réduire le fossé de séduction entre la pop et le classique. Avec Anna Netrebko, l'élément visuel prend une importance nouvelle dans la musique classique. Elle est le modèle de cette révolution dans le domaine vocal [...]. Anna Netrebko : The Woman - The Voice [...] n'est ni plus ni moins qu'une illustration dans le style MTV de cinq airs de son célèbre CD, et pourtant elle y ouvre de nouvelles voies. Un petit pas pour Netrebko, mais un pas de géant pour le monde des nobles idéaux classiques et des luxueuses robes du soir [...]. Une chose est sûre : la transformation visuelle opérée par le nouveau DVD de Netrebko est là pour de bon.

Bei dieser DVD wird nicht nur der hoffnungslos verliebte Anna-Netrebko-Fan schwach. Selbst sachlichere und kritischere Betrachter geraten ins Schwärmen. Über den Gesang natürlich . . . Umwerfend ist - ganz so wie auf der Opernbühne - das Gesamtkunstwerk Anna Netrebko. 133 Minuten lang. Auch der Inhalt von "The Woman - The Voice" gleicht einem "Gesamtkunstwerk". Da gibt es die Video-Clips in ihrer Ästhetik zwischen Pop, Fellini und Greenaway. Unverdorben durch Vorurteile erfindet Vincent Paterson freche, frivole und witzige Geschichten, die das Leben schrieb . . . oder zeigt die russische Sopranistin als Verwandlungs-Künstlerin . . . Noch menschlicher werden diese Music Videos durch die ungekünstelten Inhaltsangaben, die Anna Netrebko für jede Arie erzählt. Im Film aber sind diese Videos eingebettet ins Private . . . Diese nicht minder brillant als die Clips geschnittenen "Interviews" holen die Künstlerin für Minuten aus dem Sänger-Olymp, machen sie als Frau sympathisch. Sie bestätigen, was Paterson in seinem Bericht über die Dreharbeiten sagt und zeigt. Das Bonbon: Live-Ausschnitte von ihrer "Traviata" in München und Wien.

Not just hopelessly infatuated Netrebko fans will go weak at the knees over this DVD: even more objective and critical viewers will be reduced to raving - about the singing, certainly . . . But this Anna Netrebko Gesamtkunstwerk - the entire package - is stunning, just as she is on the opera stage. 133 minutes long. Even the content of The Woman - The Voice is like a "total artwork". There are video clips in a style that falls somewhere between pop, Fellini and Peter Greenaway. Vincent Paterson, untainted by prejudices, has invented cheeky, frivolous and witty real-life stories . . . that reveal the Russian soprano as a mistress of the art of transformation . . .And the music videos become still more human through Netrebko's unaffected relating of the contents of each aria. In the film, however, these videos are set in relief by a more private glimpse of the artist: edited Interviews, no less brilliant than the clips, bring her down for a few moments from the opera singers' Mount Olympus and make her sympathetic as a woman as well. An added treat: live excerpts from her Traviata in Munich and Vienna.

Ce ne sont pas seulement les admirateurs inconditionnels de Netrebko qui auront les jambes qui flageolent en découvrant ce DVD : les spectateurs plus objectifs et plus critiques en seront eux aussi réduits à s'extasier - sur sa voix, notamment [...]. Mais cette œuvre d'art totale d'Anna Netrebko - l'ensemble tout entier - est stupéfiant, comme elle l'est elle-même sur la scène lyrique. Une durée de 133 minutes. Même le contenu de The Woman - The Voice est comme une « œuvre d'art totale ». On y découvre des clips vidéo dans un style qui se situe quelque part entre le pop, Fellini et Peter Greenaway. Sans le moindre préjugé, Vincent Paterson a inventé des histoires réalistes insolentes, frivoles et spirituelles [...] qui révèlent en la soprano russe une maîtresse de l'art de la transformation [...]. Et les vidéos musicales deviennent encore plus humaines grâce à la relation sans affectation de Netrebko avec le contenu de chaque air. Dans le film, ces vidéos sont cependant mises en relief par un aperçu plus intime de l'artiste : un montage d'interviews, non moins brillant que les clips, la font redescendre pendant quelques moments de l'Olympe des chanteurs d'opéra et la rendent sympathique comme femme également. Un régal supplémentaire : des extraits live de sa Traviata de Munich et Vienne.

Bei dieser DVD wird nicht nur der hoffnungslos verliebte Anna-Netrebko-Fan schwach. Selbst sachlichere, auch kritische Betrachter geraten ins Schwärmen. Über den Gesang natürlich . . . Auch der Inhalt . . . gleicht einem "Gesamtkunstwerk".

Natürlich singt die schöne Russin für ihre Arien-Revue die Donna Anna aus "Don Giovanni" -- aber auch als Nixe in Dvoráks weniger bekannter Oper "Rusalka" besticht sie mit faszinierender Stimme.

Of course the beautiful Russian sings Donna Anna from Don Giovanni in this aria revue - but with her fascinating voice she's also entrancing as the water nymph in Dvoráks less well-known opera Rusalka.

Worin besteht das Geheimnis dieses neuen Sterns am Opernhimmel? Ist es ihr einzigartiges, warmes Timbre oder die scheinbare Leichtigkeit, mit der sie alle technischen Hürden bewältigt? Vincent Paterson, unter anderem Regisseur von Madonna und Michael Jackson, hat für Anna Netrebko einige Arien in geschmackvolle Videoclips verpackt. Die russische Sopranistin beweist dort ihre Wandlungsfähigkeit und ungemeine visuelle Präsenz. Ein Genuss!

Das Ergebnis der Zusammenarbeit des Pop-Produzenten und der Opernsängerin kann sich sehen lassen . . . Entstanden ist eine kunstvolle Form des Opernmusik-Videos.

. . . sehr ansprechend . . . Sie hat trotz ihrer Jugend den Nimbus des Superstars, sie sieht blendend aus, sie hat schauspielerische Ausstrahlung und sie singt hinreißend. Und zweitens hat Paterson stimmungsvolle und überaus telegene Bilder gefunden . . .

une personnalité attachante . . . effectivement douée, et dotée d'un magnétisme certain.

Este sorprendente DVD, fruto de un proyecto concebido al alimón entre Vicent Paterson y los ejecutivos del sello alemán, propone una vía insólita para consolidar a Anna Netrebko, una soprano lírica muy bella físicamente y con una voz de buena factura ... la más inspirada «Canción a la luna» de Rusalka, de Dvorák, donde la soprano rusa luce bellísima en un cambiante vestuario.

. . . la interpretación de las arias . . . resulta más que notable, desde una aria de las joyas de Faust justamente comedida hasta un "Come per me sereno" de La sonnambula de bello fraseo y ricos colores . . .

. . . una voz que brilla como pocas . . . lo que más llama la atención aquí es la cegadora belleza de la voz de la cantante rusa.
DVD Concept / Menu Structure

    Main Menu
  • Play Music Videos
    • 5 music clips only (loop)
  • Select title
    • Faust
    • La bohème
    • Don Giovanni
    • La sonnambula
    • Rusalka
  • Play Film
    • complete film (with 5 clips & interviews)
      • synopsis for each clip by AN as interactive feature
  • Subtitles
    • English (for arias only), German, French, Spanish, Chinese
    • Local Japanese version with Japanese ST
  • Audio
    • PCM Stereo (for all features and “the making of")
    • Surround Sound (Dolby Digital & DTS 5.1) for music clips only
  • Bonus
    • The Making of the film with Subtitles (ST)
    • Interviews with ST
      • Life & Childhood
      • Love & Friendship
      • Début in St. Petersburg
      • The Soul of Music
      • Career & Profession
        About the Film Project
    • Synopsis for each clip (5; see above) with ST
    • Further video footage (music only, no ST) TBC
      • La traviata / Violetta (Vienna or Munich State Opera, 2003, tbc)
      • Don Giovanni / Donna Anna (Salzburg, 2002)
      • Ruslan and Lyudmila / Lyudmila (St. Petersburg from Philips DVD)
    • The début album OPERA ARIAS with music clips for each track
      (up to 45" per title)
    • Picture Gallery
    • DVD Trailer

    Booklet Content (English, German, French)
  • Text by V. Paterson
  • Text about the project
  • Bio Anna Netrebko
  • Photos of the production
  • Tracklist / chaptering / content of the DVD
  • Credits

    Anna and the Camera

“She looks like a young Audrey Hepburn and captivates us with her unmistakable timbre.”
Financial Times (Germany)

“Here is a singer who simply has it all: a voice of astounding purity, precision, and scope, extensive dynamic and tonal range, imagination, insight, and wit – all combined with a dazzling charisma.”
San Francisco Chronicle

The young Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has been hailed in Europe and America as a vocal and theatrical phenomenon, the “opera world's dark-eyed diva-in-waiting", a singer-actor whose vocal imagination is coupled with charisma. More than one journalist has pointed out a resemblance to the young Audrey Hepburn. This vocal and theatrical phenomenon was clearly also a cinematic phenomenon waiting to happen.

And so it could hardly have come as much of a surprise to Anna Netrebko or her record company, Deutsche Grammophon, when the Salzburg producer Bernhard Fleischer approached noted American choreographer-director Vincent Paterson - famed for his collaborations with Madonna and Michael Jackson, his stage choreography for legendary directors such as Hal Prince, Mike Nichols, and Sir Peter Hall, and acclaimed for his production of the musical numbers in Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark. Fleischer's proposal to Paterson: that he film tracks from Anna Netrebko's début CD, a diverse collection of classic soprano arias.

The Hollywood-based Paterson, an opera lover himself - not surprisingly, he and Anna Netrebko share a devotion to the recordings of Maria Callas - leapt at the opportunity to add his striking imagery to the singer's vocal artistry, to document on film something of the charisma that she exudes in her stage appearances. His enthusiasm was richly rewarded: “Anna Netrebko is unlike anyone I ever met in my life," Paterson exclaimed. “She has the voice of an angel; she's stunningly beautiful; she has more energy than I do, if that's humanly possible; she is an incredible actress; she can move beautifully; she's smart; she's intelligent; she loves to party. I'm amazed at this girl. The camera absolutely loves her."

From the poise and self-confidence that Anna displays in this, her very first, appearance before the cameras, it seems safe to say that the feeling is mutual. These five highly varied scenes from Don Giovanni, La sonnambula, Faust, Rusalka, and La bohème - which, not incidentally, also show off the artist's enormous vocal and dramatic range - confirm why audiences from San Francisco to Salzburg have succumbed to the allure of the characters she creates. “I love the audience," Anna exclaims. “I like to give them energy and to make them happy, and to make them sad, to make them smile or laugh, or cry. This is the important thing for me."

Anna has always loved to perform. “I wanted to be on the stage since I was three years old," she declares, also confessing: “I think that I found myself in this profession because I like to become somebody else, maybe more sometimes than I like to be myself. I've even had people tell me: 'You are more real on the stage than in real life.'"

Vincent Paterson's camera and imagination have given Anna the scope to become five totally different people within about an hour's screen time. And some of those characters - Mozart's Donna Anna, Bellini's Amina, Gounod's Marguerite, Dvorák's Rusalka, and Puccini's Musetta, all lip-synched by Anna to her CD recording with the Wiener Philharmoniker under conductor Gianandrea Noseda - Paterson has observed from more than just a single perspective, through the intercutting of contrasting settings, with Anna sometimes seen in boldly distinctive costumes. An example is Don Giovanni. Paterson says: “I wanted to show the passion in Anna's heart, so I shot Anna in an incredible red outfit. And then I wanted to show the sweetness and femininity of the character, and shot her in this amazing purple dress that weighed about two ounces and looked like it was spray-painted on her."

In one sense, Vincent Paterson's film - shot mostly in Salzburg, Los Angeles, and Munich, with local ballet dancers, actors, and other extras, and, for Dvorák's water nymph, in a swimming pool in Hollywood - has been a kind of test for Anna Netrebko, an experiment in music video in which she agreed to take part and gradually found herself happily swept up. Its aim is that of offering a new visual variation on the artist's musical interpretations - an added graphic dimension in some ways analogous to a pop music video. Paterson's love and respect for the composers and their works ended up making a convert of Anna Netrebko to a new medium: opera music video. They hope their new film will do the same thing for a wide audience of music lovers of every stripe and every age, especially ones who may not yet have experienced opera on the stage.

Anna would be the first, however, to insist that, in spite of this new medium's attraction, her real home still is and will surely remain the opera house. Ultimately what matters to her, though, whether she's on a stage or in front of the cameras, is reaching out and touching audiences through her characterizations. To do that takes something special and perhaps indefinable: “I cannot tell you what this is," she says, “but it's something that can make people cry. It's what Callas had. Even just from her recordings you can cry. Nobody knows how she did it - it has to do with soul, something inside you that you have to find somehow. It takes years to understand how to do that."

Anna is passionately dedicated to that search, to finding the “something inside" her and sharing it with others. She understands that whether her audiences are sitting in an opera house or in front of a television screen or listening to her on a CD, her way of reaching them ultimately boils down to one crucial thing: the composer's score. In a recent interview for a Vienna daily, she put this into words in what may well represent her artistic credo: “I can hardly imagine expressing something without the support of music. I need music to be able to open up." It will be the music world's treat to observe Anna Netrebko “opening up" over the coming years.
Jack Orlando

    Anna Netrebko - A Biographical Timetable

1971 Born in Krasnodar, in the south of Russia; receives her vocal training at the St.Petersburg Conservatory, where she appears as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Violetta in La traviata
1993 First prize-winner of the Glinka Vocal Competition in Moscow, where she takes part in a concert dedicated to the opening of the Irina Arkhipova Foundation at the Bolshoi Theater; joins the Kirov company at the Mariinsky Theater in St.Petersburg, to which she still belongs
1994 Makes her début at the Mariinsky Theater as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, a role she repeats in Kirov/Mariinsky tours to Finland, Germany, and Israel; some of her other important roles with the company include Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Amina in La sonnambula, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Micaëla in Carmen, and Louisa in Prokofiev's Betrothal in a Monastery
1995 Graduates from St. Petersburg Conservatory; sensational US début as Lyudmila in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila at the San Francisco Opera, where she becomes a frequent guest
1996 Prize-winner at the International Rimsky-Korsakov Vocal Competition, St.Petersburg; makes BBC début (also telecast) with Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
1997 Wins the Baltika prize for young opera singers (St. Petersburg)
1998 Sings Susanna at the San Francisco Opera House and gives her first recital (including songs by Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Rachmaninov)
1999 Washington Opera début as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto; concert performances of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini under Gergiev in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and London
2000 Sings in works by Bach (B minor Mass) and Handel (Judas Maccabaeus) at the Maggio Musicale in Florence; new successes in San Francisco as Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Musetta in La bohème; acclaimed as Natasha in Prokofiev's War and Peace under Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theater and at Covent Garden; Donizetti's Lucia and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Mariinsky Theater
2000/01 Ilia (Idomeneo), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Nannetta (Falstaff), Marfa (The Tsar's Bride), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni); further triumphs in the role of Natasha in War and Peace at La Scala, Milan, and Madrid's Teatro Real
2001/02 Sings Natasha in War and Peace in her Metropolitan début and her first Donna Anna in her début with the Salzburg Festival in the season-opening new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi in her Philadelphia début; Lucia for Kirov Opera at St.Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater; at the Verbier Festival she sings in a performance of Mahler's Fourth Symphony under James Levine
2002/03   Appears as Servilia in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito under Sir Colin Davis at Covent Garden; Mozart's Ilia in Washington and Zerlina at the Metropolitan; makes her Vienna State Opera début in La traviata; at the Mariinsky she sings Natasha and Violetta, and participates in a gala concert in May for the 300th anniversary of St.Petersburg; summer engagements include her Bavarian State Opera début as Violetta plus a gala concert there with Ramón Vargas, appearances at the Verbier Festival, and a return to the Salzburg Festival as Donna Anna
2003/04 Opera appearances as Donna Anna at Covent Garden, the Mariinsky and Vienna, Susanna in Florence, Lucia in Los Angeles, Violetta at the Mariinsky, and Munich, Mimì at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan, and in San Francisco, Natasha and Bellini's Giulietta at the Salzburg Festival; recitals in San Francisco, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Verbier Festival; Netrebko's début recording on Deutsche Grammophon, a collection of arias by Bellini, Berlioz, Donizetti, Dvoøák, Gounod, Massenet, Mozart, and Puccini, with the Wiener Philharmoniker under Gianandrea Noseda, is released in September 2003; the DVD release “Anna Netrebko - The Woman - The Voice" is issued in spring 2004
2004/05 Engagements up to December will include Ilia in Los Angeles, Norina (Don Pasquale) in Philadelphia, and Mimì at the Met

    Vincent Paterson

VINCENT PATERSON has created a uniquely exciting and energetic style of image-making and storytelling. He directed (with 100 cameras) and choreographed the musical sequences in Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark (Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival); his choreography of feature films also includes The Birdcage (for director Mike Nichols) and Evita (for director Alan Parker). He staged and choreographed the musical sequences in the ABC telefilm of South Pacific starring Glenn Close; the TNT telefilm In Search of Dr. Seuss, which Paterson directed, received seven Emmy and five Cable Ace nominations, including “Outstanding Director for a Comedy Special". He has also directed documentaries for Project Angel Food, A&E's The History of Burlesque, and the short dance film Threnody, a memorial for the victims of September 11, which won the Gold Special Jury Award at the Houston Worldwide Film Festival.

On Broadway, Paterson choreographed the Tony Award-winning musical Kiss of the Spider Woman (for director Hal Prince); in London's West End, he choreographed Sir Peter Hall's production of Lenny starring Eddie Izzard. His direction of the innovative theatrical piece Gangsta Love earned him a Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for “Outstanding Director". For Michael Jackson, Paterson directed the video Blood on the Dance Floor (shot by the legendary cinematographer Conrad Hall), directed and choreographed the “Bad Tour," and conceived and choreographed Jackson's “Smooth Criminal"; for Madonna he directed and choreographed the “Blond Ambition Tour."

    Oh, sure, you just don't want to have a finger pointed at you!

I love a challenge. Someone has to be a vanguard, someone has to throw the pebble into the creative waters and allow the ripples to cause a reverberation. The consequence of inaction or, even worse, of doing the same old thing is that nothing changes. Surely this cannot be a characteristic of the divine nature of art.

Anna and I were aware that many opera purists might find it difficult appreciating classical opera arias in a new light. The combining of tradition with a contemporary edge, the music video style presentation, the lip-syncing, and interpretations that did not always follow the actual story of each opera were risks we chose to take. But we never wavered in our love for the opera and our joyful desire to "make art." We relished the collaboration with brilliant international artists and we hope that music lovers of all ages and tastes can enjoy the result.

Vincent Paterson