Benvenuto Cellini (Gilliam's 2nd opera)
#11
For french and german people, Benvenuto Cellini directed by Gilliam will be broadcast by Arte on internet tomorrow (and will be available on replay afterwards) : http://concert.arte.tv/de/benvenuto-cell...ry-gilliam
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#12
Actually I think the video is available for everyone in the world. It will remain viewable till september 16th.
(but it's Berlioz so it's sung in french without subtitles)
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#13
Yes! Been waiting for this for so long! Big Grin
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#14
I'm going through arte's on-air schedule now and it appears like they've never broadcast Benvenuto Cellini on-air and it's only available on their website (you can also see the conspicuous absence of any airdate on their site regarding the opera, all they show is the recording date which was back in May).

Which is a real bummer as I'm trying to find a download from a legal TV recording service that I'll be able to keep even after they'll remove it from the website, and also because I'm on a very shitty internet line while my provider is not getting their shit together for a few weeks now, making streaming pretty much impossible for me. Sad

Yes, here's the confirmation: http://tamino-klassikforum.de/index.php?...tID=546680 It says Benvenuto Cellini is only available as an on-demand stream on the website. Sad
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#15
Hah, I've been able to use Firefox's page information feature to my advantage! Big Grin
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#16
Okay, I've seen it now. Thanks to the miracles of the internet, I've also come across the libretto to make general sense of scenes and the exchanges between characters, for I don't speak a lick of French (okay, I could guess a few words due to Latin) and otherwise not even Terry's marvelous mise-en-scene would've pulled me through alone. Thus, I've printed the libretto to have as my own little libretto book to look at by the side while watching the video. But things were still somewhat confusing as maybe 30% of the lines appeared to be re-arranged, cut, or even newly written, which I could tell by the order of people speaking up, so actual subtitles in German or English would've greatly helped. For example, there's no original libretto lines for Ascanio interfering as Fieramosco challenges Cellini to a duell, and yet he does so with intermittent lines on stage, and Balducci's entire appearance in Scene 18 was cut.

First impression is Terry's curious choice of setting it in Berlioz's day, the early part of the (Long) 19th Century, which was less in the source material than it was with "Faust" (or Terry's interpretation of the latter as German history in the 19th and 20th centuries) and reminds me of Munchausen, Brothers Grimm, and Georg Seeßlen's mentioning in his review of Terry's career how Terry and Python's iconography have often relied upon vintage Victorian elements, perhaps so because of the fact those were the times when many things emerged and came to be the way we still know them today.

However, I like how Terry sprinkled this early 19th century setting with little bits of the opera's actual time setting, including those references to the art of Piranesi, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo (partly appearing in animations on video walls as we've already seen them in Terry's "Faust"). This eclectic mixture of timeframes reminded me a little of Alexander Sokurov's 2011 film adaptation of the Faust legend, where he pretty much merged the legend's medieval/early modern original time setting with Goethe's day as well as Murnau's expressionist silent film version. And, oddly enough, I seemed to notice many references to The Perfume, as pretty much any scene involving mass confusion in the source material were rendered as spontaneous orgies on the stage. I can't remember any of Terry's works after his animations that were so full of naughty bits.

But in any case, just as with Damnation of Faust before, it's obvious once again how Terry has an ingenious knack for adapting over-the-top comic operas, not least of all in how well and campish he directs all satirical and tragicomic roles (where a word of praise is also due to the singers also as actors who camp it up so much in body language, rather than playing it straight), but even moreso in how he translates the written word so surprisingly yet coherently to the stage, often adding another dimension and tremendous depth that never were there on the page to begin with, and on top of it all he drenches everything in his brilliant visual sense.

Also neat were arte's introductory credits vaguely in the style of Terry's Python animations. And lastly, I was a little surprised to see Phillipp Seymour Hoffman had obviously risen from the grave to play Balducci! Wink
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#17


The opera is back on replay for a week.
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