Henry VIII wants to divorce his wife, and seeks the approval of the aristocracy. Sir Thomas More is a man of principle and reason, and is thus placed in a difficult position: should he ... See full summary »
Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »
A dramatized biography of William Tyndale, the 16th Century reformer determined to translate the Bible into English, which illegal act set him at odds with the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII.
A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues ... See full summary »
The story begins at a medieval dressing party. A man, dressed as the King Enrico IV, falls from his horse and hits his head. This causes him serious lesions and gets insane, believing he is... See full summary »
16 years after the 'deaths' of the two boy Princes held captive in the Tower, Perkin Warbeck makes his claim to the throne as the rightful King Richard. Did the younger brother survive? Is ... See full summary »
An outstanding production of an under-produced opera
Saint Saens' Henry VIII may not be among the greatest operas and doesn't contain many well-known arias, but it does deserve to be better known with a story and theme that almost everybody would know if they studied Henry VIII and the Tudors and would have no difficulty following and the music is very melodic and beautiful. As of now, this production is the only one of the opera on DVD and it does absolutely nothing to disgrace it, if anything it's one of those productions where you do appreciate the opera more. It is a fantastic production visually, with lots of handsome colours and sumptuous costumes and sets that are remarkably true to the Tudor period. The cinematography is both unobtrusive and expansive, and compliments the production values perfectly. The staging is very traditional and all the better for it, I don't think because of how specific the setting is that the opera would work updated, and has a lot of compelling drama and with lively choreography when needed. If you liked the music for Samson and Delila, Saint Saens' most well-known opera and unsurprisingly, you will like the music for Henry VIII. It is very beautifully played by the orchestra, with plenty of vigour and nuances, and tautly conducted by Alain Guingal. The picture and sound quality are very good, especially for Kultur, apart from the occasional moment in ensembles where some were more prominent than others. There are some great performances here, especially from the most authoritative titular performance of Phillippe Rouillon, who does bear a physical and visual resemblance to Henry that it is like seeing him come alive, and Michele Command's sincere Catherine of Aragon whose Act III aria is one of the production's highlights. Lucile Vignon has a generously-sized voice that has an appealing sound to it, and she brings dignity to Anne Boleyn and while Alain Gabriel is a touch under-powered as Don Gomez he still has a lovely voice and is no slouch as an actor either. All in all, an outstanding production of an opera that should be heard and produced more because while it's not one of the greats it's still a very worthwhile opera indeed. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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