Dove è amore è gelosia

What’s this? An opera!? Yes, it’s an opera, and it’s also a brilliant DVD for anyone interested in early dance and the Baroque stage.

This beautiful production of Giuseppe Scarlatti’s Dove è amore è gelosia (Where There is Love There is Jealousy) is staged in the Czech Republic’s exquisite Český Krumlov Theatre, dating from 1680-82 and renovated in 1765-66. It is one of just three surviving Baroque theatres (the others are Marie Antoinette’s theatre at Petit Trianon, Versailles, and the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm), and the only one to be fully restored to its original, manually-operated workings.

The ambitious program to preserve the theatre and its remarkable store of eighteenth-century scenes and costumes began in the 1980s, led by the theatre’s present castellan, Pavel Slavko. This DVD includes an excellent 55-minute documentary charting the history of the theatre and showing preparations for the performance of the opera. More importantly, it also reveals how a Baroque theatre operated and how effects were created, from rolls of thunder to marvellous illusions of perspective. All this adds up to DVD as relevant to ballet as it is to opera, although the opera itself does not feature dance.

Dove è amore è gelosia is staged here to mark the theatre’s re-opening in 2011, and is performed by a splendid cast of young singers drawn from Prague’s National Theatre, accompanied by a stylish period-instrument ensemble (also wearing period costume and playing by simulated candlelight). Whether you buy this DVD for the opera or the companion documentary, expected to be utterly charmed and delighted.

Region Code: 0
Format & Aspect Ratio: NTSC, 16:9
Number of discs: 1
Run time: 88 minutes (opera), 55 minutes (documentary)
Studio: Opus Arte, OA1104D  – also available as Blu-Ray disc
Release date: 2013