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Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray

United States
L'incoronazione di Poppea EUROARTS | 2010 | 180 min | Unrated | Feb 24, 2012

Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080i
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio
Italian: LPCM 2.0

Subtitles
English, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Norwegian

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Packaging
Slipcover in original pressing

Playback
Region A (B, C untested)

Price
List price: $39.99, Price history
Amazon: $32.68 (Save 18%)
New from: $28.04 (Save 30%)
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Movie rating
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Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
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Movie appeal

 
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popularity
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Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea

 (2010)

Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

The Norwegian National Opera performs this Monteverdi piece in a 2010 production that was broadcast as a miniseries on Norwegian television.

For more about Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea and the Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray release, see Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Birgitte Christensen, Jacek Laszczkowski, Tim Mead

» See full cast & crew


Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

L'Incoronatione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of EuroArts with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. It's difficult to assess this presentation in standard terms, since it has been so drastically tweaked in post. You'll notice that one screencap is included of the quick pre-performance shots of the audience and hall to show that had this been released with no desaturation or other artificial boosting, it would have had excellent color and contrast. As it is, the image has been desaturated to provide mostly gray scale, with occasional flashes of color, typically red, being allowed to shine through. Contrast has also been pushed significantly, leading to the intentional effect of whites blooming quite noticeably, typically around the angelic figures, which of course is perfectly appropriate, giving them an effulgent aura (clearly seen in several screencaps included with this review). Within this highly artificial context, the image here is rather excellently sharp, and fine detail can be quite convincing, especially in close-ups. The monochromaticism along with the pushed contrast does rob the image of some fine detail, that can't be denied, but that gives the proceedings a decidedly unique visual twist that makes this production a one of a kind experience, for better or worse.


Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Some audiophiles may well be disappointed that L'Incoronatione di Poppea only includes an uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo mix, and no surround mix. This may be due to this release's television origins, though my hunch is there must be some Norwegian series that are being broadcast in 5.1 mixes (at least one would think so at this late date). Be that as it may, despite the lack of a surround mix, the audio hear is quite exceptional, with full, round bodied tones and excellent balance between the vocalists and the Orchestra of the Norwegian National Opera under the direction of Alessandro de Marchi (who plays as part of the coninuo). Be prepare for one big surprise: this release has a "credits sequence", again befitting its television origins, which plays out to accompaniment featuring a Flamenco-style guitar and bongo drums, certainly not part of Monteverdi's vocabulary. Once the opera starts, we get that typically secco sound of a lot of Baroque music (though this doesn't appear to be a period music ensemble), which is nicely rendered on the LPCM track without too much of a brittle nature.


Monteverdi: Coronation of Poppea Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras

  n/a

No supplements are included on the Blu-ray disc itself. There's a decent essay in the insert booklet giving a little information about the Norwegian Opera (which was led by iconic soprano Kirsten Flagstad in its nascent years), as well as some background on Monteverdi and the opera itself (including a very brief synopsis). This is one release that certainly would have benefited from a "making of" featurette, since this production is so distinctive and unusual.


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