Les Misérables-In Concert: The 25th Anniversary (2011)

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Released 29-Mar-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music More…-Song Selection from Menu
Featurette-A Whiz Thru Miz
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 169:55 (Case: 171)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Nick Morris
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Alfie Boe
Norm Lewis
Matt Lucas
Jenny Galloway
Lea Salonga
Samantha Barks
Nick Jonas
Katie Hall
Ramin Karimloo
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Claude-Michel Schönberg


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

     To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables’s opening in London in 1985, two concert performances of the musical were held in 2010 at the O2 Arena in London with Alfie Boe (Jean Valjean), Norm Lewis (Javert), Lea Salonga (Fantine), Matt Lucas, Jenny Galloway (the Thenardiers), Samantha Barks (Eponine), Nick Jones (Marius) and Katie Hall (Cossette). This DVD Les Miserables - In Concert, the 25th Anniversary is a record of those concert performances.

     In the concerts the performers were in costume with a minimal stage set, the orchestra, a massive choir on a raised platform and three large screens behind, sometimes showing the singers, other times backdrop scenery. Throughout the performance the cameras are well controlled, giving time to both the principal performers and the chorus, the lighting design wonderful, the colours spectacular. I am not qualified to say whether the principal performers are at the top of their game or not; I’m sure that fans will have their favourites and their opinions. However, the music of Les Miserables, performed by the large orchestra and choir, was heartfelt and stirring, with hauntingly beautiful songs like I Dreamed a Dream, A Little Fall of Rain or Bring Him Home, plus anthems like Do You Hear the People Sing?, which remains a wonderful, rousing call of hope against oppression, coming across powerfully.

     Fans of Les Miserables will probably have the CD of the concert and this DVD already. For others this is well worth a look. The Les Miserables - In Concert, the 25th Anniversary performance was well staged and looks and sounds wonderful. As well as the music there were other highlights, such as four Valjeans together at the end, Colm Wilkinson, John Owen-Johns, Simon Bowman and Alfie Boe, singing Bring Him Home, or the huge assembly, plus members of the original 1985 cast, reprising One Day More. Wonderful music, wonderful theatre.

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Track Listing

1. Prologue/Look Down
2. Valjean's Soliloquy
3. At the End of the Day
4. I Dream A Dream
5. Lovely Ladies
6. Fantine's Arrest
7. Runaway Cart, The
8. Who Am I
9. Fantine's Death
10. Confrontation, The
11. Castle on a Cloud
12. Master of the House
13. Bargain (the Waltz of Treachery), T
14. Paris/Look Down
15. Robbery, The
16. Stars
17. ABC Café/Red and Black
18. Do you Hear the People Sign
19. In My Life
20. Heart Full of Love, A
21. Attack On Rue Plumet, The
22. One Day More
23. Building The Barricade
24. On My Own
25. Barricade, The
26. Little Fall Of Rain, A
27. First Attack, The
28. Drink With Me
29. Bring Him Home
30. (plus 14 more songs)

Transfer Quality

Video

     Les Miserables - In Concert, the 25th Anniversary is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is concert footage that looks stunning. Of course there is the occasional flare from lights, but the print is generally very sharp and detailed, with close-ups showing every pore and whisker. Colours in the lighting design are vibrant, with reds, blues and oranges deep and beautiful. Blacks are rock solid, shadow detail not an issue. Brightness, contrast and skin tones are consistent. I did not notice any film to video artefacts.

     English or German subtitles are available in a white font. In the portion of the English subtitles I sampled they followed the words exactly. There is some additional information, but when two or more principals are singing together the subtitles did not make any reference to who was singing which words, which could have been useful.

     Simply beautiful to look at.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is either English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps or English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 Kbps. The audio track cannot be changed through the remote on the fly, but must be selected from the main menu.

     This was a concert performance in a huge arena and with large numbers of people often on stage. The singing was always centred, without fancy tricks. Some of the vocals were occasionally indistinct, especially the chorus in full voice or when a number of principals were singing at the same time, but that was to be expected. The surrounds were alive with music, the choir, and the audience’s applause but this was not overdone. Gunshots also occurred in the surrounds during the barricade scenes. The musical sound was generally well balanced with voices prominent. Only occasionally, mostly with Nick Jones, the music threatened to overwhelm the vocals. The result was a nice enveloping feel that was never forced or felt false to the concert origins. The subwoofer added appropriate bass to the music.

     The concert was sung live, so lip synchronisation is not an issue.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

A Wiz Through Miz (4:57)

     A brief look at 25 years of Les Miserables around the world since it opened at the Barbican Theatre in 1985.

Songs

     Each song can be selected from the “Songs” item in main menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The DVD seems the same worldwide.

Summary

     Les Miserables - In Concert, the 25th Anniversary was a well performed and staged concert. The DVD looks and sounds wonderful. Beautiful music, wonderful theatre.

     The DVD has excellent video and audio, but only one small extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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