Main Menu Audio
Bonus Episode-The Winners Story
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||251:56 (Case: 303)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Michael Waldman|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
So, have you ever watched Pop Stars, The X Factor, Australian Idol, Starsearch or any of the other myriad of similar shows and wondered what such a show would be like done with a bit more class? You know with supportive judges, no need to ring or SMS for your favourite performer, real people rather than jumped-up twerps, no commercial television style stunts like changing the rules part-way through and real emotions. Well, you have come to the right place. This TV series, made for Channel 4 in England, is just the thing. It started showing on the ABC here in Australia on March 24, 2005 and will run over the next few weeks. I was lucky enough to receive these review discs of the forthcoming DVD release before the show started its run on television.
Operatunity follows the English National Opera (which should not be confused with The Royal Opera) as they follow an idea to unearth new Opera talent and make Opera more accessible, starting in 2002. One of the main differences between the two opera companies is that the English National Opera or ENO only sing in English, whereas The Royal Opera performs Operas in their original language. The ENO decided to launch a nationwide search to find people who had no formal Opera experience but who felt they had the skills to perform on stage with the ENO in a performance of Rigoletto, alongside professional performers. In response to their initial request for videotaped auditions they received over 2500 tapes and began the task of sifting through them, looking for people who had something more than 'sing in the shower' ability. From the 2500 tapes they selected 100 who were asked to attend live auditions, which is basically where the series starts. The people asked to audition came from all walks of life including builders, waiters, chefs, recruitment managers, a blind mother of three, students, checkout girls and cabaret singers.
The episodes included are:
This is a fascinating series, full of real emotion and incredible achievement despite the odds. Great television, and a highly recommended DVD.
The video quality is very good with only a few minor flaws, as you would expect from modern television footage.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some light grain from time to time, but it was not really distracting. The shadow detail was very good.
The colour was generally good, with no issues to report.
From an artefacts perspective, I noticed some minor aliasing here and there on the usual suspects such as heater grilles, Venetian blinds and lights. There was also some mild macro-blocking on large expanses of coloured background, but certainly not enough to really bother you.
There are no subtitles.
The layer change on Disc 1 occurs at 32:32 in episode 2, causing a slight pause. It was at 84:46 in episode 4 on Disc 2 and again was not particularly noticeable.
The audio quality is very good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. The singing and music comes across well but don't expect the sound quality of your favourite opera recording. This is good quality television sound rather than the sound quality achieved in studios or from professionally recorded performances. Having said that the sound quality certainly enables the casual listener to tell the difference between the best of the contestants and the rest.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.
The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes stills, music, and the ability to select episodes or scenes individually.
(SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) This extra episode covers the lives of the two winners from the day after their joint performance as Gilda in Rigoletto, through the feelings of let down when they are not immediately snatched up by every opera company in the world and then the slow build up of concerts and finally the recording of a joint CD. An excellent addition to the DVD set and definitely worth watching.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This set is available in Region 2 in the same format, although this set is coded for all regions.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.
The disc has a bonus episode which tells the story of the winners after the initial performance.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|