Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 2002
CS ISBN $56.95 Eight cassettes
CD ISBN $80.00/ $16.95 Ten CDs
MP3-CD ISBN $19.95 One MP3-CDs
These titles are part of a series of seven classic plays produced by Yuri Rasovsky in 1985 but never before released commercially. In these two cases, it was worth the wait. In Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE a doctor discovers that his town’s baths are contaminated and suffers the wrath of those with vested interests, including his own brother. Though it was written in 1882, its attack on the worthlessness of public opinion has surprising resonance 120 years later. Rasovsky’s own translation is excellent--the text is more informal and idiomatic than some older renderings--and the minor editing is effective. While the small cast keeps the production easy to follow, there are a few crowd scenes with awkward, improbable dialogue and at least one instance of poor casting--the actor portraying Aslasken, who should be an orator of some power, is far too whiny for the role. CAMILLE, Dumas’s dramatization of his own novel THE LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS, has an operatic quality to it. Marguerite Gautier is a courtesan with consumption (is there a more stereotypical heroine in Romantic opera?) in love with a young man, but forbidden by her lover’s father to continue the affair. Lois Nettleton handles the role admirably by not shrinking from the melodrama--it is, after all, part of the appeal of art from this period. John Glover as Duval, Marguerite’s lover, is somewhat less effective--like others in the production, he seems in a hurry to deliver his lines. D.B. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 02]
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