Bonus feature: ‘Baroque that rocks!’ – A documentary film by Reiner E. Moritz featuring interviews with William Christie, Dominique Hervieu, Topi Lehtipuu, Stéphanie d’Oustrac and other members of the cast.
“José Montalvo's production provides the spectacle with magical video back projections: characters trampoline on clouds and walk through ornamental gardens and buildings, and a veritable menagerie of animals amplifies ironic points in the plot. …the musical and dramatic performances are terrific. Christie conducts with infectious enthusiasm and the singers, especially the romantic leads, Argie (Stephanie d'Oustrac) and Atis (Top Lehtipuu), are superb. An added benefit is an engaging and helpful documentary.”
“…Les Paladins dates from 1760, four years before Rameau's death. A pair of lovers, a guardian, a maid and a gaoler call to mind not only Die Entführung but Il barbiere di Siviglia. With a rather thin plot, Rameau takes the opportunity to parody the conventions of opera, including those of his own tragédies lyriques. The production is hugely entertaining. José Montalvo makes use of video techniques to dazzle the eye with a variety of metamorphoses: a dancer becomes a butterfly, stone lions come to life, a tiger turns into a wolf, which becomes an elephant. These and similar transformations, Montalvo explains, reflect La Fontaine's attribution of animal characteristics to the human race. Stéphanie d'Oustrac and Topi Lehtipuu are credible young lovers, d'Oustrac singing her Act 2 ariette, 'Je vole, Armour', with a deeply moving intensity. Sandrine Piau and Laurent Naouri couldn't be bettered as the secondary pair. Rameau's orchestration is a delight... The sheer exuberance of the performance, recorded at the Châtelet in Paris, makes for a life-enhancing experience.”
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