Author Topic: Opera on DVD  (Read 145446 times)

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uffeviking

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2007, 06:02:29 PM »
You can see more pictures at the Nederlandse Opera's website.  They are a bit on the small side.  This link will take you the Rheingold gallery, and you can get to the other operas from there.  Since it seems you want a more "traditional" production (not just the costumes), I imagine the Met was probably your best bet, though after looking at the pictures, I'm really curious to see the Audi production. 

As for Valkyries on horseback, I don't think any of the available productions give you that.

I seem to remember one, probably from Bayreuth, where pastic life-sized horses, like those merry-go-round horses,  were suspended from the flies, with the Walküres bravely perched on them, singing their lusty 'Hoyotoho'.  ::)

Thank you for the URL!

Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2007, 06:09:03 PM »
Congratulations on your success, Lis!  I appreciate your effort.  Isn't Jeannine Altmeyer in another Ring from Bayreuth?  Barenboim or Boulez?  I have forgotten.

 What does this mean "‘Bloomers-dropping Stuttgart Konwitschny’ one."  I heard that Ring panned wherever I went on the internet.  I thought the singing/performance or conducting/orchestra, one of them was poorly done and was the reason for the low ratings.  What's this about "Bloomers-dropping?"  You have my attention now.  LOL!

Thanks, Wendell, for those links.  I will use them.  Much appreciated.

uffeviking

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2007, 06:34:09 PM »
Congratulations on your success, Lis!  I appreciate your effort. isn't Jeannine Altmeyer in another Ring?

Good memory, Anne! She is in the very controversial - at that time! - Boulez - Chereau Ring. as Gutrune

"What's this about "Bloomers-dropping?"  You have my attention now.  LOL!"

This occurred in the Stuttgart Ring where they had a different director for each segment. And this is the one Marvin definitely will not want! Recall Götterdämmerung when Siegfried disguises himself as Gunther, breaks through the Ring of Fire, robs Brünnhilde of The Ring, making her helpless and he demands she follow him to the bedchamber for the proxy wedding. She is cowed, lifts her dress, swiftly undoes the lace bloomers, let's them fall to the floor and with her feet entangled in them, shuffles after Siegfried/Gunther.

I can understand what the director wanted to demonstrate with this move; Brünnhilde was completely at the mercy of that man, but not everybody was happy with this action.  :-[

Edited, correcting facts!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 06:37:07 PM by uffeviking »

Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2007, 07:44:57 PM »
Thanks, Lis.  I never would have known about the bloomers if it hadn't been for you.

Regarding Jeannine in the Chereau Ring, I remember thinking how nice to have a singer who could be believable in the part.  Much appreciated.

Wendell_E

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2007, 02:26:35 AM »
Good memory, Anne! She is in the very controversial - at that time! - Boulez - Chereau Ring. as Gutrune

Altmeyer was also the Sieglinde in that production.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 02:33:39 AM by Wendell_E »

Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2007, 07:06:39 AM »
Thanks, Wendell!  It was as Sieglinde that I remember her.

uffeviking

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2007, 03:27:25 PM »
Thanks, Wendell!  It was as Sieglinde that I remember her.

More on your yesterday's post about Jeannine Altmeyer: If you admired her Sieglinde, please try to get the Amsterdam production of the Ring, if not the entire set, at least Die Götterdämmerung. Altmeyer's Brünnhilde will send shivers down your back, or in her Immolation Scene, move you to tears. She caused those emotions and more when I watched her again this afternoon. Ok, so she is not the young Sieglinde any more, but she has matured with her voice and her acting.


Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2007, 03:52:31 PM »
Thanks, Lis.  I'll look for the cheapest Holland performance.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2007, 09:15:37 AM »
Marvin, you're welcome.  Please let us know how you do or don't like it.


  Hello Anne, I received the Levine Ring Cycle two days ago on Tuesday, took a while to reprogramme the dvd player and TV set to NTSC (remember I am in England) but I was on my way.  Saw Das Rheingold on Tuesday and yesterday Die Walkurie here's my reaction:

     Das Rheingold:

     From the opening scene with the Rheinmaidens dressed in their glittery outfits perched on that massive rock structure, with the waterfall nearby I knew I had hit the jackpot! this is what I was waiting for all along.  Ekkehard Wlaschina makes a very convincing, conniving lustfull Alberich which plays well with the seductiveness of the Rheinmaidens.  I was very pleased to see Christa Ludwig cast as Fricka but the highlight of it all was JAMES MORRIS.  That deep voice, his dominating presence on that stage, he exudes power as Wotan should.  This Das Rheingold had so many impressive  scenes: a) the rheingold glittering at the top of the rock structure 2) Castle of the Gods as Fricka laments the loss of Freia to the giants (Wotan shady deal) 3) the sulphurous smoke that spreads on stage as Wotan and Loge decend to steal the gold from Alberich....magical...the setting that Wagner intended all along.
The Met orchestra was even more dazzling, clear precise and well conducted under James Levine.  (my only quibble was when Alberich transforms himself breifly into a dragon-your grandson was right by the way that dragon did look like an squid or even an eel-the "dragon" was not much of a dragon visually, a minor point however in an otherwise splendid production)

  Die Walkurie:

   Again excellent stage production, Hunding's dwelling is as I imagined from the audio recordings I have of Wagner's Ring: Rustic, modest.  The biggest surprise here was Jesse Norman as Sieglind who I had not seen in an opera production since Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. The music becomes more powerfull here and Jesse Norman rises to the challenge as she becomes ecstatic during her encounter with Siegmund.  Again James Morris is in top form as Wotan and that heartfelt exchange he has with Brunnhilde (punishment for her betrayal) at the end is UNFORGETABLE.  The costumes of the Walkurie, during the Ride of the Walkuries along with the power and clarity of the music from the Met orchestra was one of the greatest scenes of this production (it did not matter that there were no horses!)


  Tonight I will treat myself to Siegfried......

  marvin   

     
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 09:19:28 AM by marvinbrown »

uffeviking

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2007, 09:28:50 AM »
Great enthusiastic review of your first visual encounter with Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk. Now comes the challenge: Watch another interpretation of this gigantic work! After all, you have seen only one way to present it; to challenge your mind take another look at it. It's not any different than listening to Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony conducted by Mikhail Pletnev than the same work with Sergiu Celibidache on the podium.  ;)

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2007, 11:11:50 AM »
Great enthusiastic review of your first visual encounter with Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk. Now comes the challenge: Watch another interpretation of this gigantic work! After all, you have seen only one way to present it; to challenge your mind take another look at it. It's not any different than listening to Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony conducted by Mikhail Pletnev than the same work with Sergiu Celibidache on the podium.  ;)

  thanks uffeviking I will take your advice and keep an open mind about this  :)

  marvin

Offline knight66

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 12:01:23 PM »
. It's not any different than listening to Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony conducted by Mikhail Pletnev than the same work with Sergiu Celibidache on the podium.  ;)

Lis...surely you are not saying Celibidache's Tchaikovsky symphony lasts as long as a Wagner three acter?

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

uffeviking

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2007, 12:17:01 PM »
No, no, Luv, only the first movement of the 6th!  8)

Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2007, 01:12:37 PM »
 " Tonight I will treat myself to Siegfried......

  marvin"

Thanks for letting us know how you liked the Levine Ring.  In Siegfried there is another dragon.  I'd be interested in your opinion of that one.  LOL!  As soon as you have everything down pat with the Levine Ring, you may enjoy going to Uffe's or someone else's DVD recommendation.  I am so glad you are enjoying the journey!


Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2007, 02:45:36 PM »
" Tonight I will treat myself to Siegfried......

  marvin"

Thanks for letting us know how you liked the Levine Ring.  In Siegfried there is another dragon.  I'd be interested in your opinion of that one.  LOL!  As soon as you have everything down pat with the Levine Ring, you may enjoy going to Uffe's or someone else's DVD recommendation.  I am so glad you are enjoying the journey!


     My review of the Levine cycle continues:

     The third installment of Wagner's Ring Cycle (Seigfried) is definitely my Favorite opera of Wagner's Cycle.  So you can imagine that I approached the Levine Seigfried with high expectations.  Let me get to the point, Mime was absolutely BRILLIANT.  His aged appearance and mannerism were just perfect.  That rapport he had with Wotan (3 questions for each of their heads) was so enjoyable to watch I played it again (encore) before I moved on to the next scene.  I was a little skeptical when Seigfried Jerusalem showed up in the role of Seigfreid (more his appearance than anything else) but eventually he grew on me.....he was able to portray the spoiled conceited aspects of Seigfried's character far better than the heroic Alpha-Male expected of this hero.  I was remarkablly impressed with the stage production depicting the forest where Fafner lived (I could feel chills down my spine as the leitmotif depicting the dragon played).  The Met was able to recreate the forest with incredible accuracy.  Which brings us to Fafner (Anne that is no dragon-Squid yes, jellyfish perhaps, but that is no dragon)  Why the Met that had done such a phenomenal job at recreating scene after scene as per Wagner's written instruction chose to depict the dragon like that is beyond comprehension)  Were dragons depicted like that  during Wagner's time I wonder?  Probably not.  Other than that the Met orchestra was in top form.  The duet between Seigfried and Brunhilde was also a highpoint.

    Gotterdammerung:

   I started Gotterdammerung and got through Acts 1 and 2.  Hagen was perfectly cast,  Alberich's manipulative hate-filled son was as he should be.  Gutrune was a bit older than I had imagined but I evetually accepted that fact.  Brunhilde's transition from Walkurie to Maiden, helplessly in love with Seigfreid and evetually betrayed by him was well done as was the stage production.  Alberich's appearance and rapport with his son Hagen was also a highpoint.  Again the Met orchestra was in top form.  Will report back on Act 3 (I would be very curious to see how the MET will stage the destruction of the gods by Loge's fire.......)

   marvin           

Offline Anne

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2007, 03:42:16 PM »
 "...that is no dragon-Squid yes, jellyfish perhaps, but that is no dragon."

LOL!  I agree!

BTW did you know that Wagner stopped composing Siegfried right in the middle of it and went off to compose Tristan and Die Meistersinger?  I was hoping maybe someone here could compare for us how the music at the beginning of Siegfried is different from that at the end of that opera.

Seven or eight years ago I witnessed 2 Wagnerites duking it out over whether Gotterdammerung  was through composed, or had arias and choruses.

Offline knight66

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2007, 10:48:07 PM »
Well done for sitting through Siegfried and even watching some of it twice! Even though I like Wagner and have been to The Ring in the theatre, I found Siegfried almost unendurable in one great lump. It was a good performance, so I don't blame the musicians. But then I am a heretic in Wagnerian terms; in that I would cheerfully take scissors to a good proportion of certain operas.

One thing that drives me mad is his insistence on telling everyone the same information several times...slowly....as though the audience was thick. Ever so often, even in Meistersingers, I just ache for them to get a bloody move on.

Exceptions are Tristan and Gotterdammerung, I think I would leave them both alone. I know I am in a minority as most would rather cut themselves than one bar of his music.

Anne, As you will see, I am no expert on Wagner, but I would have said Gotterdammerung is through-written and that the concept does not prevent there being arias and so forth along the way. The idea can be seen more clearly in Verdi where he moved away from obvious boxes to contain aria, recit, duet, recit, chorus, recit etc...to eventually produce what are acknowledged to be through-written pieces, Otello and Falstaff. Each has definable structures within them, but are definitely through-written.

Mike

« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 11:18:37 PM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline knight66

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2007, 09:01:05 AM »
Joe, There is a thread on him...
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,415.0.html

I think that most people would regard him as amongst the finest conductors who have been recorded.

Here is information about him.

http://www.furtwangler.org/

He died in 1954, so the DVD will probably be in black and white and will use a full orchestra rather than a chamber size orchestra that is more usual now. The singers are terrific. I have not read anything specifically about this performance.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Haffner

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2007, 09:16:16 AM »
This is my second watching of the Levine "Ring..." cycle. Overall it can be quite good (forgetting that the mermaids don't look like mermaids and the valkyries have no horses). I wasn't wild about Siegfried Jerusalem's performance as Siegfried (he was a better Loge)...I am wondering if a more full-bodied singer would sound more "full" overall.

I haven't checked out any other Ring cycles, but at this point I am overall completely stunned by the magnificence of this work, probably one of the greatest Artistic achievements in world history, in my humble opinion.

When I make my first 25 million  ::), I'm going to commision this Opera in its entirety as an animated feature. What could be better?

Haffner

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Re: Opera on DVD
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2007, 09:26:37 AM »
How good is this one? I am a big fan of Domingo.

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