New Film of Le Rossignol Premieres on PBS

Classic Arts News   New Film of Le Rossignol Premieres on PBS
A film adaptation of Stravinsky's opera Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) debuts tonight on PBS as part of the Great Performances series.

The film, directed by French filmmaker Christian Chaudet, mixes animation and live performances. Soprano Natalie Dessay sings the title role and appears in the live-action sequences; mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana is Death. The cast also includes Hugo Simcic, Marie McLaughlin, Vsevolod Grivnov, and Albert Schagidullin.

The soundtrack is drawn from a 1999 recording by the Paris Opera Orchestra, conducted by James Conlon.

Le Rossignol is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a Chinese emperor who loses interest in a beautiful nightingale's song when a flashy mechanical bird comes to his court.

"Stravinsky himself said that it wasn't enough to hear the music, but that it should be seen too," Chaudet said in a feature posted on the PBS web site. "The very way he wrote the score, the multitude of sounds, registers, colors, lights, and instruments, already make the opera almost pictorial."

In New York, Le Rossignol will be seen tonight at 8 p.m. and on December 25 at 3 p.m. Check local listings for other outlets.

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