IMDb > La belle Hélène (1996) (TV)

La belle Hélène (1996) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 51% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Ludovic Halévy (libretto)
Henri Meilhac (libretto)
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It is love at first sight when Paris of Troy meets Helene of Sparta. | Add synopsis »
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A treat! See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)
Vesselina Kasarova ... Hélène, Queen of Sparta
Deon van der Walt ... Pâris, Son of King Priam
Carlos Chausson ... Calchas, High Priest of Jupiter
Volker Vogel ... Menelaus, King of Sparta
Oliver Widmer ... Agamemnon, King of Argos
Liliana Nikiteanu ... Orestes, Son of Agamemnon (as Liliana Nichiteanu)
Ruben Amoretti ... Ajax I., King of Salamis
Cheyne Davidson ... Ajax II., King of Locris
Steve Davislim ... Achilles, King of Phtiotis
Ruth Rohner ... Bacchis, Helen's Attendant
Ulrika Precht ... Leona, a Courtesan
Lisa Larsson ... Parthenis, a Courtesan
Karl Adam ... Philicome, Calchas' Attendant
Jean-Paul Beglin ... Euthycles
Jakob Baumann ... Slave

Directed by
Hartmut Schottler 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ludovic Halévy  libretto
Henri Meilhac  libretto

Costume Design by
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac 
Music Department
Nikolaus Harnoncourt .... conductor
Nikolaus Harnoncourt .... musical director
Jacques Offenbach .... music by

Production Companies

Additional Details

124 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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La belle HélèneSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A treat!, 10 May 2006
Author: Ed from New York, NY

This is an even better version of Offenbach's opéra-bouffe than the fine 2000 version which I reviewed earlier. Also with an international cast, it stars Vesselina Kasarova, the Bulgarian soprano as Helen of Sparta (later Troy), Deon van der Walt a South African tenor as Paris, Carlos Chausson, a Spanish bass-baritone as Calchas and Volker Vogel the German tenor as Menelaus.

All of these singers are excellent both vocally and as farceurs and I was saddened to read that Deon van der Walt was murdered in 2005, apparently by his own father in a dispute over the running of his wine farm.

The ubiquitous Nikolaus Harnoncourt is the conductor who also takes part in the action on occasion, even kicking up his heels during the final curtain calls. As one of the leaders of the modern (1950s) original instruments revival, this is rather startling behavior to say the least! Missing from this version is the "frame" of the Lott version where Helen and Menelaus are an ordinary bored couple with Felicity dreaming her way into the part of Helen. Here the costumes are much more sedate and in the style of the original Greek legend; in short, no bathing suits.

If you want to see the 2000 version, it might be a good idea to start with this one if you have sufficient fondness for Offenbach to see both versions.

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