MASSENET Manon Netrebko Villazón BD 0734477

. . . it works perfectly efficiently . . . Rolando Villazón plays her adoring partner, Le Chevalier des Grieux, . . . and as usual throwing himself at the role with huge commitment . . . in fine voice . . . Daniel Barenboim conducts a fluent reading of the score.

The sound is outstandingly good, with a solid mid-hall perspective and excellent balance between singers and orchestra.

The couple's acting is realistic and touching . . . Netrebko is an irresistible brat -- her pouting and her flirting are broad enough to be funny, but it's clear why everyone falls for her. Her instrument is the more luscious, opulent one, and her "Obéissions" less internal. In the final scene, she undergoes a more complete transformation . . . It's amazing to see Rolando Villazón playing des Grieux so differently . . .

She never fails to project plenty of stage charisma, and she clearly enjoys what she is doing . . . the camera loves her. More important, her rich, creamy voice is well suited to Massenetżs super-heated score . . . The spectacular and ultra-colorful Paterson production looks great on Blu-ray, and all of his artful choreography, sets, and costumes contribute to keeping Massenetżs very long score alive . . The 19-minute behind-the-scenes bonus . . . does reveal where Paterson is coming from, along with the enthusiasm of Netrebko and Villazón. Patersonżs highly original idea for Manon really works, and should make this production, aided by the perfect casting of its stars, an enjoyable experience for operaphiles and neophytes . . .

On s'y perd sous le regard cinématographique de Paterson, qui dispose d'une actrice exceptionnelle avec Netrebko, chair pulpeuse et voix ŕ l'avenant. Barenboim séduit lŕ oů on ne l'attend pas, creusant le drame sans ignorer les raffinements. Villazón nous touche dans sa fuite amoureuse . . .