Lully: Cadmus & Hermione

Album cover art for upc 3760014197017
Label: ALPHA
Catalog: ALPHA701
Format: DVD

Film by Martin Fraudreau, led by Vincent Dumestre (musical direction) and Benjamin Lazar (stage management)

One of the most beautiful Opera DVDs ever! It is very strange to describe the first viewing of Lully's 'Cadmus et Hermione' on the Alpha Label. This work is regarded as the first French 'Opera' and a collaboration between French Opera's dynamic Duo, composer Lully, and lyricist Quinault. I had experienced French Baroque Opera once or twice with mild enjoyment, but from the first note of 'Cadmus' I was drawn into a wonderous mix of music and drama. This production is quite simply one of the most beautiful opera productions of all time. The singing is gorgeous, the costumes are all tradition to the story, and the stage machines and effects are the original machines that Lully would have had, and the dancing and stage gersturing are Baroque. This preformance is the epitome of Baroque performance practice, and indeed, is a testament proving that the original ideas can work and be entertaining. The chamber orchestra that accompanies the singers and chorus is solid, and lead well by Vincent Dumestre, whose fluid conducting style is dance-like in motion and direction. The colours in this production are quite vivid and the film production is also top notch. This is an absolute must-have item for opera enthuisiasts. The music is gorgeous, and the singing and playing is impecable. It is an absolute gem!
Has been awarded with a 'Diapason d'Or' in the December 2008 issue of the French magazine 'Diapason' Most probably the event of the year. Two years after Le Poème Harmonique’s DVD of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Lully and Molière, which sold at over 20 000 copies over the world (of which 90 % in francophone countries), the team led by Vincent Dumestre (musical direction) and Benjamin Lazar (stage management) will produce Cadmus et Hermione, the very first French opera, composed in 1673 by Lully on a libretto by Quinault. With its reconstructed sets and costumes, machinery, body language and pronunciation, and entirely candle-lit, this production ought to become a landmark in the rediscovery of baroque opera. It will also be a unique opportunity to discover a musical masterpiece fallen in oblivion over the last three centuries.

Price: $57.98