Gounod: Mireille / Mula, Castronovo, Minkowski, l'Opera national de Paris [DVD]
Charles Gounod was enchanted by the young Provençal-born Frédéric Mistral’s epic love poem Mirèio, and enlisted the distinguished Michel Carré to fashion a libretto. Against the grain of prevailing operatic practice in the 1860s, and its promotion of glamour and spectacle, Gounod relished instead the lives of modest country people and their idyllic world. He utilizes folk dances and a shepherd’s lament to chart the story of his tragic heroine whose desire to marry her true love ends in her death. ‘Everything feels true to the opera’s pastoral spirit’ wrote Gramophone about this production, which marked the opera’s first appearance at the Paris Opera.
Vocally, and visually, the cast is outstanding, the Albanian, soprano, Inva Mula, ravishing vocally and beautiful of countenance, while the American tenor, Charles Castronova, as Vincent and quite young at the time of filming, has a nice ringing tone to the top of his voice. As the respective fathers, who cause so much grief, we have Nicolas Cavailier and Alain Vernhes acting-out their respective roles to perfection. The chorus are excellent, with conductor, Mark Minkowski, obtaining a fulsome orchestral partnership in an ideally painted accompaniment, the whole video—both in sound and visually—is excellent, and one of the best I have seen.
– David's Review Corner (David Denton)
Catalog Number: 2110683-84
Composer: Charles-François Gounod
Conductor: Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble: Paris National Opera Chorus, Paris National Opera Orchestra
Performer: Alain Vernhes, Amel Brahim-Djelloul, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Charles Castronovo, Franck Ferrari, Inva Mula, Nicolas Cavallier, Sébastien Droy, Sylvie Brunet, Ugo Rabec