JDCMB has teamed up with the online performing arts channel Medici TV to bring you an exclusive special offer: a significant reduction on the cost of access to their Aladdin's Cave of live-streamed or on-demand video.
Medici's catalogue stretches to about 1000 titles, featuring world-class opera, concerts, dance and arts documentaries, adding a couple of new VODs plus two or three live concerts every week. In summer the channel usually live-streams most of the concerts from the Verbier Festival.
Now readers of JDCMB can save 15% on a subscription to Medici TV. Here's the range of options (prices in Euros - Medici is based in Paris):
- One-month Classic subscription at €5.9 instead of €6.9 for your first month
- One-month Classic+ subscription at €9 instead of €10.85 for your first month
- One-year Classic subscription at €59 instead of €69
- One-year Classic+ subscription at €90 instead of €109
All you need to do to claim your discount is go to the Medici subscriptions page, choose your option and enter the word JESSICAMUSIC in the promotional code box.
As a taster, here is an extract from Medici's latest addition: from the Royal Ballet here in London, it is Kenneth MacMillan's Manon (known in Europe as L'histoire de Manon) starring no less a team than Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta. It was filmed at the Royal Opera House in 2008.
The tale, based on a terse 18th-century thriller by the Abbé Prévost, depicts the fall of the heroine from innocent convent girl to tragically abused deportee - her fatal flaw is allowing herself to be seduced away from true love by the lure of wealth. By the time she learns that love is the only way, it is too late... The book may be centuries old and the ballet decades, yet the story and their characters can seem all too contemporary right now.
Manon is much enriched by MacMillan's knack for conveying through choreography emotional nuances that you might never expect dance to be able to reflect. And its high points are its several magnificent pas de deux for Manon and Des Grieux, modelled in the original cast of 1974 on the legendary duo of Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The score is a carefully wrought kaleidoscope drawn from extracts of Massenet by Leighton Lucas.
As the invaluable Kenneth MacMillan website tells, us, Manon herself is a gift for a ballerina with dramatic bent to put her own slant on the character:
Antoinette Sibley saw her as a girl ‘who allowed it all to happen to her . . .I don’t think she’s a schemer - she only makes decisions when she has to’. Lynn Seymour made her more ruthless: she and her brother are ‘cut from the same cloth, both bandits, using all they have to achieve what they want . . . she broke the rules and the punishment crushed her’. Natalia Makarova understood her as an instinctive creature who lives for the moment, ‘extracting from it all the excitement she can. At the same time she fully knows that the day will come when she must pay the price…. for the pleasure of living fully’. Sylvie Guillem’s guileful Manon used her sexual allure to survive in a male-dominated world. Des Grieux’s misfortune was to have strayed into her path just as she was discovering her power. Where other Manons die as desperate victims, limp as rags, Guillem fought on, defying death itself.
You can see the whole thing on Medici, of course, which released the video last week, on 12 May - Jules Massenet's birthday. This year marks both the 170th anniversary of the composer's birth and the centenary of his death.