The 3 Tenors-Paris 1998 (1998)

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Released 21-May-1999

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Opera Booklet
Featurette-Interview Domingo/Pavarotti/Carreras/Levine/Rudas
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 132
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mathias Ledoux
Studio
Distributor

Polygram
Starring Placido Domingo
Jose Carreras
Luciano Pavarotti
James Levine
Case Super Jewel
RPI $36.95 Music James Levine


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
French
Dutch
Spanish
Italian
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you haven't heard of The 3 Tenors, then you have probably been living somewhere far, far away from civilization. They took the world by storm in 1990 with their concert in Rome, and have set about progressively cashing on their success. Their roadshow recently visited Melbourne, where Melbournians were given the opportunity to pay exorbitant amounts of money to see an out-of-sync all-but-inaudible ant show.

    Don't get me wrong, I thought the first 3 Tenors concert was magnificent. But they should have stopped there instead of getting greedy.

    This concert follows their usual theme of being set in an exotic location (under the Eiffel Tower). The 3 Tenors belt out a number of arias both singly and together, massacre a few popular numbers, and rake in the cash, a guaranteed formula for success. They make sure they do their usual showstoppers, including Luciano Pavarotti's traditional Nessum Dorma, sounding quite lifeless in this particular rendition.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this stage production is pretty ordinary. It seems to have been taken from quite inferior composite video source material.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3). It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was generally quite indistinct, and suffered from a lack of resolution. This was particularly the case with the aerial shots, which were very blurry indeed. Black levels were less than perfect, with low level noise present at times, somewhat marring the picture

    The colours were generally clear, except for the aerial shots which were washed out and indistinct. Cross colour artefacting occurred at times, especially involving the framework of the Eiffel Tower.

    A number of MPEG artefacts were seen, particularly soon before the layer change, where there was frequent image breakup. These occurred at 72:00, 72:31, 73:45, 73:50, and 73:54. Either I have a less than perfect disc, or Polygram have a problem with the extreme outer edges of their discs, since I had this same difficulty with the pre-release copy of Sleepers. I will investigate this matter further. My rating for the video on this disc assumes that these major artefacts are not present on release copies of this disc.

    (Addendum 19th April 1999: Polygram have sent me another copy of this DVD which does not exhibit the above problems. I therefore conclude that I received a one-off dud copy.)

    Aliasing was a major problem with this title, especially in any long shots of the city or of the Eiffel tower. A light display at the back of the stage exhibited significantly distracting aliasing as well.

    Camera wobble was also a major problem with this title, especially during close-ups.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change relatively inconspicuous at 73:55, between Chapters 19 and 20. This occurs between the overture to the second half of the concert and the first aria of the second half. It would have been better positioned at the end of the first half of the concert, but is acceptable where it is.

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English PCM 2.0. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

    Dialogue was essentially non-existent, so I will not comment on it. The sound was mixed mainly into the Left and Right channels, with virtually no signal in the Centre speaker at all. Placido Domingo was mixed to the left of centre, Jose Carreras was mixed to the centre, and Luciano Pavarotti was mixed to the right of centre. This got a little harsh and grating at times.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The music was typical 3 Tenors fare.

    The surround channels were used in apparent unison for the music, and rarely had some ambience mixed in.

    The .1 channel was used frequently to support the music, though it never worked all that hard.

Extras

Menu

    The menu design on this disc is quite straightforward and easy to navigate.

Featurette - Interview with Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, James Levine and Tibor Rudas (11 mins)

    This is a discussion of the philosophy and history of the 3 Tenors, and how this concert came to be. It is worth at least a single watch. This is copiously subtitled, though the native language of this interview is English.

Production Notes

    Some facts and figures on the 3 Tenors make up the production notes on this disc. There are some moderately interesting titbits of information in these notes.

R4 vs R1

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

    Information is scant on this title in Region 1, however it appears that it lacks a 5.1 mix, only offering a 2.0 mix in Dolby Digital. If that is truly the case, then the R4 version would be the version of choice.

Summary

    The 3 Tenors - Paris 1998 is a DVD that is limited because of inferior source material. I would only recommend this to you on the basis that no other version of this particular concert would be any better. Indeed, VHS would likely be even worse.

    The video quality is borderline unacceptable, given the source limitations. This is not taking into consideration the major MPEG artefacts present before the layer change, which I will presume will not make their way onto the final release version of this DVD. If they are present on the final release discs, then this disc would be completely unacceptable.

    The audio quality is of acceptable quality.

    The extras are limited, but more prevalent that on other Polygram discs.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Monday, February 01, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

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