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Thaïs (2004)

Video  |   |  Music, Drama, Fantasy  |  April 2004 (Italy)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 10 users  
Reviews: 2 user

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Title: Thaïs (Video 2004)

Thaïs (Video 2004) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eva Mei ...
Thaïs
Michele Pertusi ...
Athanaël
William Joyner ...
Nicias
Christophe Fel ...
Palénon
Christine Buffle ...
Crobyle
Elodie Méchain ...
Myrtale
Tiziana Carraro ...
Albine
Anna Smiech ...
La Charmeuse
Enrico Masiero ...
A servant
Letizia Giuliani ...
Prima Ballerina
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia ...
Orchestra e Coro
Marcello Viotti ...
Himself - Conductor
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Genres:

Music | Drama | Fantasy

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April 2004 (Italy)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the entire second act bedroom scene, the camera cuts back and forth between wide shots of the stage and close-ups of either Eva Mei or Michele Pertusi singing. However, as it does so, it becomes apparent that the shots are spliced together from separate performances, as Eva Mei's left breast is fully exposed in some shots, but is fully covered in other (continuous) shots. See more »

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User Reviews

White Hot Thais!
31 August 2004 | by (Portland, Maine) – See all my reviews

I have always loved this opera and have never quite figured out why it never really catches on.

Pier Luigi Pizzo's production for La Fenice production is absolutely gorgeous with incredible care shown down to the smallest detail, yet always fresh and never fussy. Roses seem to be a central theme in this production and Pizzi gives us have tons of them, a virtual moving wall of roses. Thais (and later, Athanael's) bed is made of huge ropey vines of roses (which transforms during the meditation - as Thais lies on it, the roses all fall off at once leaving only a bed of giant thorny vines!).

Eva Mei is a moving Thais and while the voice lacks some "plushness" her piano and sustained high register singing is pure and lovely. She's an affecting actress and her transformation from courtesan to saint is not only believable but poignant, she seems to radiate. The Mirror Aria is well sung, but it is in her duets with Pertusi, especially the opening and closing ones of Act III where she shines. Her death scene is absolutely beautiful.

Those who have nudity issues be forewarned a lot of flesh is on display here, the entire female corps de ballet is topless, save for necklace chains, and Thais has a topless doppleganger who gives a radiant performance of the Meditation (Though Mei's own costume leaves little to the imagination at one point exposing one of her own breasts).

Everyone is barefoot but with stunning, ornate ankle ornaments by a company called Pompei 2000. (The Venetian pedicurists must have been working overtime during this production!).

Everybody has great legs here too, not just Thais and the girls, but also Athanael and Nicias! Both men here show a lot more skin than most male principals (and in their "mini skirted" tunics one might be almost fearful of seeing something(s) revealed that needn't be seen . . . but it doesn't happen).

William Joyner's bright tenor rings nicely and in Nicias's brief time on stage, Joyner creates a vain but imminently likable fellow. I haven't seen this singer in about a decade and it's nice to hear (and see) him looking and sounding so fit!

While the opera is called Thais – and as terrific as Mei is in the role – it is Michele Pertusi as Athanael who just about walks away with the show. His is a presence that is never less than magnificent. He is a complete master of "the pose"; his hands, feet, face, his every gesture is weighted with meaning and he seems as though an El Greco painting has come to life. Vocally, Pertusi wraps his himself around the role with a seemingly instinctual madness and burns with an intensity that never lets up (even after the final curtain – you'll see what I mean!)

While costumes are "traditional" in their representation of early A.D. Egypt, the physical production is more representational and sparse but with stunning use of the stage (though the literally dozens and dozens of crosses in Act III – another heavy symbol here i- initially had me thinking "overkill" – it still worked well and is visually arresting.)

Marcello Viotti leads the Fenice forces - orchestra and chorus in a moving and theatrical reading. This is one of the most exciting DVDs I've purchased.


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