Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on 21st December 2002.
Angelika Kirchschlager (Sophie), Dale Duesing (Narrator), Rod Gilfry (Nathan), Gordon Gietz (Stingo), Adrian Clarke (Librarian), Frances McCafferty (Yetta Zimmerman), Stafford Dean (Zbigniew Bieganski), Stephanie Friede (Wanda), Abigail Browne (Eva), Billy Clerkin (Jan), Gillian Knight (Old woman on train), Neil Gillespie (Young man on train), Jorma Silvasti (Rudolph Franz Höss), Alan Opie (Doctor), Darren Jeffery (Bartender), Quentin Hayes (Larry Landau)
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In 2002, Nicholas Maw’s opera Sophie’s Choice, based on the novel by William Styron, was given its premiere at the Royal Opera House. The subject had struck Maw when he had first watched the film several years previously, and he immediately felt it would be ‘the most extraordinary basis for an opera’. Commissioned by the Royal Opera House and BBC Radio 3, Maw embarked on an adaptation of Styron’s book, which took six years to complete. Conducted by Simon Rattle, a long-term enthusiast of Nicholas Maw’s music, and with a wonderful cast led by Angelika Kirchschlager, Rod Gilfry, Dale Duesing and Gordon Gietz, the work won international acclaim and was later restaged in Washington, Berlin and Vienna. The Royal Opera House celebrates the work of this British composer, who died in 2009, with the release on DVD of the BBC transmission, as broadcast live in December 2002.
“…the central performances of Angelika Kirschlager and Rodney Gilfry as doomed lovers Sophie and Nathan were deemed to be among the most committed and convincing ever seen at the Royal Opera House.” The Independent
Interview with Simon Rattle.
Running time 223 mins
Region code All regions
Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic
Sound format 2.0 & 5.0 PCM
Menu language EN
“Angelika Kirchschlager's mobile-featured Sophie wins our deepest sympathy and even puts Meryl Streep's screen performances out of mind...Rattle gets all the line and bite the work needs”
“It's a tribute to the competence and stamina of the cast...that they all survive the ordeal by camera so well...as Maw's last major work it merits the kind of serious attention which this admirable and timely release makes possible”