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The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 12:54:48 AM

Title: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 12:54:48 AM
The following is part of a thread from the previous GMG forum and should invite replies here in the new home:

 Opera DVDs you are watching
« on: March 21, 2007, 03:28:00 PM » Quote Modify Remove Split Topic 

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Well, I only watch opera DVDs once in a while but it seems that the Opera and Vocal room doesn't have this sort of thread? I know many of you simply post info on the last opera DVDs you watched in the appropriate specific composer/opera threads but I figured sometimes one would simply want to just mention what one is watching without starting a multi-page discussion on the subject... Or at least without that intention...

Or maybe there already is a (dead) thread of this sort, and I missed it?

Well, anyway, if you think this would be a useless thread then we can just let it die a natural death (by not posting in it or even locking it)...

Last opera DVD I watched was this:

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 08, 2007, 01:01:42 AM
Maciek, I keep reading that e mail...but I cannot see specified what opera you were watching. While you are at it, you might as well tell us why we ought to avoid it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 01:13:19 AM
Did I throw you a curve, Mike? Sorry about confusing you, but while I was working on transferring this thread you caught the first version and then I modified it and now you have no idea what on earth Maciek was talking about. He was talking about this one:

Stanislaw Moniuszko: Halka.

In the process I just discovered that I can not minimize this program, go to another and retrieve it. It's gone.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 08, 2007, 04:11:12 AM
Lis, LOL....after all that, I am none the wiser as I know neither the opera nor the composer. The longer we go on the less I seem to know.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on April 08, 2007, 05:18:13 PM
In memory of Colin Graham, who died last Friday, I watched this DVD of his ENO production of Britten's Gloriana.  I saw the production in New Orleans in 1984 with practically the same cast, just a couple of months after it was filmed.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 06:24:21 PM
I had the DVD of Gloriana with Josephine Barstow and I am sure it was the same production as the one with Sarah Walker, the one you saw life. I traded my Barstow 'Adriana' for the Walker because the facial contortions of Barstow drove me nuts! I could have just listened to the music, but the production is so beautiful, I wanted to see it all. So I lost Tom Randle in the trade-off, I survived the loss!

I am sorry to hear about the opera world losing Colin Graham, a gentleman of the treasured old style, if I can take this Gloriana production as the norm of his style.   :'(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on April 08, 2007, 07:12:17 PM
I had the DVD of Gloriana with Josephine Barstow and I am sure it was the same production as the one with Sarah Walker, the one you saw life.

Actually the DVD with Barstow is Phyllidia Lloyd's Opera North production.  As I understand it, the film, also directed by Lloyd, makes a lot of cuts in the opera that weren't in the stage production.

I also saw Graham's production of Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire when it was done in New Orleans, but I wasn't tempted to buy the DVD of that one (Previn's fault, not Graham's).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 08, 2007, 07:33:09 PM
Interesting news! The sets on both productions were so similar, I thought the same director was at work!

Something else interesting: I had the Previn Streetcar and tried at least five times, over a period of time, to stick with it longer than half an hour, but not even Rod Gilfry's bare chest could keep me interested. Since I am not familiar with the original work, I hoped I could understand the singers but René Fleming's elocution is atrocious, no help from her.  :(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Maciek on April 11, 2007, 08:27:40 AM
Lis, LOL....after all that, I am none the wiser as I know neither the opera nor the composer. The longer we go on the less I seem to know.

Mike

Don't worry, Mike. I'll start a separate thread on that as soon as I finish looking through the new posts on interesting threads that have cropped out while I was away.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 13, 2007, 11:33:32 AM


   I did not know where to post this inquiry so I figured this is the best place.  For the past couple of days I have been looking for GREAT recordings of Wagner's Ring Cycle on DVD (among other operas on DVD and Bach cantatas).  I am looking for a Ring Cycle set in mythical times.  I have been put off by modern adaptations (eg. the Ring set in modern times where Wotan is dressed in a suit ::)).  I would like see Fafner as a dragon, the Rheinmaidens, the Walkurie on horses and so on.  I was intrigued by the cover of Levine's Ring.  Is this as good as it looks:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00006L9ZT.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V46766584_SS500_.jpg) 

  Or should I be looking elsewhere?

   Any advice would be appreciated

   marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on April 13, 2007, 11:43:25 AM
Marvin, based on your criteria above, this version would probably fill the bill very nicely.  (Caveat: I have not seen the entire DVD set, but all four operas were done by the same production team, headed by Otto Schenck.)  They are all very traditional -- no one in suits.  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 13, 2007, 11:47:04 AM
Marvin,

The last I knew the Met was the only performance that used the clothing style from the actual historical times.  All other productions were modern dress.

I have the performance you are showing and enjoy it.

Ps.  My grandson thought the dragon looked more like a squid than a dragon in the Met's performance.  I had to agree with him.  LOL!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 11:54:28 AM
Not completely correct, Anne! There is the outstanding series from De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, directed by the very talented Pierre Audi. No raven-winged helmets, aluminum breast-plated females and tenors in leather miniskirts. The costumes are a fantasy creation resembling nothing in existence and very beautiful. This Ring has been judged by a majority of Ring advocates as the best DVD available to-date.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 13, 2007, 12:09:18 PM


  Thanks Bruce and Anna, I have just ordered the Levine Ring!   I tried looking for the Pierre Audi set couldn't find it at an affordable price...Levine won out in the end!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 13, 2007, 03:09:22 PM
Marvin, you're welcome.  Please let us know how you do or don't like it.

Thanks, Lis.  I had forgotten about the Amsterdam Ring.  Are there any pictures available of that production?  I'm curious to see what the costumes look like.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 03:15:36 PM
Probably, but Anne, I am not good at transferring photos from here to there. I'll try, if not I am sure when T.C. reads this post, he will supply you with a bunch of them. - Oh Nigel, where are you?? Sigh. -
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 03:26:02 PM
Try this one, it's the cover of Rheingold with John Bröcheler as Wotan.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 13, 2007, 04:42:38 PM
Thanks!  Guess I missed the boat when this Ring was reviewed.  That costume looks fine.  How are the singers rated?  and the orchestra/conductor?  Don't bother to look it up.  I meant that perhaps you remember what was said. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2007, 05:03:17 PM
Trying to get a copy of my review of Die Walküre from my files to here, hope it works. - By gosh it did!

"Amsterdam Walküre

Inevitable it is not only for you, T.C., but for any Wagnerian to see this production. Not a traditional ‘NY Met Otto Schenk’ tear jerker; nor a ‘Seattle Green Ring’, and definitely not a ‘Bloomers-dropping Stuttgart Konwitschny’ one. The word ‘monumental’ comes to mind because the sets are huge, clean-lined and stark, with the costumes to match. No frills, no exhibition of bare body parts or raven-winged helmets plus  animal skin costumes.  Concentration was fixed on the singing, acting and music. Hartmut Haenchen led his orchestra as powerful as any I have heard. The ‘Ride of the Walküre’ must have shook the foundation of the Muziktheater.

I have stated more than once that Walküre is my favorite segment of the Ring, but I still wish Herr Wagner would have deleted two-thirds of the cackling herd of Walküren as they gather after singing their Hojotohos. Not only are we introduced to their names, we also get treated to the names of their horses, what those critters are doing – one stallion going after a mare – and all that sung by eight females with questionably good voices. As if that is not enough, Brünnhilde comes running  and pleading with each of the eight, again telling me their names, to protect her. – That’s the time for me to go to my study and check for email or PMs from friends at GMG! – For some reason it is in this scene Jeannine Altmeyer’s voice gets a bit shrill, but I blame the surrounding eight sisters forcing her to raise her voice.

After Wotan sends his daughters packing, except his favorite one, I settle back and enjoy the opera again. “War es so schmählich was ich verbrach?” is a heart-wrenching outcry starting the most dramatic part of this opera. “Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind” is handled so many different ways by any of the Wotans I have seen and heard; this one too is different because Brünnhilde is already prone on the floor, arms by her side, shed of her armour and helmet, wearing only a black body suit. Wotan stands a few feet from her and actually has his back turned to her, making it more like a conversation he his carrying on with himself, recalling the wondrous times the two had together. He slowly turns around, walking towards her and kneeling down  by her head and then his: “Denn so – kehrt der Gott sich dir ab: so küsst er die Gottheit von dir“ he stretches himself out on the floor beside her, bends over her face and kisses her on her mouth, with a long lasting kiss. He sinks his head down on her shoulder, drapes his left arm over her body and remains in this position all through one of the most beautiful musical passages of the Ring. Usually the interval is being used by Wotan to arrange her armour over her body, adjusts the helmet, places her sword next to her. Not this time. Motionless, father and daughter, and the music. It is a beautiful idea of the director Pierre Audi!

Then of course the Feuerzauber we are all familiar with, except Haenchen takes it more powerful, not the usual sweet sound of flames created by the piccolo; an abbyss breaks the stage floor behind Brünhilde and a shiny metal barriers moves into place, symbolic of a barricade protecting her. Stunning!

And so was the shattering applause from the house. There was no hesitatent remaining in their seats, from what I could see, everybody jumped to their feet, applauding, whistling, foot-stomping! All of it fully deserved!"
 


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on April 13, 2007, 05:13:00 PM
You can see more pictures at the Nederlandse Opera's website.  They are a bit on the small side.  This link (http://www.dno.nl/index.php?m=archive&sm=archiveSeasons&as=15&c=picture&s=132) 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.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking 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 (http://www.dno.nl/index.php?m=archive&sm=archiveSeasons&as=15&c=picture&s=132) 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!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne 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.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking 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!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne 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.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E 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.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 14, 2007, 07:06:39 AM
Thanks, Wendell!  It was as Sieglinde that I remember her.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking 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.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 15, 2007, 03:52:31 PM
Thanks, Lis.  I'll look for the cheapest Holland performance.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown 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   

     
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking 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.  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown 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
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 19, 2007, 12:17:01 PM
No, no, Luv, only the first movement of the 6th!  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne 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!

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown 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           
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne 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.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 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

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 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
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner 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?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 22, 2007, 09:26:37 AM
How good is this one? I am a big fan of Domingo.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 22, 2007, 09:34:21 AM
I bought it because of Cheryl Studer. She has been maligned terribly in another forum to the extent that the moderator banned her name, just her name! How ridiculous. She is a great Elsa von Brabant. If you don't speak German, then Domingo butchering my mother tongue won't bother you; his singing is very good!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 22, 2007, 09:38:32 AM
I bought it because of Cheryl Studer. She has been maligned terribly in another forum to the extent that the moderator banned her name, just her name! How ridiculous. She is a great Elsa von Brabant. If you don't speak German, then Domingo butchering my mother tongue won't bother you; his singing is very good!




I'm with you,Studer is excellent!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 22, 2007, 09:56:14 AM

   As promised, this will be my last post reviewing the Levine Ring Cycle dvd.  Act 3 was all that was left and this morning I sat through it.  Let me get to the point, again the Met never failed to dazzle me with the hunting scene where Seigfried is killed followed by the Funeral March....notice how the stage lights were turned down.....and with the Met orchestra it was stunning. All singers were in top form, most notably Brunhilde in the Immolation Scene in which she laments the death of Seigfreid necessary for her newly acquired wisdom, blames the gods for thier everlasting guilt in Seigfrieds' death and the materialistic (loveless) world they helped create all climaxing to Brunhilde galloping (where was Grane by the way?) into Seigfried's pyre and Valhalla engulfed in flames, the ending was just perfect despite the absence of the horse.  Overall a splendid production.  I would recommend the Levine Ring dvd to anyone looking for a traditional, as Wagner intended, adaptation to his masterpiece.

   marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 22, 2007, 10:04:06 AM
How good is this one? I am a big fan of Domingo.

  Hello Haffner I too am a big fan of Domingo, although I have not seen this dvd of Lohengrin when it comes to Wagner I tend to stay away from singers whose native language is not Germanic (English, German etc.) .....as uffeviking pointed out perhaps the accent could pose a problem.  Besides I wasn't aware that Domingo did Wagner, any Wagner for that matter.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 22, 2007, 10:14:50 AM
Oh Dear me! What you missed, incredible! Domingo shines as Siegmund. He is so good I totally overlooked his Spanish accented German; he has sung Siegmund often enough by now to have the Teutonic pronunciation almost down pat. I don't know if the hit of the 2005 Proms is available commercially. Pappano conducted a concert performance with Waltraud Meier as Sieglinde and Bryn Terfel as a Wotan to beat almost most of the other Wotans I have heard or seen. Maybe you have friend in the UK who taped the TV broadcast of this mindbogglingly performance.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 22, 2007, 12:14:03 PM
Right....i've got your number.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 23, 2007, 05:07:59 AM

  Again I find myself coming back to this forum for help:  I have been ordering dvds of all of the operas I love and have hit a stumbling block looking for a good recording of Tristan und Isolde on dvd.  This is my FAVORITE opera (have the Furwangler recording with Kristan Flagstaad on EMI by the way) which has made my search even harder.  From what I can gather these are the only two options available and from the reviews that I have read NONE are superb........are these two dvd recordings really as flawed as I have read them to be?

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HJ2AW296L._SS500_.jpg)

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S7P8RSCZL._SS500_.jpg) 

   Where do I go now?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 05:36:37 AM
  Again I find myself coming back to this forum for help:  I have been ordering dvds of all of the operas I love and have hit a stumbling block looking for a good recording of Tristan und Isolde on dvd.  This is my FAVORITE opera (have the Furwangler recording with Kristan Flagstaad on EMI by the way) which has made my search even harder.  From what I can gather these are the only two options available and from the reviews that I have read NONE are superb........are these two dvd recordings really as flawed as I have read them to be?

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HJ2AW296L._SS500_.jpg)

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S7P8RSCZL._SS500_.jpg) 

   Where do I go now?



I'm curious as to these releases as well. Most opera reviewers told me that there really isn't a good performance of T and I on dvd.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 23, 2007, 06:45:24 AM
Of course there is a good performance available, besides those two!

http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Tristan-Jeanne-Michele-Charbonnet-Fujimura/dp/B000F7BODA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-2657591-8498530?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1177338942&sr=1-1

The singing and acting is outstanding and the direction by Olivier Py inventive, sensitive and brilliant. Of course if you make your decision based on opinions of narrow-minded and old-fashioned critics, this one will turn you off.  ::)

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 23, 2007, 08:12:14 AM
Of course there is a good performance available, besides those two!

http://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Tristan-Jeanne-Michele-Charbonnet-Fujimura/dp/B000F7BODA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-2657591-8498530?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1177338942&sr=1-1

The singing and acting is outstanding and the direction by Olivier Py inventive, sensitive and brilliant. Of course if you make your decision based on opinions of narrow-minded and old-fashioned critics, this one will turn you off.  ::)


 
   Thanks uffeviking I was not aware of that recording or that it was recommendable. I am glad to hear that the singing is outstanding, Tristan is one of those operas where the vocals are so demanding that it is quite difficult to find a pair of singers who can pull it off.  I am very pleased to see that Tristan and Isolde are not an overweight pair as cast in the Levine recording.   Quick question though: Is this a modern adaptation of the opera? and if yes do they deviate from the plot that Wagner wrote?

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 23, 2007, 08:15:43 AM
 
Is this a modern adaptation of the opera? and if yes do they deviate from the plot that Wagner wrote?

  marvin




I'm more interested in traditional, "Germanic" staging, so I'm curious as to this answer as well.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 23, 2007, 08:35:42 AM
 
Quick question though: Is this a modern adaptation of the opera? and if yes do they deviate from the plot that Wagner wrote?

  marvin

Thank you for your interest! My basic response to questions about this production is: It is a thinking person's presentation. But be assured, it does not deviate from Wagner's original plot, nor is there a change of any note he wrote. By 'a thinking person's presentation' I have to point out that the director, Olivier Py is gay and he throws open the question of König Marke's sexual orientation. No, no, not openly, he only leaves it up to you, utilising all the minor hints he leaves on the trail, to think about the possibilities.

There are minute actions by the performers you probably won't catch the first time around, revealing what a genius Py is, giving the gigantic work meaning and purpose. It's not an easy entertainment show, believe me!  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 23, 2007, 08:38:28 AM
Lis, am I right in remembering that the look of the film is mainly dictated by lighting, very little by way of props apart from a chest???

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 23, 2007, 08:57:53 AM
Lighting and it's effect on water stand out as the main 'sets' used by Py in the third act. I have to admit the blood soaked sheet and pillow on Tristan's metal bed are a tad overdone yet the hint at Gothic architecture, in barely visible metallic structures eases the impact. The first and second act is set in two conventional rooms, sparsely furnished, but not the chest you mentioned. I think that is in the Tristan performance with Treleaven.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 23, 2007, 09:07:43 AM
Py's Act 3 setting. Totally agreeable idea of placing the shepherd with his oboe next to Tristan's bed.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 27, 2007, 06:27:42 AM


  Has anybody seen this one,  I must admit the cover caught my attention figured I'd ask in case its a lemon There are a whole host of Verdi operas modestly priced from this production company.......any feedback would be appreciated.....

   (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/518EBG827TL._SS500_.jpg)

   marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 06:55:15 AM
I bought it because of Cheryl Studer. She has been maligned terribly in another forum to the extent that the moderator banned her name, just her name!

To be fair, though, banning the name had nothing to do with the singer;  so far as I could tell (after the fact) that was entirely a matter of One Obnoxious Troll who was a Studer groupie.

For similar reasons, there are fora where participants police themselves and forebear to mention a certain Debussy opera by name  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 06:58:18 AM
. . . very little by way of props apart from a chest???

You mean, this is the production where Tristan's chest hair is moussed, Mike?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 27, 2007, 07:15:20 AM
I have the wrong production....in the 'other' one the director seemed to strand the singers with a large wooden chest as the sole prop for act 1. I seem to recall they clung to it like a rock in a deluge.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 07:17:30 AM
Yo ho ho and a bottle of schnapps!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 27, 2007, 08:41:41 AM
To be fair, though, banning the name had nothing to do with the singer;  so far as I could tell (after the fact) that was entirely a matter of One Obnoxious Troll who was a Studer groupie.

For similar reasons, there are fora where participants police themselves and forebear to mention a certain Debussy opera by name  ;D ;D ;D

I didn't know that! Thanks for the background story on the banning of Studer at NYT OF. I thought the Studer fan was spamming!  ::)

As to the Debussy, you mean I should restrain myself from mentioning Pelléas et Melisande? I love that opera! I claim Freedom of Speech!  ;D

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 08:44:39 AM
Why, Lis, I should never dream of infringing upon your freedom of speech.

Even if you weren't a mod  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 01, 2007, 06:37:41 AM
  Just ordered this recording of Un Ballo,  I was surprised to learn that Karajan was supposed to conduct the VPO in this performance but passed away before the performance, Solti took over as conductor on short notice,  the performance however comes highly recommended

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/517EEHFJHWL._SS500_.jpg)


  I always prefer Domingo over Pavarotti in Verdi's operas.  Verdi's operas tend to  have leading men who are either military men, womanizers, playboys or royal figures (kings, dukes etc.)  Pavarotti never seems to look the part with his overweight body and short stature. Will report back once I see this performance

  marvin 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 04, 2007, 04:56:18 PM
  Just ordered this recording of Un Ballo,  I was surprised to learn that Karajan was supposed to conduct the VPO in this performance but passed away before the performance, Solti took over as conductor on short notice,  the performance however comes highly recommended

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/517EEHFJHWL._SS500_.jpg)


  I always prefer Domingo over Pavarotti in Verdi's operas.  Verdi's operas tend to  have leading men who are either military men, womanizers, playboys or royal figures (kings, dukes etc.)  Pavarotti never seems to look the part with his overweight body and short stature. Will report back once I see this performance

  marvin 

  As promised I took some time after work today to watch this dvd recording on Un Ballo.  This production sets the opera in the original setting of Sweden, Verdi's intent all along before the censorship officials got to him and forced him to set it in Colonial Boston.  Solti takes over Karajan's role as conductor and opens this opera with style.  The opening scene is as Verdi envisaged, it is the 1790s at the Court of King Gustav III of Sweden.  Great attention was given to costumes, the lavishness of the Court, the mannerisms of the characters etc. I much prefer this setting than Colonial Boston.  The VPO is as usual in top form, the music was crisp, focused and from the overture onwards you could tell Soti was in full control.  Every scene that followed was true to Verdi's intention, the fortune teller's (Ulricha) dwelling was dark and ominous, the audience was treated to some stage voo-doo acting which seemed appropriate for the setting, the graveyard where Amelia was to retrieve the herbs (plants) to rid her of her love for King Gustav was as eery and dangerous as one could expect.  The highlight of it all was when the stage turns right before the audience to usher in the the Masked Ball, that was really something to see: all the guests in their oppulent costumes disguised and dancing just before the assassination of the King made this production a feast for the eyes. Last but not least the singing:  three singers stood out in my opinion (Domingo as King Gustav, sumi jo as Oscar and Leo Nucci as Renato) These three were really enjoyable to hear and watch especially Sumi jo (Oscar) at the masked ball and Domingo's death scene, Leo Nucci shined in practically every scene he was in.

  Two points to quibble about: I prefer a more docile Amelia (vocally and acting wise) than that portrayed by Josephine Barstow but thats just my opinion and I was a bit put off by the constant clapping after every other aria/ensemble.......must be a Viennese thing. 

  Overall a very enjoyable performance, very entertaining and not to be missed.

   marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 04, 2007, 10:44:19 PM
Marvn,

Karajan did what for him was standard procedure of producing a sound recording with the cast before first night of the production, a strange concept I feel. It means that there are Cd's of Karajan conducting the cast. The recording would then be used and the singers mimed while blocking in the final rehearsals. In Vienna the first night audience would receive copies of the Cd's as part of their ticket price.

I think it was not just his final opera recording, but his final studio recording.

Barstow was really past her best by this point. It had never been an ingratiating voice, but her acting was magnetic and Karajan had basically just discovered her for himself and was going to start to work some more with her. It was quite a blow to her career when he died.

If you did want a CD set as well at some time, as you enjoy Solti, then his set is I feel very successful with Pavarotti 'in' his part, rather then merely singing and Margaret Price, completely superb as Amelia.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 05, 2007, 02:05:51 AM
Marvn,

Karajan did what for him was standard procedure of producing a sound recording with the cast before first night of the production, a strange concept I feel. It means that there are Cd's of Karajan conducting the cast. The recording would then be used and the singers mimed while blocking in the final rehearsals. In Vienna the first night audience would receive copies of the Cd's as part of their ticket price.

I think it was not just his final opera recording, but his final studio recording.

Barstow was really past her best by this point. It had never been an ingratiating voice, but her acting was magnetic and Karajan had basically just discovered her for himself and was going to start to work some more with her. It was quite a blow to her career when he died.

If you did want a CD set as well at some time, as you enjoy Solti, then his set is I feel very successful with Pavarotti 'in' his part, rather then merely singing and Margaret Price, completely superb as Amelia.

Mike

   Mike I do have Solti's audio cd recording with Pavarotti and Margaret Price and I love it which is why I jumped at the chance to buy this dvd recording.  You will have to excuse my ignorance here but I am a little baffled by what you have written about the singers "miming while blocking" in this live performance that I just saw.  Forgive me for asking but are you telling me that all the cast members were not actually singing but  merely moving their lips to an already existing recording? 

  marvin   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 05, 2007, 03:03:26 AM
I am a little baffled by what you have written about the singers "miming while blocking" in this live performance that I just saw.  Forgive me for asking but are you telling me that all the cast members were not actually singing but  merely moving their lips to an already existing recording? 

  marvin   

No.  As Mike's post mentioned, this was done in the final rehearsals.  This was apparently done to preserve the singers' voices for the actual performances.  As mentioned, this was Karajan's standard proceedure.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 05, 2007, 03:23:47 AM
Yep Marvin....as Wendell explained. I think it an odd idea to the extent that during, or at the end of the run that whole production will have more depth. I believe that later recordings would have enabled the singers to get more inside their parts and interact possibly more excitingly. But Karajan had his methods, I can see the logic of it all, for instance; it allowed lots of rehearsal without the orchestra, or perhaps even Karajan being present; so the cast could get to grips with the production. I do wonder then how inflexable the subsequent performances might have been, or was there nevertheless room to experiment in the moment of the drama.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 05, 2007, 03:49:56 AM
it allowed lots of rehearsal without the orchestra, or perhaps even Karajan being present

Also, since Karajan was often (but not in this Ballo) the stage director of these productions, he wouldn't have to stage-direct from the pit, or have an assistant to conduct while he was working on-stage.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 05, 2007, 06:39:57 AM
Yep Marvin....as Wendell explained. I think it an odd idea to the extent that during, or at the end of the run that whole production will have more depth. I believe that later recordings would have enabled the singers to get more inside their parts and interact possibly more excitingly. But Karajan had his methods, I can see the logic of it all, for instance; it allowed lots of rehearsal without the orchestra, or perhaps even Karajan being present; so the cast could get to grips with the production. I do wonder then how inflexable the subsequent performances might have been, or was there nevertheless room to experiment in the moment of the drama.

Mike

  Thank you Wendell and Mike for further clarifying this to me.  Yes it is a strange procedure to restrain the singers in this way in the final rehearsals.  I would imagine it would be difficult to determine what overall "effect" - degree of flexibilty this procedure would have on subsequent performances.  On the plus side I would imagine as Wendell pointed out that the singers would be more "fresh" but on the minus side I would imagine as Mike pointed out that it would have restricted the development of the familiarity (which seems quite likely) of the singers with the parts they are playing as well as the interaction between them.  Subtract the minus effect from the performance and add the plus and this is what you get........apparently Karajan did not completely believe in the motto PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.  Still I like the idea of passing out a previously recorded cd audio recording of the opera featuring the cast after the performance as part of the ticket price especially when it is a performance as enjoyable as this one. 


  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 17, 2007, 12:33:57 AM


   I am looking for a really good recording of PARSIFAL (Wagner) on DVD to supplement my cd audio recording.  I have never seen this opera staged so this will be a first for me.  Parsifal's music is so sublime it would be a shame not to see  it staged.  Which DVD recording do you recommend?


  Any advice would be appreciated.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 17, 2007, 07:34:51 AM
Thought nobody would ever ask!  ;D

My favourite choice is the Opus Arte DVD of the Nikolaus Lehnhoff production, Kent Nagano conducting the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester. The cast is one of the best ever with Matti Salminen taking charge as Gurnemanz. Too often this character is boring, not with Salminen! Of course Waltraud Meier is again the best Kundry we have at present, and the best we had in a long time. Thomas Hampson surprises is an active Amfortas under Lehnhoff's direction, on his feet, instead of, as usual, on his back in bed; very dramatic. I am mentioning Christopher Ventris in the title role last, because he might not be the most powerful Wagnerian tenor, but he still fits in well with this powerhouse. You'll be fascinated by this production!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 17, 2007, 07:45:15 AM
At amazon:

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: johnshade on May 17, 2007, 11:51:57 AM
Quote from: marvinbrown
...looking for a good recording of Tristan und Isolde on dvd.  This is my FAVORITE opera...

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/512ME129ZKL._AA240_.jpg)
This DVD has very good vocal performances, but the staging is ridiculous (updated Eurotrash). From Munich where the opera had its premier.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 17, 2007, 03:39:42 PM
Thought nobody would ever ask!  ;D

My favourite choice is the Opus Arte DVD of the Nikolaus Lehnhoff production, Kent Nagano conducting the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester. The cast is one of the best ever with Matti Salminen taking charge as Gurnemanz. Too often this character is boring, not with Salminen! Of course Waltraud Meier is again the best Kundry we have at present, and the best we had in a long time. Thomas Hampson surprises is an active Amfortas under Lehnhoff's direction, on his feet, instead of, as usual, on his back in bed; very dramatic. I am mentioning Christopher Ventris in the title role last, because he might not be the most powerful Wagnerian tenor, but he still fits in well with this powerhouse. You'll be fascinated by this production!

   WOW I was not aware of this production, thanks for the recommendation uffeviking  :).

   marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on May 19, 2007, 06:04:48 AM
For years I did not buy opera DVDs. I feared the price, low quality etc. I also didn't consider myself a big opera fan.

Little over a year ago I saw Rameau's Les Boréades (Christie) on TV. I was blown away by the increadible choreography (and music of course as a Rameau fan). I was glad to find out the performance was released on DVD by Opus Arte. I bought the set. At that time someone in the old GMG gave a hint about £5 Puccini Turandot (Paternostro) at Play.com. I bought it and liked it a lot. Recently I found Puccini's Tosca (Muti) at the local Lidl store for just 4 euros! I also recently bought Rameau's Les Indes galantes (Christie).

I have never been to an opera in my life. These 4 opera DVDs are my only "real" opera experiences. I have operas on CD but I have listened them as pure music without any interest of the plot. DVD's make me interest of the plot. I am surprised about how simple, weird and slow the opera plots are. Anyway, the plot, choreography, set pieces and the music create together great entertainment.

I am getting hooked. It seems buying opera on CD is irrational when you can have DVDs. There's picture (anamorphic 16:9 on new productions), 5.1 channel sound and extra material. Opera DVDs may seem very expensive but they mean a lot of audiovisual entertainment. As my budget is very limited, I have to almost stop buying CDs and concentrate on opera DVDs. The next DVD I am planning to buy is Handel's Giulio Cesare (Christie).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 19, 2007, 06:28:33 AM
For years I did not buy opera DVDs. I feared the price, low quality etc. I also didn't consider myself a big opera fan.

Little over a year ago I saw Rameau's Les Boréades (Christie) on TV. I was blown away by the increadible choreography (and music of course as a Rameau fan). I was glad to find out the performance was released on DVD by Opus Arte. I bought the set. At that time someone in the old GMG gave a hint about £5 Puccini Turandot (Paternostro) at Play.com. I bought it and liked it a lot. Recently I found Puccini's Tosca (Muti) at the local Lidl store for just 4 euros! I also recently bought Rameau's Les Indes galantes (Christie).

I have never been to an opera in my life. These 4 opera DVDs are my only "real" opera experiences. I have operas on CD but I have listened them as pure music without any interest of the plot. DVD's make me interest of the plot. I am surprised about how simple, weird and slow the opera plots are. Anyway, the plot, choreography, set pieces and the music create together great entertainment.

I am getting hooked. It seems buying opera on CD is irrational when you can have DVDs. There's picture (anamorphic 16:9 on new productions), 5.1 channel sound and extra material. Opera DVDs may seem very expensive but they mean a lot of audiovisual entertainment. As my budget is very limited, I have to almost stop buying CDs and concentrate on opera DVDs. The next DVD I am planning to buy is Handel's Giulio Cesare (Christie).

   Glad to hear that you are acquiring an interest in opera 71dB.  I, like you have operas on cds (well over 50 I am a huge fan)  although none are from the Baroque period. I have enjoyed them greatly for the music only .  Only recently have I started to acquire them on DVD and the experience is MUCH MORE satisfying.  I found that I was missing alot by just listening to them. Operas should be staged (seen) and not just heard.  True, as you have said, some opera plots are downright boring but some operas really need to be seen such as Wagner's Ring cycle, Strauss Elektra and Salome (for the shock factor-I do not want to give anything away) and of course lets not forget about Verdi's Aida (for the staging and constumes) and Otello (this one is a real treasure trove of Verdi's music and Shakespeare's drama).  Opera and drama go hand in hand or so Wagner says.

    With regards to price it would surprise you to know that opera DVD can be cheaper than opera cds...a perfect example is Wagner's Ring (the Solti and Karajan cds retail at £60+ and I bought the Levine Ring DVD for £45).  In addition you can get any Verdi opera on amazon.co.uk for under £15.  For the most economical prices of opera DVDs I usually shop on-line (amazon, play.com etc.)

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on May 19, 2007, 07:06:51 AM
   Glad to hear that you are acquiring an interest in opera 71dB.  I, like you have operas on cds (well over 50 I am a huge fan)  although none are from the Baroque period.

Try Rameau's operas.  ;)

I have enjoyed them greatly for the music only .  Only recently have I started to acquire them on DVD and the experience is MUCH MORE satisfying.  I found that I was missing alot by just listening to them. Operas should be staged (seen) and not just heard.

Listening to operas on CD is like listening to movie soundtracks. Enjoyable but something is missing. DVD means a new way to enjoy opera at home. DVD is an excellent format for opera.

  True, as you have said, some opera plots are downright boring but some operas really need to be seen such as Wagner's Ring cycle, Strauss Elektra and Salome (for the shock factor-I do not want to give anything away) and of course lets not forget about Verdi's Aida (for the staging and constumes) and Otello (this one is a real treasure trove of Verdi's music and Shakespeare's drama).  Opera and drama go hand in hand or so Wagner says.

I didn't say the plots are boring. In fact they are interesting but they are also simple and slow compared to movies were you can tell stories at much faster speed.

Verdi is not my type of music. Rameau, Handel and Puccini are my favorites. Wagner is ok too.

With regards to price it would surprise you to know that opera DVD can be cheaper than opera cds...a perfect example is Wagner's Ring (the Solti and Karajan cds retail at £60+ and I bought the Levine Ring DVD for £45).  In addition you can get any Verdi opera on amazon.co.uk for under £15.  For the most economical prices of opera DVDs I usually shop on-line (amazon, play.com etc.)

  marvin

Yes, it's true opera on CD can be even more expensive! Ironic, since CDs omit the visuality.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 19, 2007, 07:39:25 AM
Try Rameau's operas.  ;)

I didn't say the plots are boring. In fact they are interesting but they are also simple and slow compared to movies were you can tell stories at much faster speed.


  Sorry I misunderstood you.  Personally I find some opera plots rather dull but if the music is great then thats good enough for me  :). I am not familiar with Rameau's operas (nor Handel's for that matter) would Les Boréades be the best one to start with? Would you recommend that Opus Arte DVD recording for a first timer?

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on May 19, 2007, 08:25:10 AM
  Sorry I misunderstood you.  Personally I find some opera plots rather dull but if the music is great then thats good enough for me  :). I am not familiar with Rameau's operas (nor Handel's for that matter) would Les Boréades be the best one to start with? Would you recommend that Opus Arte DVD recording for a first timer?

  marvin

No problem Marvin.  ;)

Yes, Les Boréades on Opus Arte is a very good start because the choreoraphy/production is stunning. Rameau's music is always wonderful.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: rubio on May 28, 2007, 12:03:14 PM
I saw this one borrowed from the library this evening. The performance is semi-perverse/vulgar, but I find the opera/DVD/music very fascinating. I think the visual part is important for this piece, so I don't think I will invest in a CD of it.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TufUFctYL._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 09:24:44 AM
If you are looking for something different, but with the two best singers we have right now, try the EMI DVD of Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet.

Simon Keenlyside in the title role, matched in talent, singing and acting with Natalie Dessay. They don't come any better, believe me! - I wrote a review at the old GMG, I'll look for it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on May 29, 2007, 09:28:54 AM
If you are looking for something different, but with the two best singers we have right now, try the EMI DVD of Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet.

Simon Keenlyside in the title role, matched in talent, singing and acting with Natalie Dessay. They don't come any better, believe me! - I wrote a review at the old GMG, I'll look for it.

Thanks for this notice, Lis.  Last week Dessay was supposed to do the "Mad Scene" from Hamlet with the Met Orchestra, but had to bow out due to bronchitis.  Supposedly it's quite a showpiece, so I'm glad to know the DVD is available so I can see what all the fuss is about.  (And of course, Keenlyside is pretty marvelous, too.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 09:31:48 AM
That' what you should look for, during your lunch break, today, NOW! Keenlyside in the banquet scene is mad, believe me, really mad!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 09:35:25 AM
Ophelia's mad scene is the one captured the longest applause I have ever seen and heard, Nigel and I timed it once and I think it was more than five minutes, on stage, not during a curtain call!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: springrite on May 29, 2007, 09:38:54 AM
That' what you should look for, during your lunch break, today, NOW! Keenlyside in the banquet scene is mad, believe me, really mad!

I bought this last week and truly enjoyed watching it! I am glad though that it did not have the 5 minute applause!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 03:13:26 PM
Mine doesn't either!

Five minutes sounded just a tad too long for me too, so I played disc 2 again just now, watching the time. The Mad Scene lasts ten minutes, ten minutes of madness, of pain, agony and of the most astonishing coloratura soprano singing I recall. Such a tiny woman with such a powerful voice! And then the house erupted in a virtual thunder of bravos and applause and it lasted a bit over 2 1/2 minutes. That still could possibly be the longest on-stage applause on record. Maybe Callas received a longer ovation, I don't know.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 30, 2007, 06:39:48 PM
In the mailbox today:

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on May 30, 2007, 07:19:16 PM
I am sure missing a lot of great DVDs since T.C. isn't here any more! Wendell, do you find those treasures at MDT?

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on May 30, 2007, 08:55:23 PM
  Just ordered this recording of Un Ballo,  I was surprised to learn that Karajan was supposed to conduct the VPO in this performance but passed away before the performance, Solti took over as conductor on short notice,  the performance however comes highly recommended

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/517EEHFJHWL._SS500_.jpg)


  I always prefer Domingo over Pavarotti in Verdi's operas.  Verdi's operas tend to  have leading men who are either military men, womanizers, playboys or royal figures (kings, dukes etc.)  Pavarotti never seems to look the part with his overweight body and short stature. Will report back once I see this performance

  marvin 

What a handsome man on the cover! I bet its awesome!

***I ment Solti of coarse ;) not P Dom
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 31, 2007, 03:21:24 AM
I am sure missing a lot of great DVDs since T.C. isn't here any more! Wendell, do you find those treasures at MDT?



It was someone at the old forum (probably T.C., but I don't recall) that alerted us to this release).  I pre-ordered it from amazon.com.  It was just released here in the U.S. this past Tuesday, and arrived Wednesday.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Greta on June 04, 2007, 07:46:38 PM
Where or how would it possible to rent opera DVDs? :) My local video stores have nothing of the sort. Not much demand around here I'm sure...  ::)

Is there an online service (maybe Netflix?) that has these type of DVDs for rent?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 04, 2007, 07:50:37 PM
Have you tried your local library?  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: springrite on June 04, 2007, 08:07:36 PM
Have you tried your local library?  :)

Maybe it is high time for an Uffeviking Opera DVD Rental Service.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 04, 2007, 08:21:10 PM
Not a good idea at all, Paul! - Or maybe only with the proviso the arrangement will be reciprocal: You loan me some of yours, I'll loan you some of mine - and if you don't return mine, I sure as hell won't return yours!  >:D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2007, 02:46:47 AM
Where or how would it possible to rent opera DVDs? :) My local video stores have nothing of the sort. Not much demand around here I'm sure...  ::)

Is there an online service (maybe Netflix?) that has these type of DVDs for rent?

Yes, Netflix has lots of opera DVDs.  Blockbuster does as well.  I've used Netflix for almost six years, and like it, but with more opera DVDs being released as two-(or even three-) disc sets, it's irritating that each disc is a separate rental.  But there are still plenty of single-disc operas available.

My local public library has a few DVDs, but nowhere near the selection that Netflix has.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 05, 2007, 05:59:29 AM
The lady of Mtsensk DVD from Amsterdam is superior to the earlier DVD from the Liceu.  It is much more claustaphobic to watch and you get a greater sense of the what it is all about.  it is very interesting to watch one after the other to get an idea of the interpretation, sound of the orchestra etc.  Highly recommend the one from Amsterdam.

The Hamlet with Keenlyside and Dessay is also very good.  True the mad scene is superb and Dessay deserves the ovation for the acting alone.  Her singing is sublime.  This was a new opera to me and a great introduction.

I actually got both for 15 Euro each in Barcelona.  Original versions but without any written document inside.  Well worth the price.

Am waiting to get my hands on a number of DVDs.  Has anyone seen any of these-

Jenufa with Stemme and Marton- what a pairing.  Heard very good reviews about the live performance -Martons last at the Liceu?  I think this is the same production as at the met recently.  Is from OPUS ARTE.

Gotterdammerung from Deutsche Grammophon -anyone know of this with Polaski, Struckmann from Bayreuther Festspiele with James Levine.  Why are they not bringing out the earlier parts of this cycle?  Were they not recorded? Seems strange.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 05, 2007, 07:23:50 AM
Where or how would it possible to rent opera DVDs? :) My local video stores have nothing of the sort. Not much demand around here I'm sure...  ::)

Is there an online service (maybe Netflix?) that has these type of DVDs for rent?




You want netflix. Trust me.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2007, 07:51:43 AM
Gotterdammerung from Deutsche Grammophon -anyone know of this with Polaski, Struckmann from Bayreuther Festspiele with James Levine.  Why are they not bringing out the earlier parts of this cycle?  Were they not recorded? Seems strange.


The DG website says "This is Alfred Kirchner’s only filmed opera production in Bayreuth".  I agree, that does seem strange.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 07, 2007, 05:17:12 AM
Well, at long last, we watched the DVD of L'Orfeo in its entirety.  Beautifully staged, many beautiful voices!!, antique winds playing in tune (blessed relief), sheer delight every way.

(Two or three moments of caprine singing, oh that old-fangled ornamentation, but nothing seriously jarring.)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 07, 2007, 05:30:16 AM


  I am in the process of collecting all of Wagner's operas on DVD and have now turned my attention to Meistersinger von Nurnberg. I am looking for a very good recording of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg on DVD.  Can anybody comment on this recording:

 (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KS2QACPPL._SS500_.jpg)
 
  any advice would be appreciated

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 07, 2007, 05:54:57 AM

  I am in the process of collecting all of Wagner's operas on DVD and have now turned my attention to Meistersinger von Nurnberg. I am looking for a very good recording of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg on DVD.  Can anybody comment on this recording:

 (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KS2QACPPL._SS500_.jpg)
 
  any advice would be appreciated

  marvin




I've been considering that one as well, Marvin. Offhand, I must state that James Morris is potentially great, and I rarely have any problems with Levine's conducting. In fact, if I have any complaints with the other Levine/met dvds, it's almost solely with the sound or some of the singers, not Levine. This dvd looks like a traditional setting, and that along with the two names above pretty much sells it for me!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 07, 2007, 06:47:29 AM
I have this DVD with its conventional staging.

The characters offer luxury casting with Morris, Heppner, Mattila, Pape.  Someone once said, "You can't have a good Meistersinger without a good Hans Sachs!"  Morris makes a fine Hans Sacha in my opinion.  When he and Heppner are together on stage, both are so good that one wonders who is the star performer.

Another thing I liked was the singing of Mattila.  For once we have an Eva who can hit the high notes.

You're right.  Levine's conducting is great.  Several years ago he conducted a performance of Meistersinger that was so exciting that it made one feel the music was going right through the roof and yourself along with it.  We needed all of Wagner's notes to come down to earth again - a feeling like I usually experience at the end of Gotterdammering.  Every time I silently thank him for that.  Of course with Gotterdammerung it also takes a while to include the 90+ motifs included in that summation.  What a trip!

My friend spontaneously called me to share those wonderful thrilling moments.  I don't think the DVD quite captures the excitement of the radio broadcast but it comes close.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 07, 2007, 06:49:05 AM
Yes, he was big on supposing we need extra, extra, extra time  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 07, 2007, 07:01:21 AM
Yes, he was big on supposing we need extra, extra, extra time  ;)

You're right, Karl.   :)  I changed it.  Is that better?

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 07, 2007, 07:26:30 AM
The choice of good Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg DVDs is a bit limited though. The Levine mentioned here is a good one with a surprisingly very good Hans Sachs and of course the outstanding René Pape as Veit Pogner.

For a different approach to the role of Sachs I like the EMI with José Van Dam, as very a pensive cobbler and poet. Matti Salminen is great, - when is he not? - as Pogner. It is Franz Welser-Möst whose outstanding conducting I give most of the credit for a very successful performance.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 07, 2007, 08:35:33 AM



I've been considering that one as well, Marvin. Offhand, I must state that James Morris is potentially great, and I rarely have any problems with Levine's conducting. In fact, if I have any complaints with the other Levine/met dvds, it's almost solely with the sound or some of the singers, not Levine. This dvd looks like a traditional setting, and that along with the two names above pretty much sells it for me!


  So how about it Haffner?  shall you and I go for it then? I have already placed this item in my shopping cart from amazon.co.uk and in light of what Anne, uffeviking and Karl have to say this seems like a good place to start (uffeviking's other recommendation has been noted as a possible future purchase!)

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 07, 2007, 09:08:46 AM

  So how about it Haffner?  shall you and I go for it then? I have already placed this item in my shopping cart from amazon.co.uk and in light of what Anne, uffeviking and Karl have to say this seems like a good place to start (uffeviking's other recommendation has been noted as a possible future purchase!)

  marvin




I'll be grabbing the Levine as well, when I save some mo' money!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 11, 2007, 03:27:13 PM

   I spent today watching the Levine DVD recording of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.  I will not talk about the production nor the cast (james morris et. al) of meistersingers (pun intended). All I will say is that for the past 292 minutes I felt like I had died and gone to heaven..........there were times when I got goosebumps watching this production (this is easily the most enjoyable opera I have seen in a very long time) For me it clicked on so many levels (stage production, costumes, clarity of sound, acting, conducting, tempo). This is what a great opera production is all about (so good that it becomes a religious experience)  Rating: 5 stars


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KS2QACPPL._SS500_.jpg)

marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 12, 2007, 04:40:19 AM
Thank you, Marvin!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2007, 05:10:15 AM
This is what a great opera production is all about (so good that it becomes a religious experience)

Oh, dear.  Well, that was certainly what the goal of The Shrine Bayreuth was  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Joan on June 14, 2007, 09:27:51 PM
Well, at long last, we watched the DVD of L'Orfeo in its entirety.  Beautifully staged, many beautiful voices!!, antique winds playing in tune (blessed relief), sheer delight every way.

(Two or three moments of caprine singing, oh that old-fangled ornamentation, but nothing seriously jarring.)

Which DVD version of L'Orfeo did you watch? I've seen the Barcelona/Jordi Savall version, and just recently got the one from the 70's with Harnoncourt/Ponelle/Zurich opera (which I really loved! Bought the set with their productions of Ulisses and Poppea. I'm really in love with the Poppea.) There's also that new Monteverdi set (Audi?) which I don't know much about, apart from a tiny clip on the Naxos site. The singing sounded great in that tiny clip, but I didn't much care for the blasted-heath style set.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 18, 2007, 06:44:35 AM
I bought it because of Cheryl Studer. She has been maligned terribly in another forum to the extent that the moderator banned her name, just her name! How ridiculous. She is a great Elsa von Brabant. If you don't speak German, then Domingo butchering my mother tongue won't bother you; his singing is very good!

  Over a month and a half ago Haffner put in a request as to whether the Lohengrin DVD recording with Domingo was any good.  Uffeviking responded by saying that Domingo "butchered" the German Language but his singing is very good.  Well I am still missing 2 of Wagner's Operas on DVD: Lohengrin and Tannhauser.  I want to buy Lohengrin next but I did not like the butchering language critisism (I am fluent in a few languages myself (German is not one of them) and quite sensitive to them when it comes to opera)....should I go for the Domingo recording or this one:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FHPSFFXQL._SS500_.jpg)

  or should I look elsewhere? 

  thanks for your help.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 18, 2007, 06:46:24 AM
  Over a month and a half ago Haffner put in a request as to whether the Lohengrin DVD recording with Domingo was any good.  Uffeviking responded by saying that Domingo "butchered" the German Language but his singing is very good.  Well I am still missing 2 of Wagner's Operas on DVD: Lohengrin and Tannhauser.  I want to buy Lohengrin next but I did not like the butchering language critisism (I am fluent in a few languages myself (German is not one of them) and quite sensitive to them when it comes to opera)....should I go for the Domingo recording or this one:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FHPSFFXQL._SS500_.jpg)

  or should I look elsewhere? 

  thanks for your help.

  marvin




I'm curious as well. I am still looking at the two of those mentioned.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 19, 2007, 06:33:57 AM
Picking the 'best' Lohengrin is a tough decision to make!

I have both, the one with Peter Hofman on an old LVD and Domingo on DVD. My choice would be the Domingo because Claudio Abbado is conducting the Vienna State Opera. If you don't speak German, you won't notice Domingo's failings!  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 07:41:26 AM
I also have both and agree with Uffe's recommendation.  I don't
 speak German either and it all sounded great to me.  (Sometimes ignorance is bliss.) :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: springrite on June 19, 2007, 07:47:44 AM
I also have both and agree with Uffe's recommendation.  I don't
 speak German either and it all sounded great to me.  (Sometimes ignorance is bliss.) :)

Now you know why I never complain about a lack of Chinese operas.  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 07:49:33 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 19, 2007, 07:50:45 AM
Now you know why I never complain about a lack of Chinese operas.  ;)

 ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 19, 2007, 01:45:11 PM
Picking the 'best' Lohengrin is a tough decision to make!

I have both, the one with Peter Hofman on an old LVD and Domingo on DVD. My choice would be the Domingo because Claudio Abbado is conducting the Vienna State Opera. If you don't speak German, you won't notice Domingo's failings!  ;D

  Very well then uffeviking and Anne  :) ...would the two of you be kind enough to answer a few follow-up questions before I make my purchase:
 
  1) Can you please tell me a little bit about the costumes and stage settings (i.e. Is the Domingo DVD a modern adaptation or set in mythical times? Is the stage setting elaborate or simple?)

  2) Can you comment on the quality of the sound (I am guessing very good as you refer to the Vienna State Opera)?

  I much appreciate your help...by the way anybody please feel free to comment.

  marvin
  PS: I never thought collecting operas would take so much work  ::)!!!!!!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 04:57:56 PM
  Very well then uffeviking and Anne  :) ...would the two of you be kind enough to answer a few follow-up questions before I make my purchase:
 
  1) Can you please tell me a little bit about the costumes and stage settings (i.e. Is the Domingo DVD a modern adaptation or set in mythical times? Is the stage setting elaborate or simple?)

  2) Can you comment on the quality of the sound (I am guessing very good as you refer to the Vienna State Opera)?

  I much appreciate your help...by the way anybody please feel free to comment.

  marvin
  PS: I never thought collecting operas would take so much work  ::)!!!!!!

1)  Domingo wears a startlingly beautiful white male outfit when he arrives.  Later when they are alone, I think he wears a long nightshirt but could be wrong.  It's been a while since I last saw it.  The setting is in mythical times and all is appropriate, not skimpy.  No minimalism here or you'd hear me squawking.  LOL!  It's the Met so is traditional.  I believe you will like it.  The stage setting is most definitely elaborate!  Try counting all the people on stage!

2)  The sound is great.  Be sure there are no distractions when the Preludes to act 1 and act 3 are played so you don't miss any of that beautiful music.  They both are gorgeous!  Sound is great IMO.  You have a lifetime to enjoy the DVD.

I'm looking forward to your remarks after you see/hear it.  Amazon has 1-day shipping should you feel the need.  Haffner is going to have to work 2 jobs to keep up.  Hang in there.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 19, 2007, 05:24:02 PM
  It's the Met so is traditional. 

I think there is an 'Ooops'!

The Lohengrin with Placido Domingo is not at the Met it's the Vienna State Opera and Chorus with Abbado conducting. The one with Peter Hofmann is at the Met with Levine conducting. Maybe it all comes down to the choice if you want a black-haired White Knight in Shining Armour or a blond! Both settings are traditional, no business suits in sight, and the sound is perfect, depending of course on your stereo set-up.

Which ever you chose, Marvin, it will be a good introduction to Lohengrin. Then we go on and take it further to the production by Klaus Lehnhoff, for instance, and get a bit more daring!  >:D

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 05:40:42 PM
Thanks, Uffe.  I remember Domingo's singing but forgot you said Vienna State Opera.  I can't locate my copy of it.  I'll be quiet and you can do the honors.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 19, 2007, 06:08:22 PM
No way, Anne! You have your say, I have mine! Sometimes we are together, sometimes we are miles apart, that's the fun and also challenge of a classical music forum. Wouldn't it awfully dull if we would all be in agreement on everything. For instance if you would tell us you are delighted with Matti Salminen in his business suit as Boris!  :-X
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 06:37:13 PM
No way, Anne! You have your say, I have mine! Sometimes we are together, sometimes we are miles apart, that's the fun and also challenge of a classical music forum. Wouldn't it awfully dull if we would all be in agreement on everything. For instance if you would tell us you are delighted with Matti Salminen in his business suit as Boris!  :-X

I finally found the VHS tape.  Normally I sort by composer and then the titles of the works.  That means all the Wagner is at the end of the tapes.  There was no Lohengrin.  Knowing myself I said, "I wonder if I should check in the L's."  Sure enough, there it was.

I'm not throwing the Boris DVD away.  Maybe someday.

The Prelude to Act 1 is playing (Abbado).  So beautiful!!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on June 19, 2007, 06:49:50 PM
I finally found the VHS tape.  Normally I sort by composer and then the titles of the works.  That means all the Wagner is at the end of the tapes.  There was no Lohengrin.  Knowing myself I said, "I wonder if I should check in the L's."  Sure enough, there it was.

I'm not throwing the Boris DVD away.  Maybe someday.

The Prelude to Act 1 is playing (Abbado).  So beautiful!!


It is. It will be played at my funeral [which, I hope, won't be for many years from now]  :) 0:)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 19, 2007, 06:59:05 PM
It is. It will be played at my funeral [which, I hope, won't be for many years from now]  :) 0:)

I hope it won't either.  You have a good idea for a new thread.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on June 19, 2007, 07:15:27 PM
I hope it won't either.  You have a good idea for a new thread.

Yes, I did that at another forum a few years ago.

Thanks for the suggestion;I'll do it again! ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 20, 2007, 01:04:39 AM
1)  Domingo wears a startlingly beautiful white male outfit when he arrives.  Later when they are alone, I think he wears a long nightshirt but could be wrong.  It's been a while since I last saw it.  The setting is in mythical times and all is appropriate, not skimpy.  No minimalism here or you'd hear me squawking.  LOL!  It's the Met so is traditional.  I believe you will like it.  The stage setting is most definitely elaborate!  Try counting all the people on stage!

2)  The sound is great.  Be sure there are no distractions when the Preludes to act 1 and act 3 are played so you don't miss any of that beautiful music.  They both are gorgeous!  Sound is great IMO.  You have a lifetime to enjoy the DVD.

I'm looking forward to your remarks after you see/hear it.  Amazon has 1-day shipping should you feel the need.  Haffner is going to have to work 2 jobs to keep up.  Hang in there.

  Anne just to further clarify a few points: Are you (indirectly) saying that you prefer the Levine MET recording over the Domingo (Abbado) recording?  The quoted review above is for the Levine MET recording but you also praised the Domingo set.  Uffeviking is more keen on the Domingo set. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 20, 2007, 06:07:12 AM
  Anne just to further clarify a few points: Are you (indirectly) saying that you prefer the Levine MET recording over the Domingo (Abbado) recording?  The quoted review above is for the Levine MET recording but you also praised the Domingo set.  Uffeviking is more keen on the Domingo set. 

  marvin

I'm sorry for the confusion, Marvin.  I was referring to the Domingo recording.  I am going to watch both today to make sure I didn't make another error.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 20, 2007, 06:11:48 AM
I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 20, 2007, 06:57:58 AM
I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)

I know that one, Karl. Yes, lovely scenery, like the lake excursion with Placido showing off his muscles manipulating the oars and of course Stratas trailing her hand in the water. Yuk! And then there are the cute white doves imprisoned in the huge cage. Another Yuk!

Now if Zeffirelli would have left Verdi's creation intact, instead of cutting many scenes, I might give my seal of approval.  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 20, 2007, 07:00:43 AM
I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)




I love that one! My lady loves it not just for the music, but because she's a former Goth and loves how "dark" Stratas looks under the wings of consumption.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 20, 2007, 07:15:39 AM
I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)

I love that recording too.

The other film I like is Carmen with Domingo, Migenes -Johnson conducted by L. Maazel.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 20, 2007, 07:21:25 AM
I love that recording too.

The other film I like is Carmen with Domingo, Migenes -Johnson conducted by L. Maazel.




JA! Sehr gut!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Joan on June 20, 2007, 08:42:57 AM
I remember when the Zeffirelli/Domingo film version of Otello was released, there was a lot of criticism of the cuts or changes made; I wasn't familiar with the opera so those aspects didn't bother me. But I though it was great that it was being shown in movie theatres, so at least some non-opera fans were seeing it, and really enjoying it - how often does that happen anymore (except of course for those Met broadcasts - but they don't seem to get any general publicity). I think the Zeffirelli films are great introductions for newbies, kind of analogous to Branagh's Shakespeare films.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 20, 2007, 10:07:22 AM
Of course those Zefferelli kitch films were popular among the uninitiated, but how many of them were encouraged to go out and attend a real live opera, or even buy CDs and DVDs? I don't think Zefferelli created too many serious converts!  :-\
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 20, 2007, 10:22:41 AM
Lis, you may quibble with the cuts, but the Zeffirelli films are not kitsch.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 20, 2007, 10:23:45 AM
As to converts, the day that tickets to the opera are on par with the cost of DVDs, is the day that I attend as many opera performances . . . .
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 20, 2007, 11:20:25 AM
I'm sorry for the confusion, Marvin.  I was referring to the Domingo recording.  I am going to watch both today to make sure I didn't make another error.


  Then Domingo it must be  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on June 21, 2007, 01:13:38 PM
Lis, you may quibble with the cuts, but the Zeffirelli films are not kitsch.





I agree. Those films really helped me get interested in the stage productions of those operas...even the various recorded versions. Kitsch seems really harsh, I still love those films.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 21, 2007, 02:31:34 PM
As to converts, the day that tickets to the opera are on par with the cost of DVDs, is the day that I attend as many opera performances . . . .

                               FINALLY......................something Karl and I can agree on  :) !!!!

      that and the fact that we both like Verdi's La Traviata (haven't bought a DVD for La Traviata yet Karl but I am glad you opened up the topic)!!!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 21, 2007, 04:30:48 PM

Quote from: karlhenning on June 21, 2007, 12:11:48 AM
"I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)"

Anne:
"I love that recording too.

The other film I like is Carmen with Domingo, Migenes -Johnson conducted by L. Maazel."

Marv, if you decide to purchase these 2 opera films, you will not be sorry.  They have been favorites of mine for 15 years.  I have seen some other performances and they always come in second to these 2 films.  I will be quiet now.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 21, 2007, 08:25:59 PM
Lis, you may quibble with the cuts, but the Zeffirelli films are not kitsch.

OK, Karl! I withdraw the word Kitsch and replace with Schmalz. Better now?  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 21, 2007, 09:33:58 PM
I think the Zeffirelli Traviata should fall into the 'guilty pleasure' category. The sets are as much protagonists as are the singers and this is frequently a fault with this director. He often almost smothers actors or singers, as he is such a visual artist. The look of the thing becomes paramount and detracts from the essentials.

Traviata is like opening an exploding box of chocolates and being force fed on the whole lot. Mind you....we need attention drawn away from some of the caterwaling of Stratas in Act 1, she is fine thereafter.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 22, 2007, 12:50:31 AM
Quote from: karlhenning on June 21, 2007, 12:11:48 AM
"I very much enjoy the Zeffirelli film of La traviata (Stratas & Domingo)"

Anne:
"I love that recording too.

The other film I like is Carmen with Domingo, Migenes -Johnson conducted by L. Maazel."

Marv, if you decide to purchase these 2 opera films, you will not be sorry.  They have been favorites of mine for 15 years.  I have seen some other performances and they always come in second to these 2 films.  I will be quiet now.

  Thanks Anne. I definitely need La Traviata and Carmen to add to my DVD collection.  My target is to get all the operas I have on audio cd (50+) on DVD (I think I won't be able to find Wagner's Reinzi though  ???).   I like the concept of opera films very much- no audience clapping nor audible coughing during the slow parts. Not to shift the subject away from La Traviata and Carmen but speaking of opera films I have seen R. Staruss Salome (Bohm),an opera film, and liked that one very much.  The other one that I have been eyeing from a distance and have heard GREAT reviews about is this one which I believe is also an opera film:

   (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513ZP7D966L._AA240_.jpg)

  The reviews that I read  say this is not to be missed!!!!
  marvin
   

   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 22, 2007, 01:50:08 AM
The Elektra is a magnificent performance, dripping with damp, blood and tension. The musicmaking is full of energy, the acting suitably OTT. I think this was Bohm's final project and it again proves that he was well capable of the visceral and the full blown dramatic approach.

The setting is iron-age grunge with dramatic lighting and a touch of decadence, highly suitable.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on June 22, 2007, 06:06:12 AM
Marv,

I am not a big fan of R. Strauss and don't feel comfortable suggesting any performance.  You're better served by listening to the other people who will make suggestions.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on June 22, 2007, 06:12:00 AM
I think the Zeffirelli Traviata should fall into the 'guilty pleasure' category. The sets are as much protagonists as are the singers and this is frequently a fault with this director.

Yet, a great fault to have, Mike :-)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 22, 2007, 06:37:21 AM
The Elektra is a magnificent performance, dripping with damp, blood and tension. The musicmaking is full of energy, the acting suitably OTT. I think this was Bohm's final project and it again proves that he was well capable of the visceral and the full blown dramatic approach.

The setting is iron-age grunge with dramatic lighting and a touch of decadence, highly suitable.

Mike
 

  Marvelous!!!  Just the review I was hoping for and so befitting Strauss' Elektra.  Strauss' Elektra is a one of a kind (at least in my collection) it is so dissonant, so powerfully engaging,  kind of like drinking a double espresso (coffee anyone?)  Found this recording on amazon.co.uk marketplace for £9.17 it went straight into my shopping cart  ;D!!!!

  thanks Mike

  marvin

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 22, 2007, 06:40:17 AM
Marvin, Let us know how you get on with it.

Cheers,

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Siedler on June 22, 2007, 02:30:38 PM
I haven't seen that DVD of Elektra but I loved this one:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/712P12B542L._SS500_.gif)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 23, 2007, 03:08:33 AM
I haven't seen that DVD of Elektra but I loved this one:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/712P12B542L._SS500_.gif)

  I am not familiar with that recording Siedler... I was wondering if you could write a little review of your impressions of the Abbado Elektra (basically the stage setting, constumes, adaptations, sound etc.) 

  I just ordered the Bohm DVD opera film of Elektra, and will be writing my impressions after I see it. 

  marvin   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 24, 2007, 01:03:52 AM
Just bought Verdi's Otello with Cura.  It is fairly new on OPUSARTE.  He is not everyones ideal voice i know, and he does not match the greats in my opinion -i much prefer Giacomini in this role, or Del Monaco.  Domingo is fine, his voice does not offend me so i can easily watch him.  I must admit Cura acts the part well, looks the part but all that scooping of notes he seems to do does not fit the part.  His voice also seems a touch light for the part.

Another DVD i bought was La Clemenza Di Tito with Susan Graham from Paris.  This has been out for a short while and it is my first look at La Clemenza and i must admit so far (i have only seen disc 1) it looks and sounds terrific.  It has the same feel as the Glyndebourne Cesare also from OPUSARTE.

Anyone else seen these -got any opinions?
What about other versions of La Clemenza?  I am a great fan of Kasarova and i see now she is in 2 DVDs of this opera.  Any good?

I do have one little niggle and that is with OPUSARTE.  Why are they so expensive?  I know the visual and sound quality is excellent-no grumbles there but do we really need a thick booklet in many languages and a load of photo's?  I would not mind if the booklet was actually informative or gave a new slant on the opera.

The Clemenza DVD has some speel but no synopsis.  The Otello DVD has a synopsis and some info about the opera.  I much prefer the Belair classiques style of DVD (see La Traviata or Tristan) where they give a really good article from the director about his thoughts and conceptions.  Very interesting to read.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 26, 2007, 03:47:15 AM
Just bought Verdi's Otello with Cura.  It is fairly new on OPUSARTE.  He is not everyones ideal voice i know, and he does not match the greats in my opinion -i much prefer Giacomini in this role, or Del Monaco.  Domingo is fine, his voice does not offend me so i can easily watch him.  I must admit Cura acts the part well, looks the part but all that scooping of notes he seems to do does not fit the part.  His voice also seems a touch light for the part.

Another DVD i bought was La Clemenza Di Tito with Susan Graham from Paris.  This has been out for a short while and it is my first look at La Clemenza and i must admit so far (i have only seen disc 1) it looks and sounds terrific.  It has the same feel as the Glyndebourne Cesare also from OPUSARTE.

Anyone else seen these -got any opinions?
What about other versions of La Clemenza?  I am a great fan of Kasarova and i see now she is in 2 DVDs of this opera.  Any good?

I do have one little niggle and that is with OPUSARTE.  Why are they so expensive?  I know the visual and sound quality is excellent-no grumbles there but do we really need a thick booklet in many languages and a load of photo's?  I would not mind if the booklet was actually informative or gave a new slant on the opera.

The Clemenza DVD has some speel but no synopsis.  The Otello DVD has a synopsis and some info about the opera.  I much prefer the Belair classiques style of DVD (see La Traviata or Tristan) where they give a really good article from the director about his thoughts and conceptions.  Very interesting to read.

  Hi Yashin.  first let me say that I agree with you that the role of Otello needs a deep and dark voice (qualities that I believe Domingo possesses)  I have not seen the Cura dvd but I do have this one with Domingo who sings and looks the part perfectly.  (Warning: Domingo overacts SHAMELESSLY in this MET Levine recording but his singing more than makes up for it and the stage design looks like something you would see in a big budget Hollywood movie) 

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SCM52XPZL._SS500_.jpg)

 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: springrite on June 26, 2007, 04:02:15 AM
 Warning: Domingo overacts SHAMELESSLY in this MET Levine recording  


Yes, he's been known to do that. Then again, SHAMELESS overacting is much preferred to SHAMEFUL acting (or non-acting), at least for me.  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 30, 2007, 09:47:07 AM
Marvin, Let us know how you get on with it.

Cheers,

Mike

  I spent the afternoon watching Bohm's Elektra (Strauss) and as promised I shall give a brief review and first impressions of the opera production:
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513ZP7D966L._AA240_.jpg)
  Where to start, well lets try the beginning: It is a rainy, gloomy day (much like the weather in London today  ::)) .  The set design as Mike mentioned is in iron-age grunge, and quite impressive to look at.  The opening notes echoing Aga-mem-non forshadow the viscious madness that is to follow.  We then see the servants then Elektra standing there in the rain, lamenting the loss of her father and voicing chillingly her appetite for revenge. She bears a striking resemblance to that demonically possessed girl from the movie The Exorcist.  Under Karl Bohm, The Vienna Philharmonic deliver the music powerfully amplifying the horrific stage setting. There is a constant underlying threatening mood in the execution of the music.  During the dissonant parts the music is presented raw with enough tension to make the calmest person uneasy.  And during those beautiful melodic parts (when Elektra recognizes Orestes) the Vienna Philharmonic presents the music with remarkable depth, passion and beauty. I was hooked throughout the entire performance. The singing was superb, especially Leonie Bysanek as Elektra and Astrid Varnay as Klytamnestra.  Highly Dramatic and yes over blown.

With regrads to the execution scenes, thankfully these were not graphic enough to be visually disturbing (yes there is blood, dripping blood pouring out of windows, in "bathtubs" etc.) but thankfully no highly graphic visual impalements and stabbings  in the style of Quintin Tarentino (Bohm had enough sense to know where to stop- or did he??).

   Rating: 4-1/2 stars- Restricted  $:)

   PS: Better leave the kids at their aunt's house before watching this one  0:) .   

  I should mention that the dvd comes with a behind the scenes look at the making of this production...which was an added treat  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Tancata on June 30, 2007, 09:57:43 AM
Just thought I'd pop in to recommend this DVD to anyone who likes Monteverdi's operas:

(http://www.rondomagazin.de/klassik/m/monteverdi/cover/cm14.jpg)

You can believe the hype about this performance. Some of the singing is a bit ragged, but the combination of singing and acting cannot be faulted or, AFAIK, bettered anywhere else. This feels like a sung play, exactly what Monteverdi wanted (probably...). Marijana Mijanovic is especially great. Her masculine voice and androgynous magnetism is perfect for Penelope. Most of her acting is pretty good, and even when it's a bit OTT you can tell she put some thought into it.

There's also enough jiggly bits dancing around to satisfy most lovers of modern opera production.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: johnshade on June 30, 2007, 02:29:30 PM
Quote from: marvinbrown
   (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513ZP7D966L._AA240_.jpg)

  The reviews that I read  say this is not to be missed!!!!
  marvin
.
Yes -- not to be missed. The Abaddo with Marton and Fassbaender is self-recommending. I will get it also.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 03, 2007, 10:27:47 AM


Is this DVD of "Elektra" in a 4:3 (standard TV) or 16:9 (widescreen-HD TV) screen size?
Is it in a 1.33:1, 1.78:1. 1.85:1. 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 aspect ratio?
Is it in 5.1 Dolby Digital  surround sound, 2 track PCM stereo, or monophonic sound?

In todays day and age, these are things which a music lover must know BEFORE he/she should make an investment in the DVD.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 03, 2007, 12:41:39 PM

Is this DVD of "Elektra" in a 4:3 (standard TV) or 16:9 (widescreen-HD TV) screen size?
Is it in a 1.33:1, 1.78:1. 1.85:1. 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 aspect ratio?
Is it in 5.1 Dolby Digital  surround sound, 2 track PCM stereo, or monophonic sound?

In todays day and age, these are things which a music lover must know BEFORE he/she should make an investment in the DVD.

  Hi Iago to answer your questions:  I have played this DVD on widscreen TV. 

Format: Classical, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, PAL
Language German
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: Exempt
Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
DVD Release Date: 19 Sep 2005
Run Time: 208 minutes

  But Iago if your DVD player and TV are PAL, NTSC and widescreen compatible as mine are you should be able to play any DVD.  Anyway, if you are in the US and buy from amazon.com then I would hope that the DVD they sell is compatible with American products as amazon.co.uk is compatible with British products.  I would like to add that this is a remarkable production of ELEKTRA, it certainly impressed me.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 03, 2007, 02:36:27 PM

 Anyway, if you are in the US and buy from amazon.com then I would hope that the DVD they sell is compatible with American products
 

Certainly I could obtain an NTSC version from amazon.com.US.
But I have a widescreen HDTV and absolutely abhor black bars either at the top or sides of the picture. And unless the aspect ratio is either 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 black bars will appear on the top or sides of the picture, even on an HD Widescreen TV. Only those two aspect ratios will FILL the screen without distortion of any kind. Perhaps you were unaware of that? A 1.33:1 aspect ratio will produce a squarish picture on a widescreen tv, with black bars on each side. Of course they can be eliminate by placing your TV in one of several "stretch" modes. But this cretaes distortions in the images of people and things. I find that I am even less able to tolerate distortions than I am black bars either at the top and bottom or at the sides. You also made no mention of the audio characteristics of the disc.  These things may NOT be important to other viewers/listeners, but they are VERY important to me.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on July 03, 2007, 03:16:05 PM
Certainly I could obtain an NTSC version from amazon.com.US.
But I have a widescreen HDTV and absolutely abhor black bars either at the top or sides of the picture. And unless the aspect ratio is either 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 black bars will appear on the top or sides of the picture, even on an HD Widescreen TV. Only those two aspect ratios will FILL the screen without distortion of any kind. Perhaps you were unaware of that? A 1.33:1 aspect ratio will produce a squarish picture on a widescreen tv, with black bars on each side. Of course they can be eliminate by placing your TV in one of several "stretch" modes. But this cretaes distortions in the images of people and things. I find that I am even less able to tolerate distortions than I am black bars either at the top and bottom or at the sides. You also made no mention of the audio characteristics of the disc.  These things may NOT be important to other viewers/listeners, but they are VERY important to me.

I have never understood why people hate black bars. There's just no picture information on certain areas of the screen. I want to see everything in their original aspect ratio and non-stretched. That leads to black bars on my 16:9 TV with 1.33:1 and 2.35:1 material but I don't even pay attention to the black bars. I watch the picture in between. I am lucky I have a healthy approach to different aspect ratios.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 03, 2007, 03:32:40 PM
I have never understood why people hate black bars. There's just no picture information on certain areas of the screen.

I'm truly grateful that those black bars don't bother you. I would not sleep well knowing that they did.
I paid several thousands of dollars for an HDTV 55" diagonal. and I want each and every pixel to produce "some light", (thus a picture). I did NOT pay that money to have even a small portion of the screen in a totally useless mode, unless I want to suffer image distortion.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 04, 2007, 02:08:25 AM
Certainly I could obtain an NTSC version from amazon.com.US.
But I have a widescreen HDTV and absolutely abhor black bars either at the top or sides of the picture. And unless the aspect ratio is either 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 black bars will appear on the top or sides of the picture, even on an HD Widescreen TV. Only those two aspect ratios will FILL the screen without distortion of any kind. Perhaps you were unaware of that? A 1.33:1 aspect ratio will produce a squarish picture on a widescreen tv, with black bars on each side. Of course they can be eliminate by placing your TV in one of several "stretch" modes. But this cretaes distortions in the images of people and things. I find that I am even less able to tolerate distortions than I am black bars either at the top and bottom or at the sides. You also made no mention of the audio characteristics of the disc.  These things may NOT be important to other viewers/listeners, but they are VERY important to me.

  With regards to the audio characteristics they are as follows: PCM Stereo DTS 5.1 (for the opera DVD)  the second DVD that comes with this set is a behind the scenes documentary of the making of the production, that one is Dolby Digital 2.0.  I do have stretch modes and use them because I mind the black bars much more than distortions which personally do not bother me.  But then again I do not have an HD TV.  That being said, you could try finding  a copy to rent and see if it agrees with you, or buy and return if not satisfied (I think amazon allows for that)
 
Hope this helps......
 
 PS: Now that Iago mentioned it I went looking through all my opera DVDs and have noticed that pracitcally all of them are aspect ratio 1.33:1.....that seems to be the standard or am I mistaken?
   
marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 07, 2007, 05:47:40 AM
Some other new DVDs on the market.  Anyone know anything about the new Lohengrin -With Treleavan and Magee-from Liceu.  It is the one set in a classroom.
I have the old DVD with Domingo.  I have yet to see the new DVD with Vogt from Baden Baden.
Anyone seen this new one or heard about the production?

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on July 07, 2007, 08:24:16 AM
I paid several thousands of dollars for an HDTV 55" diagonal. and I want each and every pixel to produce "some light", (thus a picture). I did NOT pay that money to have even a small portion of the screen in a totally useless mode, unless I want to suffer image distortion.

You are not the only one to say so. However, you should understand that you simply can't utilisize every pixel to produce light because we have different picture formats. You just have to accept it because there is not anything we can do about it. Even with black bars non-16:9 picture is showed as well as possible.

You can't even utilisize the HD resolution with DVDs. They have only SD resolution.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on July 07, 2007, 08:27:02 AM
PS: Now that Iago mentioned it I went looking through all my opera DVDs and have noticed that pracitcally all of them are aspect ratio 1.33:1.....that seems to be the standard or am I mistaken?
   
marvin

Old productions are 1.33:1, Newer (roughly 2000 onwards) are mostly 16:9.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 07, 2007, 08:45:27 AM
Old productions are 1.33:1, Newer (roughly 2000 onwards) are mostly 16:9.

  I see, and what a shame because most of the opera productions I like are pre-2000. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 07, 2007, 10:51:48 AM
Anyone know anything about the new Lohengrin -With Treleavan and Magee-from Liceu. 


I have not heard nor seen this Lohengrin, but one thing I know: Stay away from anything Treleaven sings. Correction: He does not sing, he attempts! He is still looking for the right spot to place all those notes Wagner composed for Tristan und Isolde and all those other Ring operas.  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 07, 2007, 02:47:11 PM
I have not heard nor seen this Lohengrin, but one thing I know: Stay away from anything Treleaven sings. Correction: He does not sing, he attempts! He is still looking for the right spot to place all those notes Wagner composed for Tristan und Isolde and all those other Ring operas.  ::)


  Oh dear.... he's that bad??  thanks for the tip by the way.  Its a good thing I did not buy the Tristan und Isolde with Treleaven and Deborah Polaski....


  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 07, 2007, 02:59:28 PM
I agree with Lis about this singer. It is a mystery why they get the work. Perhaps he was booked when he was still green and in his salad days.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 07, 2007, 11:16:12 PM


You can't even utilisize the HD resolution with DVDs. They have only SD resolution.

I guess you didn't realize it, but you are TOTALLY wrong about that. Many "newer" DVD players will upconvert their native 480i resolution to 480p,720p, or 1080i. I have a new Denon 3930CS player which will even upconvert the picture to 1080p. But my TV cannot handle 1080p, so I select between 720p and 1080i, BOTH of which represent HD resolution standards. I usually use 720p since it provides a more movie like picture than any of the interlaced (i) settings.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: 71 dB on July 08, 2007, 04:03:14 AM
I guess you didn't realize it, but you are TOTALLY wrong about that. Many "newer" DVD players will upconvert their native 480i resolution to 480p,720p, or 1080i. I have a new Denon 3930CS player which will even upconvert the picture to 1080p. But my TV cannot handle 1080p, so I select between 720p and 1080i, BOTH of which represent HD resolution standards. I usually use 720p since it provides a more movie like picture than any of the interlaced (i) settings.


Do you really think you get increased resolution in upconvert? No matter how you upconvert you don't get any new picture information. It's simply impossible. In fact, upconverting is a tricky job and tends to lesser picture quality but not much in case of your Denon 3930CS.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 08, 2007, 02:58:14 PM
I have made an advance order for the Levine Troyens. Even if it is static and turns out to be like a concert, it will be worth listening to the cast. Troyanos, Norman and Domingo.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 08, 2007, 06:30:59 PM
Do you really think you get increased resolution in upconvert? No matter how you upconvert you don't get any new picture information. It's simply impossible. In fact, upconverting is a tricky job and tends to lesser picture quality but not much in case of your Denon 3930CS.

No you don't get an increase in picture quality by going from any interlaced setting to any other interlaced setting.  But you CERTAINLY DO get an increase in picture quailty by going from any of the interlaced (i) settings to any of the progressive (p) settings. And this is true WITHOUT any increase in picture information. It simply looks better in the progressive than in the interlaced mode.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 11, 2007, 05:48:07 AM
  Opera fans I come to you once again for advice...I am seeking a great recording of Wagner's TANNHAUSER (I have given up on Rienzi ???)  I am considering these two recordings:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QionQfpTL._SS500_.jpg)

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NKJ4VY0RL._SS500_.jpg)


   YAY or NAY? If Nay, why? and should I look elsewhere?

  marvin

  PS: Has Rienzi ever been staged and recorded on DVD? I can not find a DVD recording of it anywhere??
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 11, 2007, 10:31:36 AM
I have the Sinopoli one and prefer it to the Levine, even though I have not seen the Levine! Shocked? Simple prejudice on my part.

No. 1: The Wolfgang Wagner direction is fresh, new, inspirational, compared to anything the Met can come up. I don't even have to see it to know the overall view of WW is perferable.

No. 2. The Sinopoli conducting beats anything Levin can come up. You got it, again: prejudice on my part.  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on July 11, 2007, 10:38:17 AM
I have the Sinopoli one and prefer it to the Levine, even though I have not seen the Levine!

How can you prefer it to the Levine, if you've never seen the latter?  I ask only for information  0:)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 11, 2007, 10:44:09 AM
. You got it, again: prejudice on my part.  ;D

Karl, did you miss reading the above quoted part of my post? Very straight and honest opinion!  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on July 11, 2007, 10:45:42 AM
Karl, did you miss reading the above quoted part of my post? Very straight and honest opinion!  ::)

No, no, I didn't miss it.  It still escapes me how this can be expressed as a preference.

But, to be sure, Lis, there's a great deal in the world escapes me very easily  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 11, 2007, 10:55:43 AM
Yes, Karl, there is, and it escapes me too. But from my experiences of watching many operas performed in many opera houses and conducted by many maestros, I have by now come to the conclusion that the dusty productions and Levine's slow, conservative, conducting are not my preference. I have seen a number of Met/Levine operas, enough to come to make my decision.  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 11, 2007, 12:08:02 PM
I have the Sinopoli one and prefer it to the Levine, even though I have not seen the Levine! Shocked? Simple prejudice on my part.

No. 1: The Wolfgang Wagner direction is fresh, new, inspirational, compared to anything the Met can come up. I don't even have to see it to know the overall view of WW is perferable.

No. 2. The Sinopoli conducting beats anything Levin can come up. You got it, again: prejudice on my part.  ;D

  Thank you Lis (may I call you Lis?  uffeviking) for an honest recommendation regardless of how prejudiced it is  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 11, 2007, 01:21:06 PM
Of course you may call me Lis!  :-*

To my prejudice confession, I would like to add that it also has a lot to do with experience. As I said, I have watched enough operas, life and on DVD to make judgements. It's the same with my 'prejudice' about the tenor Treleaven. I have watched and listened to him often enough to refuse to buy any recording featuring him the cast. It's not my personal prejudice, a number of my friends are of the same opinion and I too am wondering why this man is still being given major roles by world famous opera houses. Maybe he signed thousands of contracts twenty years ago when he could still hit a note, without starting looking for it at his kneecap.  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on July 11, 2007, 01:56:54 PM
Watched this last night [part of my prep for tonights performance].

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A68M245ZL._AA240_.jpg)

This was my first Opera on DVD and I thought it was wonderful. I throughly enjoyed the music, drama, costumes, sets etc. It was a real treat and I look forward to collecting more operas on DVD  :)

Question: I hadn't seen the performers taking curtain calls after each Act before ??? Is this the usual routine :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 11, 2007, 02:21:14 PM
Watched this last night [part of my prep for tonights performance].

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51A68M245ZL._AA240_.jpg)

This was my first Opera on DVD and I thought it was wonderful. I throughly enjoyed the music, drama, costumes, sets etc. It was a real treat and I look forward to collecting more operas on DVD  :)

Question: I hadn't seen the performers taking curtain calls after each Act before ??? Is this the usual routine :)

  Glad you enjoyed the performance Solitary Wanderer.  With regrads to your question, in most live operas I have seen on DVD the performers take curtain calls after each Act, and with Wagner's operas sometimes that is necessary as each Act is very long.  I can live with that because I get a little rest between Acts.  That being said what I find quite irritating is when the audience claps after a great aria is sung and the Act isn't over yet.  Even more irritating is when the audience claps after a "celebrity" tenor or soprano singer enters the stage (I have only seen this once during Leontyne Price's entrance in the MET Levine production of La Forza del Destino), I couldn't believe that the audience was allowed to do that.   

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Solitary Wanderer on July 11, 2007, 03:33:31 PM
Yes, there were several lengthy delays due to clapping after arias during Lucia...

I thought it disrupted the flow :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 11, 2007, 03:45:06 PM
Yes, there were several lengthy delays due to clapping after arias during Lucia...

I thought it disrupted the flow :)

  It does which is why I personally do not approve of it!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Iago on July 11, 2007, 09:39:07 PM
  Even more irritating is when the audience claps after a "celebrity" tenor or soprano singer enters the stage (I have only seen this once during Leontyne Price's entrance in the MET Levine production of La Forza del Destino), I couldn't believe that the audience was allowed to do that.   

  marvin
ALLOWED??  What do you mean "ALLOWED"?
What should they do?
Should they stop the performance and throw out the audience?
Should Mr. Levine have turned to the audience and threatened not to proceed?

If you mean, "why did they allow that to reach the DVD". I can only say that a recording at a "live" event is a true document of what happened at that event. In that sense the applause belonged there, and was an honorarium to Miss Price for a long and distinguished cafeer.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 12, 2007, 04:33:55 AM
I have the Met version with Cassilly and Marton-conducted by Levine.  To be honest there is not much wrong with it.  Big Budget set, in your face-olde style Met megabucks performance.  Marton and Cassilly sing well.  I got it fairly cheap so i think it is good value.

I prefer the DVD version with Sieffert.  A modern dress performance.  Lots of close-ups which i know some people don't like.  Good performances though.

The other one with Richard Versaile-there is a clip on Youtube and it looks terrific.  I would like to have this one too.

If you are looking for a definitive DVD i would wait longer.  If you are looking for an introduction or just a good DVD then i can recommend either. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 12, 2007, 07:50:08 AM
I have the Met version with Cassilly and Marton-conducted by Levine.  To be honest there is not much wrong with it.  Big Budget set, in your face-olde style Met megabucks performance.  Marton and Cassilly sing well.  I got it fairly cheap so i think it is good value.

I prefer the DVD version with Sieffert.  A modern dress performance.  Lots of close-ups which i know some people don't like.  Good performances though.

The other one with Richard Versaile-there is a clip on Youtube and it looks terrific.  I would like to have this one too.

If you are looking for a definitive DVD i would wait longer.  If you are looking for an introduction or just a good DVD then i can recommend either. 

  Thanks Yashin.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 12, 2007, 10:36:10 AM
ALLOWED??  What do you mean "ALLOWED"?
What should they do?
Should they stop the performance and throw out the audience?
Should Mr. Levine have turned to the audience and threatened not to proceed?

If you mean, "why did they allow that to reach the DVD". I can only say that a recording at a "live" event is a true document of what happened at that event. In that sense the applause belonged there, and was an honorarium to Miss Price for a long and distinguished career.

  Iago, Yes I agree with you that there is nothing anybody can do about an audience's adulation for a celebrity singer and the show must go on as they say....and yes Ms. Price has certainly earned her well respected reputation as a bona fide Verdi soprano singer...but I do not prefer operas that are "adulterated" by needless noise (ie. an audience clapping at the most inappropriate moments)...let the lady sing thats what I say....let the lady sing!!!!!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 12, 2007, 12:54:13 PM
Of course you may call me Lis!  :-*



  I just realized this was a kiss...well I shall do the gentlemanly thing and reciprocate :-* . Any fan of Wagner is a freind of mine  :).


  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on July 17, 2007, 12:12:33 AM
Heinrich Marschner - Hans Heiling (Dynamic DVD)

I recently saw this and unfortunately it was a disappointment, and I am not surprised that this opera fell into obscurity. A shame, as the supernatural aspects sounded fun.

The plot is annoying (not merely silly/implausible, which a good composer like Verdi could easily get away with in for eg. Rigoletto). To set up the inevitable final confrontation in Hans Heiling, these things happen first:

Heiling leaves his mother (who is some kind of empress of the underworld) despite her protests, so that he can be wed to a mortal (Anna) who he is in love with (this beginning is a little like the start of Tannhäuser, hehe). This is fairly normal, and a good scene setter. The next scene, he meets Anna, she finds his "magic book" and is disturbed by it, then orders him to burn it. He has a monologue debating whether or not to do it, as to do so would lose his powers, etc. etc. etc., and eventually he does. This also seems fine, this shows that his love is "true" or whatever. She then admires his necklace, and he immediately gives it to her as well. He says that he doesn't want to, but is persuaded to go to a gathering/dance.

Next scene. At the gathering/dance, a love triangle emerges when it is revealed that another character is interested in Anna (Konrad). She then asks Heiling if she could dance with him. He says no (not entirely unreasonable given that he wants to get into her pants) and she flips out; he storms off. Next scene: Anna has an incredibly tedious self-pitying "IT'S NOT MY FAULT" (she actually said that) monologue. Then when the love interest comes across her, it soon becomes apparent that Heiling is in fact the "bad guy", and for very little reason given other than Anna's sudden inherent dislike of him.

This means that 50% of the opera has been completely wasted due to this schizophrenic librettist. I mean, why not at least add some hints that Heiling is a bad guy rather than making him look like frankly the nicest person you'd ever want to love you. Anna is massively unsympathetic and the rest of the opera as a result just doesn't work.

The plus points:

The childrens choir sounds nice and is suitably "spooky" for a paranormal themed opera. The choir was also used in the action, not just on a sideline, and were outfitted with makeup to give them pointy noses and ears like goblins.

The singer playing Heiling (Markus Werba) really looks the part.

Negative points:

The music was adequate but unexciting, and the between-scene interlude music really dragged at times. The singing is fine, as usual on DVD (even small companies performing obscure operas are at a very good technical level nowadays).

The production bounces between abstract surrealism to traditionalism and is not very enjoyable. Sometimes it can look impressive (the underworld; the forest), other times messy and confused (Heiling's "house"). For some reason the backdrop landscape to the gathering/dance had an erupting volcano ::) The costumes are strange also. Anna's costume is traditionally-themed but minimal, her mothers is very traditional, Heiling's bounces between traditional and "leotard" (usually a combination).

There is no libretto supplied (as per usual), and it's not the kind of opera you could find a translated version online, but at one point what was likely to be "steel" (given the context of a dagger attack) was translated in the subtitles as "steal", which wasn't very good.

I suppose I have a lot of learning about opera to do, as I later noticed that Heiling was a baritone and Konrad a tenor. This OBVIOUSLY means something :P

Edit: Oh, and I can take some screencaps if anyone wants.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 17, 2007, 01:28:45 AM
Lethe, Thanks for going to the bother of both seeing the piece, then of writing about it. I think I will give it a body swerve.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 20, 2007, 12:41:48 AM
Just found a nice review of Lohengrin starring Emily Magee, John Treleaven amongst others.  Recorded in Barcelona.  Just released on DVD.

After a slow but intensive prelude the half transparent curtain – looking almost like a TV screen – slowly rises. We are in a classroom from anno dazumal, as they probably would have said in Hamburg a decade ago when this production had its premiere. The ‘school children’, in school uniforms and short trousers, are clearly pupils who haven’t been moved up. They are now middle aged – some even older, but they’re still rascals, running about, disturbing the peace, throwing paper swallows and fighting with wooden swords. A group of brass players is seated next to the open window and stand up now and then to play fanfares. The ‘King’s Herald’ is something between form master and class monitor. Everybody knows at once when the King pays a visit that he is the King. He is in short trousers, too, and with a Royal Crown in gilt paper on his head. In a big cupboard a shy and nervous girl is hiding; she answers to the name of Elsa. No, this is neither a students’ farce nor an amateur variety show but a production of Richard Wagner’s romantic opera Lohengrin. Strange, I thought it dealt with a supposed brother-murder case somewhere in the Middle Ages and with the arrival of the pure knight of the Grail brotherhood to defend and save the accused Elsa. Do we have yet another whim of a director who wants to clear away old conventions, to show that he doesn’t give a damn for tradition and that dignity and solemnity aren’t worth a fig? Well, the director is Peter Konwitschny, regarded as one of the foremost in his trade and a ‘deep’ innovator, and Claus Spahn goes to some length in the liner notes to stand up for his cause. My reaction is: I have read it – but I don’t buy it. I may be conservative, conventional, intellectually dwarfed, narrow-minded – but I don’t buy it! I have seen – in the theatre as well as on video and DVD – lots of productions that have been radical, unconventional, intellectually deep-probing and broad-minded. Some I have liked, some I have loved, some I have loathed and some have left me completely indifferent – which possibly is, for the director, the most embarrassing state of affairs. My reactions this time? ‘No, not again!’ ‘What’s he after?’ ‘This is ridiculous!’ ‘Is it a parody?’ ‘He must hate Wagner!’. My wife uttered just the right words: ‘Where is the music? He drags Wagner’s music through the mud!’


There are, to be honest, places where it works – provided one can disregard the sets and the costumes – and that is in the more private scenes. This means most of act 2, the Telramund–Ortrud scene and the following meeting between Ortrud and Elsa. Here the emotions and the manipulations are exposed in a way seldom encountered in more conventional productions. The Elsa–Lohengrin scenes also work, but here there are other inhibiting factors, which I will come back to.


I have already touched on Weigle’s conducting of the overture. Generally this is a rather taut reading and the orchestra play well. I have heard better opera choruses in this music, though. I presume that it was sometimes a hard nut for the singers to sing properly while at the same time being asked to perform quite complicated actions. This is also something that to some degree afflicts the main characters.


Starting from the top of the social ladder, and from the bottom voice-wise, King Henry the Fowler is portrayed as warm and rather naïve. Reinhard Hagen’s singing is just as warm and steady. His herald is noisy and rather strained. Hans-Joachim Ketelsen is a fairly conventional menacing Telramund. Apart from the fact that he runs about in schoolboy clothes and lacks any scrap of the dignity we could have expected of this Brabantian count. He is strong-voiced but too strained. This also goes for his scheming wife, Ortrud. Luana DeVol is a splendid actor, as I have noticed in other productions, and she has an especially expressive face. Even vocally she is impressive for her way of colouring the voice. One does not expect so evil a woman to sing like an angel. After a somewhat hesitant start Emily Magee finds the silvery tone and the steadiness one expects from a good Elsa. Her singing is the best reason to hear this performance. Unfortunately her Lohengrin has little to recommend him. John Treleaven sounds worn, wobbly and wooden and his acting is little better. Perhaps he heartily disliked the whole production, which doesn’t let him arrive in shining white armour. Instead he has to walk about in a white coat, looking like a lost district medical officer.


In my view this last point illustrates perfectly what’s wrong with this production. The surgeon has – in his view – made a successful operation. Sadly though, he has managed to kill the patient – and Wagner is mourning in his Heaven. For his and your own comfort, get Götz Friedrich’s Bayreuth production instead, with Peter Hofmann and Karan Armstrong. END

Poor old John Treleaven-getting a bit of a bashing these days.
My only version of this opera is with Domingo in the old Vienna DVD.  Would love to have a look at this one despite the not so glowing review
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 29, 2007, 01:41:17 AM
In which opera do we get the German and the British National Anthems set to new words? In that same piece we are also told that syncopation was well used by Beethoven, Haydn and Bach.

Il Viaggio a Reims by Rossini, that's where. Rossini must have been an odd man, even for a composer. This, at age 33 was his final Italian opera. Only four more were to follow, all in French and one of those is an adaptation of the Viaggio, refluffified into Le Comte Ory. Then an extended silence.

Whatever, this is a piece of fluff, consumate fluff. If you need your spirits raised, then this is an excellent good source. The production has been well described before on the site. It is a complete delight, utterly unstuffy and packed full of young talent. The Marinsky is the source for all the musicians and Gergiev brings the music to life with a light, fleet approach. The orchestra is on the stage and the singers engage with the audience; which is evidently as delighted as it ought to be.

Not all the voices are stellar, but this is an ensemble piece and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The best voices here are first rate and while only one is well known, others will surely be heard from frequently in the future. The piece flashes past in just over two hours, in one act described as a 'Dramma giocoso', but a long way from Don Giovanni; which is similarly described.

I guarantee a smile on your face while Gergiev puts his young telegenic cast through its paces. This is one I will want to watch again, rather than simply to listen to it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on July 29, 2007, 01:45:53 AM
I was watching the first act of Aida with Pavarotti in Milan. It reminded me of an episode of boy meets world. "Im fatter than you" "No, Im fatter than you" hahha god Pavarotti was like a balloon.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 29, 2007, 01:56:43 AM
I was watching the first act of Aida with Pavarotti in Milan. It reminded me of an episode of boy meets world. "Im fatter than you" "No, Im fatter than you" hahha god Pavarotti was like a balloon.


  I've said this before and I'll say it again...I never buy Verdi opera DVD's with Pavarotti in them.  Always Domingo...why? because most of Verdi's opera have leading me who are either military men (soldiers, generals etc.) , Royal figures (kings, dukes etc.), playboys etc. and Pavarotti never looks the part despite his stellar voice.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on July 29, 2007, 02:57:54 AM

  I've said this before and I'll say it again...I never buy Verdi opera DVD's with Pavarotti in them.  Always Domingo...why? because most of Verdi's opera have leading me who are either military men (soldiers, generals etc.) , Royal figures (kings, dukes etc.), playboys etc. and Pavarotti never looks the part despite his stellar voice.

  marvin

Ehh I don't really care much about the acting. Its musically not relevant. I mean not much is going on most of the time anyways. Good acting or poor acting, I couldn't care less if the sound was bad. It was a nice idea to set music to a play, but the music became the main attraction.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 29, 2007, 03:22:01 AM
There are great examples on DVD of actor/singers in the last few years.  Unfortunately for so long we were stuck with VHS of Met, San Fransisco, Covent Garden or La Scala productions with the same wooden actors wheeled out.

Can you think of any DVD with Domingo that you actually think wow? Or Pav for that matter?

Maybe Pavarotti in I Pagliacci -was a suprise to me - a pleasant one.And i enjoy him in Elisir and La Boheme.  However, he is shocking in Il Trovatore and Aida DVDs.

Domingo- i can't think of a DVD recording where i have liked him-maybe Fedora with Freni.  Other than that i would stick to some of his cds.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 29, 2007, 06:07:44 AM
There are great examples on DVD of actor/singers in the last few years.  Unfortunately for so long we were stuck with VHS of Met, San Fransisco, Covent Garden or La Scala productions with the same wooden actors wheeled out.

Can you think of any DVD with Domingo that you actually think wow? Or Pav for that matter?

Maybe Pavarotti in I Pagliacci -was a suprise to me - a pleasant one.And i enjoy him in Elisir and La Boheme.  However, he is shocking in Il Trovatore and Aida DVDs.

Domingo- i can't think of a DVD recording where i have liked him-maybe Fedora with Freni.  Other than that i would stick to some of his cds.

  Two DVDs with Domingo that I own are: Une Ballo in Maschera and Otello.  While Domingo overacts in Otello I love his performance in Une Ballo.  In both cases, appearancewise he fits the bill perfectly and far better than Pavarotti can ever hope to.  Appearance is very important to me, more so than acting skills.  I find that I enjoy opera most when it is staged with a believable cast- after all opera is dramatic and the visual effect is so very important in my opinion of course  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 29, 2007, 07:20:42 AM
Is that the Solti Un Ballo? I have not seen it.  On the other hand i have NO recording of this opera on CD or DVD-shame!

If you want more believable actors/Singers then you have to look at the likes of Mirelle Delunsche, Angela Denoke, Natalie Dessay and Patricia Ciofi on the female side and on the male side i would go fo Torsten Kerl, Simon Keenlyside, Chris Ventris and J.F West.

I did not want to start a Domingo vs Pavarotti argument.  They both have their merits and both have made some terrific recordings on DVD and CD.  But, they both have their fair share of turkeys. 

Domingo may 'fit the bill' but i can't imagine much more than waving arms, tight pants and a breathless sound - see his Aida from the Met - he sounds like he is having an asthma attack!

I would prefer a flawed singer but a good stage presence than total voice - look at Florez - he has the voice but i find him difficult to watch.  The Barber DVD of his- i find him irritating to watch.  His facial expressions are annoying.

Only my opinion of course.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 29, 2007, 07:38:05 AM
Is that the Solti Un Ballo? I have not seen it.  On the other hand i have NO recording of this opera on CD or DVD-shame!


  Yes thats the Solti Un Ballo DVD.  It was supposed to be the Karajan Une Ballo DVD but Karajan passed away a few weeks before the debut and Solti had to fill in.  Ths Solti CD is with Pavaroti and it is also GREAT.  If you have never heard Une Ballo I highly recommend it.  I discovered it by accident.  It was the last Verdi opera I came to know and it surprised me how beautiful its music is...so many memorable melodies- unlike a lot of Verdi's earlier operas this one stood out- musically that is (I prefer it much more than Nabucco and Macbeth). 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 29, 2007, 04:50:11 PM
Have you ever seen the Un Ballo DVD from Leipzig with Chailly conducting? The costumes were terrible!!
I remember seeing it on Italian TV and thinking "what on Earth is this rubbish" only to find out it was being released on dvd.

The costumes i think were meant to represent animals and were made out of foam spines that stuck out.  Here is a pic from the cover
(http://)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 29, 2007, 05:05:04 PM
Can you recommend a CD of this opera?

I have just been looking, seems like Solti has the thing sewn-up and i don't like him really.  And it looks like a choice between Pavarotti and Domingo.  Maybe with Bergonzi in the older recording.

I love the Opera in English series but the Un Ballo-or a masked ball as its called in the English series has terrible reviews.  Maybe i will stick to the DVD.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 30, 2007, 06:17:15 AM
Can you recommend a CD of this opera?

I have just been looking, seems like Solti has the thing sewn-up and i don't like him really.  And it looks like a choice between Pavarotti and Domingo.  Maybe with Bergonzi in the older recording.

I love the Opera in English series but the Un Ballo-or a masked ball as its called in the English series has terrible reviews.  Maybe i will stick to the DVD.

  For CD I recommend the Solti with Pavarotti.  For DVD I recommend the Solti I was referring to above, the one he took over after Karajan's death.  The stage setting on the Solti DVD is mind-blowing, the whole opera is set not in Boston with a Duke as the censorship officials forced Verdi to do but in the original setting of Sweden with King Gustav III as Verdi had wanted all along- Boston with a Duke  ::) give me a break, I really hate it when public officials destroy a perfect work of art .

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on July 30, 2007, 06:58:17 AM
I have a DVD of the opera with Pavarotti at the Metropolitan.  It is very good.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: springrite on July 30, 2007, 07:09:08 AM

  I've said this before and I'll say it again...I never buy Verdi opera DVD's with Pavarotti in them. 

Same here!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 30, 2007, 10:43:03 AM
I second that one! It's atrocious, and very funny when Pavarotti is looking for the pillows to fall upon when he dies!

Try a much better one:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=5902



Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on July 30, 2007, 12:40:22 PM
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=74776

This is the DVD that I like.  The support cast is strong:  Harolyn Blackwell, Leo Nucci, Aprile Milo (was in good voice here).

The tension between Millo and Nucci was papable.

Harolyn Blackwell was a delight.  She is tiny and delightful; I like her voice.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 30, 2007, 04:09:28 PM
But that's another Verdi with Pavarotti! I thought we had eliminated him from singing another Verdi opera!  >:D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 30, 2007, 06:12:04 PM
Dearest Anne, I admire your devotion and loyalty to your local opera house but let me point out there is a wide and beautiful world outside the NY Metropolitan Opera who knows how to present Verdi operas!

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=12554&name_role1=1&comp_id=32220&genre=33&bcorder=195&name_id=56241&name_role=3

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on July 31, 2007, 12:38:19 AM
I started watching Aida with Placido Domingo, and it worked like a sleeping pill. 15 Minutes into it, I completely passed out, at 8 pm!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 31, 2007, 03:41:48 AM
I started watching Aida with Placido Domingo, and it worked like a sleeping pill. 15 Minutes into it, I completely passed out, at 8 pm!

  OH NO  :'( !!!  What went wrong?

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on July 31, 2007, 03:48:30 AM
  OH NO  :'( !!!  What went wrong?

  marvin

It was really strange, I felt like I was being drugged watching it. Maybe it was because I was lying down so comfortably. I even started laughing at first because you said that Domingo always fits the role better, and the way he was dressed I was like ohh yeah this dude sure is an Egyptian haha. And then boom,I was asleep.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 31, 2007, 07:24:38 AM
It was really strange, I felt like I was being drugged watching it. Maybe it was because I was lying down so comfortably. I even started laughing at first because you said that Domingo always fits the role better, and the way he was dressed I was like ohh yeah this dude sure is an Egyptian haha. And then boom,I was asleep.

  In that case get Aida on CD  ;) !!!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on July 31, 2007, 10:23:39 AM
There is another Aida not from the Met or with Pavarotti, not even Domingo!

Try it, you might even like a production you have never heard of, be adventurous and explore this one:

http://www.euroarts.com/artikel/dvd/?id=005405_giuseppe_verdi_aida
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 31, 2007, 12:19:57 PM
I suggest this version of un Ballo, if for some reason the Solti is not acceptable. Excellent singing and Leinsdorf is fine here....if not elsewhere.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NRbRtc32L._SS500_.jpg)


Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on July 31, 2007, 01:14:13 PM
Dearest Anne, I admire your devotion and loyalty to your local opera house but let me point out there is a wide and beautiful world outside the NY Metropolitan Opera who knows how to present Verdi operas!

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=12554&name_role1=1&comp_id=32220&genre=33&bcorder=195&name_id=56241&name_role=3



Dearest Uffe,

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=74776

If this is a group discussion between you and a select few members, you can rule out every performance from the Met because you dislike it so much.  (Have you even heard the Performance?)

If this is a discussion among all of us, I cannot stand by and not stand up for a performance that IMHO is very good.  Peace!   ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on August 01, 2007, 01:26:10 PM
Dearest Uffe,
  (Have you even heard the Performance?)

If this is a discussion among all of us, I cannot stand by and not stand up for a performance that IMHO is very good.  Peace!   ;D

Yes, Dear Anne, I have watched this DVD, once, and put it up for sale in my amazonMarketplace account!  ;D

Of course you should stand up for a performance you deem to be good, I am not denying you this right, I only wish you would acknowledge the fact other opera houses also know how to present a great performance. Have you tried any others?  ???
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Maciek on August 20, 2007, 12:02:07 PM
Can it be true? Has no one really watched an opera DVD in the last... almost 3 weeks?! :o OK, I haven't - but I've only posted once before in this thread anyway. ::) This is just a reminder-bump from me. ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on August 20, 2007, 12:06:04 PM
Can it be true? Has no one really watched an opera DVD in the last... almost 3 weeks?! :o OK, I haven't - but I've only posted once before in this thread anyway. ::) This is just a reminder-bump from me. ;D

I still have Langgaard's Antikrist in the queue...it's a little slow this week so maybe I'll get around to it.  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on August 20, 2007, 12:27:58 PM
Can it be true? Has no one really watched an opera DVD in the last... almost 3 weeks?!

It's NOT true, dearest Maciek!

Scroll up - or down - and you will have a chance to read about one of the most exciting opera DVDs I have experienced in a long time, even an opera by a composer sometimes accused of writing 'organ grinder' music!

Go read my review of Il Trovatore!  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on August 21, 2007, 01:10:49 AM
Can it be true? Has no one really watched an opera DVD in the last... almost 3 weeks?! :o OK, I haven't - but I've only posted once before in this thread anyway. ::) This is just a reminder-bump from me. ;D

  Sadly in my case it is true Maciek.  I am on holiday in Spain at the moment and I do not have a DVD player nor any opera DVDs to view  :'(.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on August 21, 2007, 04:59:39 AM
I've watched the Orfeo ed Euridice DVD from Glyndebourne with Janet Baker.  What a classic!
I also have a CD for the same opera with Marilyn Horne.  IMO Horne's voice does not fit the music like Baker's but Pilar Lorengar on the Horne CD is terrific!  She soars up to the high notes so effortlessly.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Maciek on August 22, 2007, 04:21:12 AM
I'm actually in the market for a good Orfeo ed Euridice currently so thanks very much for those comments, Anne - they're very welcome! :D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on August 23, 2007, 06:22:01 PM
We are really spoilt for choice these days with opera on DVD.  I was worried a few years ago when the big companies stopped producing much in the way of opera on CD.  Luckily DVDs have replaced them.

Here are some of the offerings just out/coming soon.

Opus Arte have a new Cav and Pag with Galouzine playing Canio and La Scola Playing Turiddu.  Maria Bayo will partner Galouzine as Nedda and Urmana will play Santuzza. This looks like a good one to me. We need a decent Cav and Pag with so little competition out there.

Also on this label we have a new Il Trovatore from Breganz.  Carl Tanner is the Troubadour and Iano Tamar sings Leonora.  Any Il Trovatore is good but this one had mixed reviews i believe.

TDK have some mouth watering DVDs coming out.

Dialogues des Carmélites conducted by Muti with Sets by Robert Carson.

Jenufa
with Marton and Stemme. This came out a month or so ago.  I welcome any version of this opera and these two stage animals should be great to watch.  There is of course a classic DVD from Glyndebourne which is number 1.

Pique Dame from Paris 2005 with Galouzine as Hermann partnered by Hasmik Papian.  At least 2 decent versions of this opera exist on DVD.  This was well received in the opera house so it should be good to watch.  Galouzine is probably the best Hermann of recent times.

Il Trittico from Modena 2007.  Not many big names in this cast.  However this opera has been poorly served on DVD so this is very welcome.

Tosca - Cedolins and Alvarez with Raimondi as Scarpia at the Arena in Verona. Cedolins got a mauling for her Butterfly with Giordani which was released a while back.  I decided not to buy it after watching clips on Youtube. However, Cedolins was a superb Leonora in Il Trovatore and Marcello Alvarez has a beautiful tenor voice.  Raimondi is an excellent Scarpia on the Opus Arte DVD with Dessi and Armiliato so i look forward to this one.

Now, lets hope that these two companies keep the price down. We need less glossy booklets with nothing in them but screenshots and more info about the production and concepts.

I see that Belair classiques has a new DVD of Mozarts Die Entfuhrung aus dem serail from Aix-en-Provence.  Not sure why after they have another excellent one a year or so ago.

They also have Prokofiev's Love of Three Oranges.  I have never seen this and i know there is a very good DVD from Amsterdam on Opus Arte.

I like Belair classique releases.  Good price.  Excellent productions from Zurich or Aix and very informative booklets.

All mouthwatering releases i think
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on August 23, 2007, 06:29:15 PM

Also on this label we have a new Il Trovatore from Breganz.  Carl Tanner is the Troubadour and Iano Tamar sings Leonora.  Any Il Trovatore is good but this one had mixed reviews i believe.


Evidently you have not read my review of this Trovatore! Nothing ''mixed' about it. Thumbs up from me all the way!  ;D

Small point: the correct spelling of the name of the town is Bregenz; natives are picky about that!  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on August 23, 2007, 06:45:11 PM
Thanks, i will look back at your review.  I did read some mixed reviews though.  I was very interested in the Il Trovatore recording but after reading the reviews i thought i would give it a miss.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on August 23, 2007, 06:56:05 PM
The reason you overlooking my review could be because I titled it 'A Stage on a Lake' or something similar!  :-[
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 02, 2007, 08:49:05 PM
I just finished watching Offenbach - La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (Piau, Beuron, Le Roux/Minkowski/Virgin) and it's probably the best production I've so far seen on DVD - immaculate in every way, wonderful costumes, makeup and choreography - also a very convincing overall look to the conception: a lot of updated productions look disparate or odd to some degree. Just a fine spectacle, and a lot of fun to watch.

Can anyone recommend any other DVDs which provide a very good spectacle? I found Die Soldaten, Boris Godunov (Gergiev), Die lustige Witwe (Welser-Möst/Arthaus), Falstaff (Solti/DG studio film) to be similarly sumptuously conceived.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 03, 2007, 01:29:43 PM

Can anyone recommend any other DVDs which provide a very good spectacle? I found Die Soldaten, Boris Godunov (Gergiev), Die lustige Witwe (Welser-Möst/Arthaus), Falstaff (Solti/DG studio film) to be similarly sumptuously conceived.

   Yes Lethe,  R. Stauss' Elektra (Bohm/DG studio film) and Wagner's Meistersinger (Levine/DG MET). The Bohm Elektra is a must see....it is remarkable! 

  marvin
   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 03, 2007, 03:08:54 PM
   Yes Lethe,  R. Stauss' Elektra (Bohm/DG studio film) and Wagner's Meistersinger (Levine/DG MET). The Bohm Elektra is a must see....it is remarkable! 

  marvin

Hehe, how strange :) I actually own both of those :D* I've yet to watch either - the Meistersinger as I'm experiencing serious Wagner/enjoyment issues ATM (but I'll keep working on him - and I suppose Meistersinger is the easiest of his mature pieces to get into), and I got briefly put off Elektra by another DVD (Dohnányi, TDK) that I didn't particularly like. I'll try the Elektra ASAP, thanks :)

*I was going to say that my collection wasn't even particularly large, but then I actually counted it... kind of a surprise: 58 single operas, and the 11 DVD La Scala collection on Opus Arte (as it was so cheap at the time). Bloody hell...

Edit: And on the subject of Böhm's Strauss, can anyone compare the new Salome to the Elektra? Grammophone gave the Salome a surprisingly poor review - I could make a summary of it if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 03, 2007, 05:24:31 PM
Lethe,

The third(last) act of Die Meistersinger is extremely easy to like.

The first act is a little more work.  Start with David.  He has a motif that is heard whenever he speaks or his name is mentioned (it's located in the first 2-3 minutes of the opera itself; I don't mean Prelude).  Pogner has a motif also.  I think Beckmesser has a motif also.  Find them and it will be easier for you to enjoy the opera.  For sure, other people here can give you some more suggestions for help.

If you can ever find the recording by Rafael Kubelik and the Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, grab it.  It is very good.  I purchased mine when the Calig label was selling it.

Here is the cast:
Hans Sachs - Thomas Stewart
Pogner - Franz Crass
Beckmesser - Thomas Hemsley
Kothner - Keith Engen
Walther - Sandor Konya
David - Gerhard Unger
Eva - Gundula Janowitz
Magdalene - Birgitte Fassbaender
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 04, 2007, 06:19:13 AM
Thank you :) I'll try Meistersinger soon and listen for that motif.

Marvin: I watched the first half of Böhm''s Elektra yesterday - wow. I didn't expect the set to be so large, or the rain to be so heavy. Some parts reminded me a lot of the Japanese "Ring" film series in look. It must be closer to the original stage directions as well, as it was much easier to understand than the other DVD I had watched (in which Klytemnästra didn't first appear safely blocked from Elektra before going down to her - she just stood further across the stage initially, for eg).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on September 04, 2007, 07:01:20 AM
The Karl Böhm Elektra is a film version, not an opera stage production, which explains what you perceive to be a huge set. This fact does not at all discredit the outstanding performance by all. Götz Friedrich is one of the best directors we have.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 04, 2007, 07:21:06 AM
The Karl Böhm Elektra is a film version, not an opera stage production, which explains what you perceive to be a huge set. This fact does not at all discredit the outstanding performance by all. Götz Friedrich is one of the best directors we have.

Oops, calling it a set may have been deceptive - I knew it was a film, but even knowing that, the big location was a surprise. A really impressive film, and well-acted (Klytemnästra was scarilly unhinged) :D I wonder if this is the kind of thing that Wagner would approve of if he were around nowadays, with his plan of "total synthesis" of visual and musical.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 04, 2007, 07:54:08 AM
We are really spoilt for choice these days with opera on DVD.  I was worried a few years ago when the big companies stopped producing much in the way of opera on CD.  Luckily DVDs have replaced them.

Here are some of the offerings just out/coming soon.

Opus Arte have a new Cav and Pag with Galouzine playing Canio and La Scola Playing Turiddu.  Maria Bayo will partner Galouzine as Nedda and Urmana will play Santuzza. This looks like a good one to me. We need a decent Cav and Pag with so little competition out there.

Also on this label we have a new Il Trovatore from Breganz.  Carl Tanner is the Troubadour and Iano Tamar sings Leonora.  Any Il Trovatore is good but this one had mixed reviews i believe.

TDK have some mouth watering DVDs coming out.

Dialogues des Carmélites conducted by Muti with Sets by Robert Carson.

Jenufa
with Marton and Stemme. This came out a month or so ago.  I welcome any version of this opera and these two stage animals should be great to watch.  There is of course a classic DVD from Glyndebourne which is number 1.

Pique Dame from Paris 2005 with Galouzine as Hermann partnered by Hasmik Papian.  At least 2 decent versions of this opera exist on DVD.  This was well received in the opera house so it should be good to watch.  Galouzine is probably the best Hermann of recent times.

Il Trittico from Modena 2007.  Not many big names in this cast.  However this opera has been poorly served on DVD so this is very welcome.

Tosca - Cedolins and Alvarez with Raimondi as Scarpia at the Arena in Verona. Cedolins got a mauling for her Butterfly with Giordani which was released a while back.  I decided not to buy it after watching clips on Youtube. However, Cedolins was a superb Leonora in Il Trovatore and Marcello Alvarez has a beautiful tenor voice.  Raimondi is an excellent Scarpia on the Opus Arte DVD with Dessi and Armiliato so i look forward to this one.

Now, lets hope that these two companies keep the price down. We need less glossy booklets with nothing in them but screenshots and more info about the production and concepts.

I see that Belair classiques has a new DVD of Mozarts Die Entfuhrung aus dem serail from Aix-en-Provence.  Not sure why after they have another excellent one a year or so ago.

They also have Prokofiev's Love of Three Oranges.  I have never seen this and i know there is a very good DVD from Amsterdam on Opus Arte.

I like Belair classique releases.  Good price.  Excellent productions from Zurich or Aix and very informative booklets.

All mouthwatering releases i think

yashin,

Do you know where to find a list of what opera recordings Belair Classique offers?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on September 04, 2007, 12:51:25 PM
Here is a link to a review of the Bohm Elektra from the old site.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,9145.msg272041.html#msg272041

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on September 07, 2007, 04:18:54 PM
Yes, here is the link.  They have done something new with the site and its a bit mashed up!

http://www.belairclassiques.com/belair.html

I would buy anything they produce because they are always modern productions, great casts, great sound and visuals and a good price.

On the site you might have to scroll down your screen and keep clicking ENTER on the screen or clicking on the main picture sometimes works.

They have made the site a pain in the ass really.  Maybe it is better if you have very fast broadband
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 07, 2007, 06:14:18 PM
Thanks for the link, yashin.  Much obliged.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 14, 2007, 08:43:00 AM


  I just received two opera DVDs that I will be watching next week:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JYYNHRQAL._SS500_.jpg)

 and this which I hope sounds just as good as it looks (yes I know, you should never judge a book by its cover but lets face it she is exquisite isn't she? just what Verdi had in mind for his high class "call girl":

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/413KCA8ZX2L._SS500_.jpg)

  marvin

 

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 14, 2007, 08:59:43 AM
That Falstaff is a delight, I also like the Gheorghiu Traviata, although it's my only version ATM. It's nowhere near as bad as her deriders say it is :P
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 16, 2007, 08:02:08 AM
That Falstaff is a delight, I also like the Gheorghiu Traviata, although it's my only version ATM. It's nowhere near as bad as her deriders say it is :P

 Yes that Falstaff is certainly a delight.  I watched it this morning and loved the setting and costumes most of all.  This is a movie opera, well performed and quite funny at times.  I will watch La Traviata with Gheorghiu tomorrow after work. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 16, 2007, 08:26:31 AM
I heard that the Solti Traviata was very good.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 16, 2007, 03:04:40 PM
I heard that the Solti Traviata was very good.

  Thanks Anne.  This Gheorghiu Traviata is with Solti at a performance in Covent Garden.  I hope this is the Solti you are refering to. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 16, 2007, 03:31:15 PM
  Thanks Anne.  This Gheorghiu Traviata is with Solti at a performance in Covent Garden.  I hope this is the Solti you are refering to. 

Yes, I think that is the performance I meant.  I have it but haven't watched it yet.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 17, 2007, 04:10:27 AM
Yes, I think that is the performance I meant.  I have it but haven't watched it yet.

  Good then how about we watch it at the same time  :)- I am planning on viewing mine tonight after work.

 marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 17, 2007, 03:08:18 PM
  Good then how about we watch it at the same time  :)- I am planning on viewing mine tonight after work.

 marvin

 Just completed Acts 1 and 2 of La Traviata and time ran out on me.  What can say, a marvelous performance by Angela Gheorghiu so far, singing and acting. She took my breath away (this gentleman does NOT prefer blondes).  She stole the show as they say.  Leo Nucci as Pere Germont was also commendable. Frank Lopardo as Alfredo....hmmm.....I guess I was so used to Pavarotti's (may he rest in peace) voice in that role that Frank Lopardo failed to make an impression on me.......I will complete Act 3 tomorrow.

  marvin 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 17, 2007, 03:53:13 PM
marv,

I have been sick today.  Will watch it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 18, 2007, 12:54:58 AM
marv,

I have been sick today.  Will watch it tomorrow.

  No worries Anne.  I hope you are feeling better today  :) .  I think you are going to enjoy this opera DVD performance of La Traviata, the sound is crystal clear.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on September 18, 2007, 02:40:41 AM
This Traviata recording was achieved by the BBC. The controller of BBC2 attended an early performance in the run and pulled all the stops out to push a later performance into the schedule. That was how impressed he was and the result was highly thought of.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on September 18, 2007, 04:33:51 PM
I watched the Solti/Covent Garden DVD of La Traviata today and enjoyed it.  Angela Gheorghiu is a good singing actress.  Her voice is not shrill which I appreciated.  At the end of the opera when she is within 15 minutes of death, I thought her voice was a little too loud and robust. 

I would like to contrast Gheorghiu with Teresa Stratas (Zeffirelli film) in the last scene.
Stratas had me in tears several times when she spoke of some day Lopardo finding someone else to love and there would be an angel looking down on him and caring for him.  She also was a most fragile consumptive - very believable.  People who are at death's door should not run quickly around the room before collapsing.  It stretches credulity a little.

If you get a chance to watch the film of Stratas/Cornell Macneil/Domingo//Levine, I'd love to hear your reactions.  Cornell Macneil makes his music sound wonderful.  I thought Leo Nucci was good as Germont.  He is also very good in Pavarotti's Un Ballo in Maschera DVD

I was not impressed with Frank Lopardo.

Solti began the introduction of the opera when the strings are very pp a little louder than Levine but other than that all was ok by me.  I liked Solti's right arm movements when he was trying to get the orchestra to put a lilt in the music in the introduction.

All in all it was a good performance.  Just make sure you see the Stratas performance also.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on September 19, 2007, 01:48:46 AM
I watched the Solti/Covent Garden DVD of La Traviata today and enjoyed it.  Angela Gheorghiu is a good singing actress.  Her voice is not shrill which I appreciated.  At the end of the opera when she is within 15 minutes of death, I thought her voice was a little too loud and robust. 

I would like to contrast Gheorghiu with Teresa Stratas (Zeffirelli film) in the last scene.
Stratas had me in tears several times when she spoke of some day Lopardo finding someone else to love and there would be an angel looking down on him and caring for him.  She also was a most fragile consumptive - very believable.  People who are at death's door should not run quickly around the room before collapsing.  It stretches credulity a little.

If you get a chance to watch the film of Stratas/Cornell Macneil/Domingo//Levine, I'd love to hear your reactions.  Cornell Macneil makes his music sound wonderful.  I thought Leo Nucci was good as Germont.  He is also very good in Pavarotti's Un Ballo in Maschera DVD

I was not impressed with Frank Lopardo.

Solti began the introduction of the opera when the strings are very pp a little louder than Levine but other than that all was ok by me.  I liked Solti's right arm movements when he was trying to get the orchestra to put a lilt in the music in the introduction.

All in all it was a good performance.  Just make sure you see the Stratas performance also.

  Thanks Anne for posting your review.  I just completed Act 3 last night and you are right, Gheorghiu running around the stage when she is supposed to be at death's door did strike me as a little strange, she did collapse lifeless shortly thereafter though which makes me wonder what they had in mind when they staged this scene- perhaps Solti had something to do with it??.  Regrettably I am not familiar with the Stratas performance and will check it out. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on September 19, 2007, 06:10:21 AM
I had never seen this DVD till the last few weeks.  I had avoided it because i am not a big fan of the singers or the conductor.  I was suprised that i enjoyed it. However, i found Lopardo's voice odd and i also did not like Gheorghiu running around at the end.

These days there are 5 or 6 versions of this opera on DVD.  I have looked at quite a few.  By far the best is the one from Belair classiques from Aix en Provence with Mirelle Delunsche.  Not note perfect but a superb performance and a superb production.  I cannot recommend this La Traviata enough.  It is a very modern production, very sparse stage, Violetta stays on stage throughout but for sheer drama and passion nothing can beat it.  The principles are all excellent as it the orchestra and conducting.

Don't bother with the terrible Netrebko La Traviata-where she looks better at the end than at the beginning unless you want shallow performances.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on September 19, 2007, 06:44:05 AM
These days there are 5 or 6 versions of this opera on DVD. 

archivmusic.com currently lists 11!  Actually they list 13, but three of those are various releases of the Gheorgiu/Covent Garden one.  I've got one of those releases, and love it.  The Glyndebourne with Marie McLaughlin isn't bad.  Can't stand the Ziforole* version with Stratas, but I'm not fan of filmed versions of operas in any case.  I'd rather see a video of a live performance. 

* I may have slightly changed the spelling of the director's name, but I'm sure he'll understand my "artistic vision".  It's nothing worse than what he did to Traviata and Otello >:D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on September 21, 2007, 03:11:16 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UBivnojHL._SS400_.jpg)

Just noticed this one :o I'm most certainly buying it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 06:55:27 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UBivnojHL._SS400_.jpg)

Just noticed this one :o I'm most certainly buying it.

I wonder how it compares to the other TWO Wozzeck's on the same label... I have the Abaddo/VSO one, which is good enough for me not to have sought another yet.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on September 22, 2007, 08:08:30 AM
I wonder how it compares to the other TWO Wozzeck's on the same label... I have the Abaddo/VSO one, which is good enough for me not to have sought another yet.

It's probably sufficiently different since this one is film, not stage. I have Abbado on CD and it's excellent indeed, haven't seen it on DVD. Guy from classicstoday seems to quite like the Maderna.

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11165 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11165)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on September 22, 2007, 09:44:07 AM
It's probably sufficiently different since this one is film, not stage. I have Abbado on CD and it's excellent indeed, haven't seen it on DVD. Guy from classicstoday seems to quite like the Maderna.

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11165 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11165)

Christ, now I want to buy it...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on September 22, 2007, 04:57:07 PM
My favourite Wozzeck DVD/Video to date has to be the Barenboim DVD from Paris with Grundheber and Meier.  It is excellent with Graham Clarke superb as the mad Captain.  Sets are sparse.

I am not a great fan of the Abbado set on cd or DVD.  It just does not do it for me.

I have the other Arthouse DVD of Wozzeck with Dale Duessing.  It is highly regarded.  However the production is rather odd with the Captain wearing a very odd costume like an insect.

I look forward to getting hold of the new DVD and also the one due in October from Liceu,Barcelona.  Frank Hawlata is Wozzeck and Angela Denoke is Marie.   I have read poor reviews about the setting (Calixto Bieito) being set in an oil refinery!

Ah well if you enjoy Wozzeck as i do you will probably buy it.

Why oh Why did they not record the superb production from Covent Garden with Matthias Goerne?  Anyone else see that? Was truly sensational -the singing, the sets and the gorgeous orchestral playing with Pappano at the helm.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on September 22, 2007, 07:20:20 PM
What's the scuttlebutt about one with Simon Keenlyside either in the making or already out?  ???
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on September 23, 2007, 01:48:37 AM
What's the scuttlebutt about one with Simon Keenlyside either in the making or already out?  ???

I don't think it's already out, since he's singing his first Wozzeck in Paris next March.  I haven't heard anything about a DVD with him, but I hope it's true.

I've got the Abbado/Vienna DVD and love it.  Rented the one with Duesing and Ciesinski (from Zurich, I believe?) and couldn't stand the production. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Siedler on September 23, 2007, 03:04:27 AM
Worryingly enough, http://opera_on_dvd.home.att.net/ doesn't list the DVD of Salome with Mattila & co from the Met anymore on their "Other Anticipated Future Releases" section. Will it be ever published, I wonder?  :-\
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on September 23, 2007, 04:26:14 AM
Worryingly enough, http://opera_on_dvd.home.att.net/ doesn't list the DVD of Salome with Mattila & co from the Met anymore on their "Other Anticipated Future Releases" section. Will it be ever published, I wonder?  :-\

Apparently not, according to the Met's General Manager, Peter Gelb.  He gave a speech/Q&A session at Chataqua last August.  Someone from another forum was there and asked him about that Salome, and the two other productions that are already "in the can", but have never been televised or released:

Quote
Ariadne, Wozzeck and Salome were all produced, without financing lined up in advance, during the previous agreement with the unions. In order for these to be released on video, it would cost millions of dollars to have to be paid out to unions(I believe this is essentially what he [Gelb] said). As a result, while these are wonderful performances, THEY WILL PROBABLY NEVER BE RELEASED!.... Earlier, during his speech, Mr. Gelb spoke about the concessions that the unions made in order to make the archive and current broadcasts available.


I really find this hard to accept (as did a lot of other people at that other forum).  It's hard to believe something can't be worked out.  But in any case that's what Gelb said.  I do take a little heart from that "PROBABLY".

I wonder about the telecasts from last season as well.  Though EMI's supposed to be releasing five telecasts from the upcoming season (Hansel and Gretel, Macbeth, Manon Lescaut, Peter Grimes, and La Bohème), two of which have already had major cast changes, there's not been any mention of when (if?), or on what label, last season's telecasts will be out.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Siedler on September 23, 2007, 06:23:21 AM
Thanks for the info, Wendell! So that's about it then, I guess.  :(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on September 23, 2007, 07:28:14 AM
Wendell: You shed some light on this Salome issue; I thank you very much!  :-*

Now I want to get a hold of that the big-mouth spokesman of the Met who promised the release on video within six month of that performance!  >:D

Somehow I am in line with Siedler's thinking, a lame excuse to blame it on the unions. I have a hunch if Fleming would be the Salome it would have been out on DVD months, nay, years, ago!  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on September 23, 2007, 08:40:28 AM
Somehow I am in line with Siedler's thinking, a lame excuse to blame it on the unions. I have a hunch if Fleming would be the Salome it would have been out on DVD months, nay, years, ago!  ;)

Yeah, I do have to wonder if that union thing's just an excuse, myself.

As for Fleming, I do hope her presence makes for fast release of last year's Eugene Onegin with her and Hvorostovsky, but we're still waiting for the Met Figaro with her, Terfel, and Bartoli, and that was almost nine years ago!

It is very odd that at one time that Salome was actually listed at one time at Universal's iclassics webstite for a late 2004 (Oct. or Nov.) release, but now that say it'll never be released?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on September 26, 2007, 02:50:58 AM
I have a hunch if Fleming would be the Salome it would have been out on DVD months, nay, years, ago!  ;)

Actually, a new DVD with Fleming will be released next month. But it is from the LA Opera, not the Met…  :P

Verdi’s La Traviata, with Renee Fleming, Rolando Villazon and Renato Bruson.
The conductor is James Conlon.
The director – Marta Domingo.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/510u6Ey00LL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 04, 2007, 05:52:18 AM


  Just curious if anybody has seen this DVD, I am thinking of buying it and am looking for feedback. So far on amazon.co.uk this has received one great review and one horrible review....does the truth lie in the middle somewhere?

  (http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/511AWZAAF2L._SS500_.jpg)


  thank you
  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 04, 2007, 06:20:09 AM
I can't understand how that DVD could be strongly criticised - it's very good overall, and I haven't run into a professional critic who has a problem with it. It also has the benefit of being uncut compared to most other versions available, including, IIRC, the Sawallisch DVD (which is the main reason I went for the Solti).

Edit: The staging is quite "modern", though, more so than the looks of the Sawallisch, from the cover photo.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 04, 2007, 06:23:13 AM
I can't understand how that DVD could be strongly criticised - it's very good on all terms - singing, staging, recording, playing. It also has the benefit of being uncut compared to most other versions available, including, IIRC, the Sawallisch DVD (which is the main reason I went for the Solti).

  Lethe the respondent who slammed this recording said it lacked that "Straussian" magic that he found in Sawallisch's CD audio recording.  But based on your feedback I am going ahead with the purchase  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 04, 2007, 06:36:05 AM
Lethe the respondent who slammed this recording said it lacked that "Straussian" magic that he found in Sawallisch's CD audio recording.

Hehe, a nebulous term :D I can understand if the playing was ragged, but "magic" to one person is rather different to another, and such terms are sometimes used to disguise an agenda. Solti is reliable in Strauss, and a chance to watch the work in more or less complete condition is definitely worthwhile. Especially as even the Amazon critic doesn't seem to fault the technical quality of the music and staging.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 08, 2007, 03:15:12 PM
Can anyone comment on any of the Arthaus Musik DVDs of Britten's operas? There's a tempting looking box of all eight of them...

Edit: Crap, one of them got a shocking review on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britten-Death-Venice-Robert-Tear/dp/B00005B0ET/ref=sr_1_19/026-8635063-1919630?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1191885490&sr=1-19)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 11, 2007, 08:00:28 AM

  I just saw this for the first time on amazon  :o.  Is this a new release? Has anybody seen it? 

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kTtFS1HGL._SS500_.jpg)
 

  marvin
 
  PS:  I am currently dissatisfied with the Tristan und Isolde DVD recordings on offer.  could  this be a change in the right direction?

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on October 11, 2007, 08:09:38 AM
  I just saw this for the first time on amazon  :o.  Is this a new release? Has anybody seen it? 


  marvin
 
  PS:  I am currently dissatisfied with the Tristan und Isolde DVD recordings on offer.  could  this be a change in the right direction?

 

It's new to DVD, but the performance is from 1983, and has been available in other formats.

I've been tempted to buy it, myself. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on October 11, 2007, 09:11:07 AM
Here is the cover of the LVD from the 1983 performance. It is adequate in the traditional sense for directing and singing and conducting. Kollo and Meier are not the most ardent lovers, all is rather boring.

Contrary to dear Wendell's opinion, I prefer the Olivier Py production with Armin Jordan conducting. The singing and acting of Jeanne Michéle Charbonnet and Clifton Forbis is thrilling and a surprise because I had never heard them before. Outstanding and almost stealing the show is Alfred Reiter's König Marke!

Your turn, Wendell, to let loose the pooch!  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 11, 2007, 09:52:11 AM
Here is the cover of the LVD from the 1983 performance. It is adequate in the traditional sense for directing and singing and conducting. Kollo and Meier are not the most ardent lovers, all is rather boring.


   Lis thanks for the feedback,  I am surprised to read that you found the production rather boring with Kollo and Meier not the most ardent lovers (this is Tristan and Isolde we are talking about after all).  I was quite taken with the photo on the cover of the DVD release which led me to ask about this recording.....yes I know you should never judge a "book" by its cover, when will I ever learn  ::)??

  marvin


   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on October 11, 2007, 09:55:29 AM
Contrary to dear Wendell's opinion,

What opinion?  I just said I was tempted by it.  I hold off on forming an opinion until I actually see it.   ;)  Johanna Meier's the only Isolde I've ever seen "live" and she was wonderful. 

I do like Charbonnet a lot.  She lives in New Orleans (or did before Hurricane Katrina) and has sung Ariadne and the first two Brünnhildes there.  Forbis was supposed to sing Otello there, but it was cancelled (postponed?) due to Katrina.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on October 11, 2007, 09:59:04 AM
I realise Tristan and Isolde are not passionate, hotblooded figures in a dramatic Verdi opera, but just a tad more riled up testosterone and hormone wouldn't hurt!  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: johnshade on October 16, 2007, 10:59:49 AM
  Just curious if anybody has seen this DVD, I am thinking of buying it and am looking for feedback. So far on amazon.co.uk this has received one great review and one horrible review....does the truth lie in the middle somewhere? 
(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/511AWZAAF2L._SS500_.jpg)
...
I love this video of perhaps my favorite opera. I have recordings and, when available videos, of all operas of R Strauss. I have had the CD of Solti's studio version for several years and became very familiar with this wonderful music. The Solti video is a live performanace from Salzburg. I am very attached to this performance. Fr-oh-sch is a truly great opera.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on October 16, 2007, 11:07:21 AM
...
I love this video of perhaps my favorite opera. I have recordings and, when available videos, of all operas of R Strauss. I have had the CD of Solti's studio version for several years and became very familiar with this wonderful music. The Solti video is a live performanace from Salzburg. I am very attached to this performance. Fr-oh-sch is a truly great opera.


I really need to see this, since I love the opera, too.  I saw the recent Met production several times, which was marvelous. 

Interestingly, on one visit I brought two friends--a married couple--who are opera "newbies" and had never seen any R. Strauss at all.  Conventional wisdom might say that Die Frau is too long, too strange (plot-wise), or whatever for those starting out with Strauss, or with opera in general. 

Well, my friends absolutely loved it!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 17, 2007, 02:33:13 AM
It's sometimes difficult to find enough time to watch a long opera, and I hate splitting them over two nights, so I was wondering whether anyone could recommend any particularly short ones (say, not much over 100 mins in length) that are available on DVD?

At the moment I have the obvious candidates covered: Salome, Ill Tritico, Cav/Pag, as well as Penderecki's Die Teufel von Loudon and Janacek's Makropulos Case, and can't think of many others. Purcell and Stravinsky probably have something appropriate, but I don't own any DVD by either of them.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on October 17, 2007, 07:12:05 AM
It's sometimes difficult to find enough time to watch a long opera, and I hate splitting them over two nights, so I was wondering whether anyone could recommend any particularly short ones (say, not much over 100 mins in length) that are available on DVD?

At the moment I have the obvious candidates covered: Salome, Ill Tritico, Cav/Pag, as well as Penderecki's Die Teufel von Loudon and Janacek's Makropulos Case, and can't think of many others. Purcell and Stravinsky probably have something appropriate, but I don't own any DVD by either of them.

I can't remember the title at the moment but there is a short opera with a woman talking on the telephone.  Is it La Voix Humaine?  Composer Poulenc?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on October 17, 2007, 07:23:52 AM
I can't remember the title at the moment but there is a short opera with a woman talking on the telephone.  Is it La Voix Humaine?  Composer Poulenc?

That's right.  I'm not sure if there's a DVD of it available, but there are a number of CD versions. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on October 17, 2007, 08:14:31 AM
That's right.  I'm not sure if there's a DVD of it available, but there are a number of CD versions. 

--Bruce

Thanks.  There is a DVD available for La Voix Humaine.  I rented it from Netflix.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on October 17, 2007, 08:39:20 AM
Yes, there is a DVD of La Voix Humaine

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4140YF8E9ZL._AA240_.jpg)

Poulenc opera that would probably be lots of fun on DVD (and it's around 70 mins) would be Les Mamelles de Tiresias but don't think there is one.

Also, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo fits length requirement (100-110 minutes). 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on October 17, 2007, 11:49:00 AM
Here is the cover of the LVD from the 1983 performance. It is adequate in the traditional sense for directing and singing and conducting. Kollo and Meier are not the most ardent lovers, all is rather boring.

At least we finally have a Tristan in which neither Tristan nor Isolde are morbidly obese.   :-\
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on October 20, 2007, 07:12:18 AM
Just bought a bunch of DVDs including:

the new Giulio Cesare with Andreas Scholl.  It is excellent.  I have been enjoying my first experience of a male Cesare. Filmed in Copenhagen it is a modern and very good production.

The L'orfeo with Simon Keenlyside is also very good.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 20, 2007, 04:12:31 PM


 Just watched the first half of the Solti Die Frau ohne Schatten today.... while the sets are not very lavish the performance of this opera is remarkably enjoyable, will complete it tomorrow.

  I am also looking for a DVD recording of Der Rosenkavalier to complement my Karajan EMI Great Recordings of the Century CD recording and ran into a stumbling block.  Which of these is better (both got GREAT reviews) so I am torn:

  This:

 (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NSN9VPE5L._SS500_.jpg)  ?

  or this:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VKSGE5H0L._SS500_.jpg) ?

  Obviously I want a Kleiber conducted performance and from the praise both got I couldn't tell which is best  ??? ??  The second one is older but is that necessarily a negative??

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 21, 2007, 02:57:38 AM
1. Thanks everyone for the Poulenc recommendations.

2. Wow, Marvin. I had the EXACT same problem almost a year ago. I eventually went for the second (earlier) one after reading MANY reviews, and some comparative ones, to try to seperate them. I forget exactly what made me choose it though - I think there was a mention, among other small things, of the later one having some curtain calls cut, but one left in, making the symmetry/consistency slightly confusing.

By the way, thanks for the Turandot recommendation - I watched it yesterday and it was a pretty huge spectacle. Completely overblown too, but that is fun, and suits the piece :D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on October 21, 2007, 10:09:22 AM
I think there was a mention, among other small things, of the later one having some curtain calls cut, but one left in, making the symmetry/consistency slightly confusing.
I is hard for me to imagine that someone would choose one version over another because it had better curtain calls.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 21, 2007, 10:20:11 AM
I is hard for me to imagine that someone would choose one version over another because it had better curtain calls.

AMONGST OTHER THINGS... that was the nearest thing I could come to remembering an exact detail. I think I got that wrong too, it was more like the end of one act had applause, but it was cut out at the end of the other ones - which is a kind of strange thing. But it was a combination of several factors in reviews made the earlier performance seem a better prospect when I did pick it, it wasn't just that.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 21, 2007, 12:55:54 PM
AMONGST OTHER THINGS... that was the nearest thing I could come to remembering an exact detail. I think I got that wrong too, it was more like the end of one act had applause, but it was cut out at the end of the other ones - which is a kind of strange thing. But it was a combination of several factors in reviews made the earlier performance seem a better prospect when I did pick it, it wasn't just that.

  I just finished watching Solti's Die Frau Ohnne Schatten DVD, the live performance from the 1992 Slazburg Summer Festival.  I must admit that I loved the 3rd ACT, I can not imagine why some productions make cuts  >:( in the Nurse's part in ACT3 those scenes are GREAT and an essential integral part of the opera's story and the music is wonderfull-  Thankfully Solti had enough sense to keep them in.  I think this is one of the best purchase decisions I have made in a very long time (thanks Lethe, johnshade) for recommending it. 

  I am still torn between which Kleiber Der Rosenkavalier to get and Lethe recommending the earlier recording has got me leaning towards getting that recording......

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 21, 2007, 01:23:52 PM
I checked Amazon US (it has a lot of reviews for both) again, and these may be useful in comparing the two (they make the earlier performance seem more attractive to me, so these Amazon comments were probably how I chose between the two):

"Munich [the earlier] gives us faster, more incisive tempos (indeed, the performance is 7 minutes shorter)."

"Get both. If there are other priorities and one has to choose, I'd go for Munich. The strengths are palpable from the pit to the kinder in the final act. Whatever you do, one can't go wrong with either of Kleiber's performances."

"As artists, von Otter and Fassbaender are more evenly matched than the others mentioned, though their approaches to Octavian are different: both are aristocratic, wilfull, elegant, clearly in love with love, von Otter is funnier, Fassbaender is lustier (the bigger, darker, more colorful voice helps)."

"This Munich version has of course much to commend: first of all, in this 1979 Munich evening Kleiber was a dozen years younger and it shows, his conducting mostly livelier and with more abandon than in the later viennese evening ... which in turn is enriched by more insights into the score and treatment of its sentimental facets."

"I was never able to take a liking to Jungwirth's handling of the Ochs character. He became quite famous for his portrayal and is featured in the famous Solti-conducted set, studio-recorded by Decca almost 4 decades ago, but I always found his voice too light for the role, unsteady to an unbearable extent and he shows here a severe deficiency in his low notes (they're inaudible!), something frankly unforgivable and for which certainly you cannot fault Moll in the Viennese remake, who is in far better shape and stage-wise, a superior impersonator of the character. "

"Sets and decors are a definite plus for the Munich staging, especially in the second act, as Faninal's mirrored, magnificent palais Schenk devised inexplicably turned for Vienna into an indifferent hall. The sound produced by both the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic is outstanding, the latter's benefitting no doubt from progress in sound recording techniques."

Sadly, the better reviews which compare them tend to conclude that owning both is mandatory :D

Perhaps you should pick on the basis of which singers you prefer? To me, Fassbaender and Popp are hard to beat, and Fassbaender is especially good at playing boy roles IMO (she also looked great in the Kleiber Fledermaus, also on DG).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 21, 2007, 01:35:53 PM


"I was never able to take a liking to Jungwirth's handling of the Ochs character. He became quite famous for his portrayal and is featured in the famous Solti-conducted set, studio-recorded by Decca almost 4 decades ago, but I always found his voice too light for the role, unsteady to an unbearable extent and he shows here a severe deficiency in his low notes (they're inaudible!), something frankly unforgivable and for which certainly you cannot fault Moll in the Viennese remake, who is in far better shape and stage-wise, a superior impersonator of the character. "

Perhaps you should pick on the basis of which singers you prefer? To me, Fassbaender and Popp are hard to beat, and Fassbaender is especially good at playing boy roles IMO (she also looked great in the Kleiber Fledermaus, also on DG).

  Lethe just a quick question if I may, is there any truth to the criticism that Jungwirth's low notes (the Munich recording) are inaudible??

 
  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 21, 2007, 01:39:14 PM
Lethe just a quick question if I may, is there any truth to the criticism that Jungwirth's low notes (the Munich recording) are inaudible??

I can't recall a problem with his singing, although I haven't watched it since I bought it (more or less on release), and at the time I may not have been in a very critical frame of mind, as I was pretty blown away by the opulent staging, and was wallowing in the visuals :D If it is an issue, it must be a minor one.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on October 24, 2007, 10:05:53 PM
I am still torn between which Kleiber Der Rosenkavalier to get and Lethe recommending the earlier recording has got me leaning towards getting that recording......

Marvin, I also was in a dilemma here, mainly because I do not like either of Jones or Lott. Nigel, who used to post here, persuaded me that on this occasion Jones keeps the incipient wobble in her voice under control. He did not lie, I got the set and have so enjoyed it. Fassbaender could not be bettered, the acting is terrific and while I am suer the later version is as good, I am completely satisfied with the older performance. It has such warmth, yet avoids being cloying.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 25, 2007, 01:46:23 AM
I am still torn between which Kleiber Der Rosenkavalier to get and Lethe recommending the earlier recording has got me leaning towards getting that recording......

It's important to point out that I went for the first based soley on reading reviews on sites like Amazon, and so have no insight that anybody else could have after a few mouseclicks - I could be missing out on something great in the 2nd recording - but unlike many of the reviews say (in recommending buying BOTH), I am happy enough with just one, and it's a fun production. :)

Maybe flip a coin :D You don't want to be without a Kleiber DVD for too long, you could be hit by a bus next week :P
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 25, 2007, 02:24:38 AM
It's important to point out that I went for the first based soley on reading reviews on sites like Amazon, and so have no insight that anybody else could have after a few mouseclicks - I could be missing out on something great in the 2nd recording - but unlike many of the reviews say (in recommending buying BOTH), I am happy enough with just one, and it's a fun production. :)

Maybe flip a coin :D You don't want to be without a Kleiber DVD for too long, you could be hit by a bus next week :P

  Mike and Lethe, sorry for not writing back with an update but I already ordered the Munich recording (the earlier one) two days ago  :).  and yes based on what I have read one should not be without a Kleiber DVD for too long.....

 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 25, 2007, 07:51:24 AM
  Mike and Lethe, sorry for not writing back with an update but I already ordered the Munich recording (the earlier one) two days ago  :).  and yes based on what I have read one should not be without a Kleiber DVD for too long.....

:D I hope you like it :) Maybe you could confirm or deny the potential singing problem with Ochs to help Mike choose - I don't think he will be a problem, though.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DanielFullard on October 26, 2007, 05:31:40 PM
This thread is brilliant ;D

I'm a huge Opera DVD buyer and will add my view when I can.

All I will say for now is if you're a fan of Carmen then you can't go wrong with the BBC Opus Arte production starting Anne Sofie Von Otter. I must have seen countless Carmen's but for me this is the most enjoyable and the one I keep coming back to.


Would be interested in hearing anyone's Ruslaka recomendations?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Siedler on October 27, 2007, 02:17:17 PM
Well, there's not much choise...only three DVDs:
Opera National de Paris with Fleming and Larin
(http://www.axelmusic.dk/resources/cache/front/300/200/5450270008667_300x200.jpg)
Czech film
(http://www.axelmusic.dk/resources/cache/front/300/200/099925700829_300x200.jpg)
ENO with Elder and Treleaven (in English)
(http://www.axelmusic.dk/resources/cache/front/300/200/807280201994_300x200.jpg)

I'd say the best bet is the Paris one, if you like Fleming. I have borrowed it from library but haven't watched it yet...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on October 27, 2007, 04:55:47 PM
I am currently working my way through these:

Giulio Cesare - from Copenhagen with Andreas Scholl.  All i can say is that this is excellent singing and a terrific production so far.  I would even rate it above the glorious Glyndebourne production which i love.

Aida- from Zurich with Nina Stemme and Salvatore Licitra.  An unusual production i would say.  The magazine Gramophone gave it a very good review saying that it is the Aida we have been waiting for on DVD.  Whilst Stemme sings well i cannot replace Chiara on the Arena di Verona DVD.  Salvatore Licitra impresses with his controlled singing too.  BUT-there are no sparks between the main characters and therefore the tomb scene looks like they are going through the motions.  Stemme and Licitra look uncomfortable to be honest.

For the Rosenkavalier - i have not seen the more recent DVD from TDK (with Adrianne Pieczonka) but i do have the Zurich production with Stemme, Kasarova and Alfred Muff. I really enjoy this whole production.  The acting is super and the singing is sublime.  I think it is a fairly cheap buy too these days.

What i would like to know is has anyone seen the La Calisto DVD?  I have read some good things, but then Gramophone magazine did not like it.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 27, 2007, 05:18:55 PM
For the Rosenkavalier - i have not seen the more recent DVD from TDK (with Adrianne Pieczonka) but i do have the Zurich production with Stemme, Kasarova and Alfred Muff. I really enjoy this whole production.  The acting is super and the singing is sublime.  I think it is a fairly cheap buy too these days.

I like that one too (the only I have in addition to the Kleiber), but I'm not sure if Marvin likes updated productions (unless I'm mixing people up - sorry if I am). But for Zurich, the staging relatively inoffensive (that OH really hates traditional productions, it seems), and the cast sound good - the princess and Octavian also don't act like statues, which is always nice... :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Heather Harrison on October 27, 2007, 08:58:00 PM
What i would like to know is has anyone seen the La Calisto DVD?  I have read some good things, but then Gramophone magazine did not like it.

I have seen it, and I loved it.  I thought the production was interesting, the story was entertaining, and the performance was very good.  Of course, this sort of opera might not appeal to everybody.  I wonder what Gramophone didn't like about it.

Heather
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on October 28, 2007, 01:44:22 PM
I like that one too (the only I have in addition to the Kleiber), but I'm not sure if Marvin likes updated productions (unless I'm mixing people up - sorry if I am). But for Zurich, the staging relatively inoffensive (that OH really hates traditional productions, it seems), and the cast sound good - the princess and Octavian also don't act like statues, which is always nice... :)

  Sorry not to have responded sooner about the Munich Der Rosenkavalier (Kleiber).  After a very busy weekend I got Sunday afternoon free to sit back and enjoy this DVD (Der Rosenkavalier, Kleiber, Munich) recording and I was very impressed.  Kleiber seems to have the score of this Strauss' opera in his bloodstream. The music was absolutely beautiful (Straussian magic). Didn't even notice any trouble with Jungwirth's voice at all-  I do not know what that amazon reviewer was complaining about. I loved the costumes and sets most of all- no modern adaptation here (you know I hate those)- definitely recommendable!!

  marvin

   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 30, 2007, 04:14:38 PM
(http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/7232/korngold1zm2.jpg)

I just finished watching Korngold's Die tote Stadt. I was initially surprised when getting into opera that the much talked about genre of German opera had so few works to its name. Despite being a relative obscurity, Korngold's style fits perfectly alongside Strauss's, and judging from the plot of this piece, as does the dreamlike and symbolic libretto.

The staging on this DVD is very good. The sets and costumes are "updated" and sometimes quite impressive. Generally it resembles an aesthetically deconstructed "traditional" staging - rooms have some old looking furniture, but it's in a state of disrepair, and neither the rooms or the furniture are arranged in a standard way. There are probably some tweaks to the stage directions as well, but as I have nothing to compare this staging to, I am only assuming so. For example, when Paul asks for some roses to be brought into the room to brighten it, Brigitta brings in some floral wallpaper and pastes it to the wall, or when Marietta demonstrates her dancing to Paul, instead of actually dancing, she poses like Marilyn Monroe over an upward blowing vent. These touches generally work well and are not too jarring. Only the second half of act 2 could be considered truly "Eurotrash" by whoever still uses that word (a bar scene is depicated as a [again] deconstructed 50s style American diner with the occupants in flourescent costume), but this brightness was a lift from the dourness everywhere else, and that fits with a bar being somewhere to go to enjoy yourself. Good use is made of darkness and coloured lighting throughout (especially in act 1). The staging borders on macabre, which can be interesting in itself - Paul hugging the rotting skeleton of a deceased wife, the vision of the holy men rising from a deep split in the ground, zombie-style.

The libretto itself is rather confusing - when watching an opera I haven't seen before, I like to read the synopsis afterwards, so that the action on screen is a "surprise" to me - and perhaps more than any other opera I've yet to see, what seemed to be happening in the piece was entirely contradicted by the later synopsis read :D With almost the entirety of act 2 and 3 occuring as a hallucination, the transition didn't come across at all, so a previously dead character appearing again as if nothing had happened shortly before the end was rather jarring. This could've perhaps been remedied by the set of act 1 being very "realistic" when compared to the surreal rest, but evidently that wasn't a plan of the director. The music is substantial and rich, the choral music is truly beautiful at times. Torsten Kerl is great as Paul, and sings wonderfully what is apparently a very demanding role. Angela Denoke looks near ideal for the role of a figure of obsession, looking very pre-Raphaelite in this production. She sings well and acts brilliantly.

Picture quality is very good and happily it is in 16:9 format. If nothing sounds too repellent about the staging (which I enjoyed), I would recommend this to fans of Strauss, Zemlinsky, Schreker, and the rest of the rather tonally exotic sounding early 20th century Austrians and Germans.

My own screencaps, apologies for the low quality, but my PC (or VLC Media Player) doesn't enjoy DVDs. Click to enlarge:

(http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/360/48363181ym5.th.jpg) (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=48363181ym5.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/8573/41672369vi7.th.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/my.php?image=41672369vi7.jpg) (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8513/65240755fy3.th.jpg) (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=65240755fy3.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/774/31319929tr1.th.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/my.php?image=31319929tr1.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/1444/52207799lg9.th.jpg) (http://img340.imageshack.us/my.php?image=52207799lg9.jpg) (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4997/27513093td8.th.jpg) (http://img89.imageshack.us/my.php?image=27513093td8.jpg) (http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8553/87941368gd2.th.jpg) (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=87941368gd2.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on October 30, 2007, 06:59:23 PM
Excellent review, beautifully written and I thank you sincerely, Lethe!

I have had this DVD in my collection for quite some time and pull it up every now and then, especially for Korngold's great music. Denoke was still young when this was recorded in 2001; I understand by now she has graduated to Richard Wagner, but can't recall which one and where, sorry! Torten Kerl also was not yet a household word but his voice and outstanding acting impressed me. He too is doing Wagner now. Korngold a stepping stone for Wagner and Bayreuth?  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on October 30, 2007, 07:05:03 PM
Excellent review, beautifully written and I thank you sincerely, Lethe!

I have had this DVD in my collection for quite some time and pull it up every now and then, especially for Korngold's great music. Denoke was still young when this was recorded in 2001; I understand by now she has graduated to Richard Wagner, but can't recall which one and where, sorry! Torten Kerl also was not yet a household word but his voice and outstanding acting impressed me. He too is doing Wagner now. Korngold a stepping stone for Wagner and Bayreuth?  ;)

:) Kerl is now well and truly on my radar, his performance was very good (I couldn't manage put much about the singing into words though, it's a big weak point for me).

Korngold's operas are supposedly among the most demanding before Wagner, so I'm not surprised that singers in Korngold could excell in Wagner too - especially as the tenor voice required in Die tote Stadt is quite heldentenor-like.

Edit: added two words to avoid potential confusion.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on October 31, 2007, 02:52:30 AM
Die tote stadt is amongst my favourite operas. Torsten Kerl and Angela Denoke are amongst the best interpreters of the role to be found today.  I was lucky enough to see Kerl in Amsterdam on several occasions and then again in Barcelona- all as Paul.  He is superb as is Denoke on the cd from Salzburg- in the Willy Decker setting.

I really enjoy this DVD production too.  I think the singing is first class.  Some might not like the 'eurotrash' european style of the performance but it is always heartfelt and well acted.  I for one love the ending where Paul slits his own wrist singing 'O Freund' and then tries to leave the stage but ends up dying at the door with a sign above it saying 'NO EXIT'.  For me this is a beautiful moment and i wish i could see it live.  It sums up the feeling of helplessness you sense Paul feels.  True it might not be the intention of Korngold but it is a really good idea.

If you look on youtube you can see James King in this opera.  In this ending he takes a gun and puts it to his head.  Again, purists will frown saying that Paul should leave Bruge alive.  But i would love to see this ending in a production too.

Some find Korngold's music too sentimental but i can't recommend this opera enough.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 08, 2007, 02:43:10 AM

  Figured it was high time I bumped this thread.  No one has posted here since Halloween  :o.  Haven't seen any operas this week though  :o (its unlike me, I usually like to watch a couple of operas every week after work)  But I did purchase the following two from amazon marketplace sellers and I can not wait to see these next week:

  This one was inspired by the Tristan und Isolde DVD thread and after discussions with Lis and Wendel_E I finally caved in and bought it:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kTtFS1HGL._SS500_.jpg)

  this will be my first Barenboim opera  :).

  I also picked this up for £13, an often neglected opera (I have a CD recording of it without any libretto but I just love the music, I felt I needed to get into the story- hope this DVD serves me well):

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514VCBMBS8L._SS500_.jpg)

  marvin
 

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 08, 2007, 07:24:38 AM
Has anyone heard Katarina Dalayman sing?

I heard her singing Marietta"s Lied from Die tote Stadt last night on the 2nd Cd, 19th track, of the sampler Cd that comes with the 762-page book from Opera A - Z from Naxos that I posted yesterday.  Her voice gorgeous!  She hits the high notes without the slightest strain.

Does anyone know if she has recorded other Cd's?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on November 08, 2007, 07:57:07 AM
Has anyone heard Katerina Dalayman sing?

Does anyone know if she has recorded other Cd's?

In addition to a complete Die tote Stadt , she's also recorded Marie in Wozzeck for Naxos.

The only recording of hers I have is as Brangäne on the Met DVD of Tristan und Isolde.  Next season at the Met, she's supposed to sing Isolde.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 08, 2007, 05:18:27 PM
In addition to a complete Die tote Stadt , she's also recorded Marie in Wozzeck for Naxos.

The only recording of hers I have is as Brangäne on the Met DVD of Tristan und Isolde.  Next season at the Met, she's supposed to sing Isolde.



Thanks, Wendell.  I have the Met Tristan and enjoyed listening to it this afternoon thanks to your reminder.  Much appreciated
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on November 10, 2007, 10:25:27 AM
Thanks, Wendell.  I have the Met Tristan and enjoyed listening to it this afternoon thanks to your reminder.  Much appreciated

Speaking of Dalayman CBC Radio 2 (http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/) just started a broadcast of Shostakovich's Katerina Ismailova from the Théâtre du Chatelet, with Dalayman in the title role.  I would have mentioned it earlier, but the CBC website lists Solveig Kringelborn, but the announcer just said Dalayman.

It starts at 1:00 p.m. for each time zone covered by the CBC, so you listen to the broadcasts that begin later here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/mediaPlayer.html?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 10, 2007, 03:15:00 PM
Thanks, Wendell.  I went to a children's performance of a ballet (Christmas Carol) this afternoon.  (They used a beautiful recording of Schubert's Unfinished Sym. for some of the music.)  Consequently, I did not read your note until now.

The Naxos Cd's of Die tote Stadt with K. Dalayman and Thomas Sunnegardh arrived today.  Leif Segerstam conducts the Royal Swedish Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

I can't believe it.  The recording does not have a libretto, only a summary.  Grrr!

If you hear of her singing anywhere else, will you please tell me?

PS.  I have the Met's Tristan you mentioned and listened yesterday.  With Eaglen, Heppner, Dalayman, and Pape, it was a wonderful vocal performance.  I may just put it on Cd.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on November 10, 2007, 11:33:19 PM
The Naxos Cd's of Die tote Stadt with K. Dalayman and Thomas Sunnegardh arrived today.  Leif Segerstam conducts the Royal Swedish Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

I can't believe it.  The recording does not have a libretto, only a summary.  Grrr!

As a compensation, though, the performance and recording are more than satisfactory. Some minor cuts, but Segerstam conducts with impressive feel for the music and the protagonists sing beautifully.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 11, 2007, 08:05:31 AM
As a compensation, though, the performance and recording are more than satisfactory. Some minor cuts, but Segerstam conducts with impressive feel for the music and the protagonists sing beautifully.

I agree with you so much regarding the conducting and the beautiful singing.  Before, after watching part of a DVD of this work, I had decided this opera was not for me but the Naxos performance is so beautiful that it will be easy to like.  What a difference another performance makes!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: longears on November 11, 2007, 08:24:28 AM
I agree with you so much regarding the conducting and the beautiful singing.  Before, after watching part of a DVD of this work, I had decided this opera was not for me but the Naxos performance is so beautiful that it will be easy to like.  What a difference another performance makes!
Who is the dancer in your new avatar, Anne?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 11, 2007, 08:44:24 AM
Who is the dancer in your new avatar, Anne?

Her name is Darcey Bussell.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 16, 2007, 04:15:25 PM


  I spent the early evening watching this:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514VCBMBS8L._SS500_.jpg)

  A solid cast in a very convincing production of this often neglected Verdi opera.  Most impressive were the singers who were in top form (Domingo who never ceases to impress me, Kiri Te Kanawa and the big surprise Vladimir Chernov  :D)  This is the first DVD that I have seen with Vladimir Chernov who delivers an impressive performance as Simon Boccanegra, at times he overshadowed Domingo  :o with his acting and presence on stage.  The set design (especially the first Scene in Act 1) is as lavish as you would expect from the MET, no modern adaptations here.  Much like Wagner's Rienzi, Simon Boccanegra is a political opera  with a hair-raising plot and has its very dark moments, this Met production succeeds in presenting a gripping performance of this Verdi opera...in brief this one's a keeper!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 18, 2007, 03:28:51 AM


  Opera fans has anybody seen this recording?

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B22VZD9DL._SS500_.jpg)

  I have no DVD recordings with Pavarotti in them but I am tempted to get this one, any ideas?

  marvin
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on November 18, 2007, 03:54:29 AM
I would not bother unless it is going cheap/free.  I got it on pirate disc a few weeks back and it is pretty poor.  Pavarotti had no voice for Manrico and he looks like a blimp with a sword.  Marton is in squally voice.
Typical stand and deliver old met stuff.  The staircase set is horrible and the whole thing is just a mess.

I wonder what people think about the other Simon Boccanegra DVDs available.  I used to own the VHS of the Glyndebourne production and i quite liked it. What about the Mattila set or the new one with Hampson as Simon??
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on November 18, 2007, 06:20:54 AM
I have no DVD recordings with Pavarotti in them but I am tempted to get this one, any ideas? 

I don't own that one, but I have and enjoy the EMI/Don Carlos, despite many not enjoying it. You will be pleased to know that the sets and costumes are rather lavish :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 18, 2007, 08:06:23 AM
I would not bother unless it is going cheap/free.  I got it on pirate disc a few weeks back and it is pretty poor.  Pavarotti had no voice for Manrico and he looks like a blimp with a sword.  Marton is in squally voice.
Typical stand and deliver old met stuff.  The staircase set is horrible and the whole thing is just a mess.

I wonder what people think about the other Simon Boccanegra DVDs available.  I used to own the VHS of the Glyndebourne production and i quite liked it. What about the Mattila set or the new one with Hampson as Simon??

  Oh dear thanks for the feedback- another must miss then  :-\.  Lethe, which DVD recording of Il Trovatore would you recommend? 

  marvin

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on November 18, 2007, 08:25:20 AM
Lethe, which DVD recording of Il Trovatore would you recommend?

Don't have one yet :( I have been waiting for a promising looking "normal" staging before going for this updated one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Verdi-Il-Trovatore-Robert-Carsen/dp/B000TLWG7K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1195402959&sr=1-2), but have yet to encounter one with reviews that really grab me. The nearest I have found so far is this one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trovatore-Vienna-State-Orchestra-Choir/dp/B00030ESA0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1195402959&sr=1-1),* but something is holding me back from ordering it.

Edit: * Holy hell, the price of that thing? I suppose it's already out of print.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on November 18, 2007, 08:52:33 AM
which DVD recording of Il Trovatore would you recommend? 

Definitely not the one with Pavarotti...


The best:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VYX7NJVSL._SS500_.jpg)


A second choice:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QK8CHKGRL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 18, 2007, 09:52:34 AM
I've never been able to get into opera by listening to it, but I saw a televised broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera and liked it a lot.  I would like to get an opera DVD, but don't know where to start.  What is a good DVD to begin with?  I think I'd like to start with Wagner, unless that's a bad place to start.  Here are some thoughts on what I am looking for:

1.  Relatively recent production (nothing "historical").
2.  No movie adaptations, I want to see the actual opera performed.
3.  Sung in the original language.
4.  Subtitled.

Thanks in advance for you help.   :)   
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on November 18, 2007, 09:57:58 AM
How recent is recent? As there aren't very many video recordings from before the 70s, and they generally became common during the 80s. The picture quality is notably inferior to recent producions (and not widescreen), but I've yet to encounter one that is any less than very servicable... Picture quality made a marked improvement in the 00s, if this is what you mean?

Other than that, I am the last person to begin recommending Wagner DVDs, given how little I own :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 18, 2007, 10:05:38 AM
How recent is recent? As there aren't very many video recordings from before the 70s, and they generally became common during the 80s. The picture quality is notably inferior to recent producions (and not widescreen), but I've yet to encounter one that is any less than very servicable... Picture quality made a marked improvement in the 00s, if this is what you mean?

Other than that, I am the last person to begin recommending Wagner DVDs, given how little I own :)

See, that shows how little I know about opera DVDs, I figured video recordings would have gone back to the 1950s.  :D The 1980s would be fine. 

As for Wagner, I'm really open to any composer, but if I had to choose one blindly, I would begin looking at Wagner.  I've always wanted to experience his operas, but don't really appreciate audio recordings.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on November 18, 2007, 10:13:55 AM
I would definitely go with a recent production (at least initially) if you have a widescreen TV, as seeing my first one really blew me away :D and it will be good to see the best your equipment can do for a good introduction. This (http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Boheme-Aquiles-Machado/dp/B000ICLHOI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1195409292&sr=1-2) is a very impressive recent production, both in picture quality, singing and (hugely impressive) set design.

As for Wagner, I assume Uffeviking and T-C will be more helpful, but after looking into visual styles of the productions, I chose the Boulez/DG set and have been satisfied with it. It's not too far gone into post-apocalyptic territory, but is also a refreshing step away from very literal stagings.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 18, 2007, 10:17:05 AM
Don't have one yet :( I have been waiting for a promising looking "normal" staging before going for this updated one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Verdi-Il-Trovatore-Robert-Carsen/dp/B000TLWG7K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1195402959&sr=1-2), but have yet to encounter one with reviews that really grab me. The nearest I have found so far is this one (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trovatore-Vienna-State-Orchestra-Choir/dp/B00030ESA0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1195402959&sr=1-1),* but something is holding me back from ordering it.

Edit: * Holy hell, the price of that thing? I suppose it's already out of print.

    Yes a GREAT recording of Il Trovatore (I use the word GREAT subjectively) is hard to come by.  I have seen that Karajan one at HMV Oxford Street for £30- wait a while on amazon and perhaps the price would get slashed.  I have one problem with the Karajan though, it looks to be an old recording albeit the quintessential choice in terms of singers (Domingo I read is in his prime here).  I was leaning towards this as a compromise between cast, stage design and picture quality:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518EBG827TL._SS500_.jpg) 

  I posted a query about this Il Trovatore a long time ago on this thread I believe but got no response.
 
  But now I am intrigued by T.C.'s second choice recommendation with Jose Cura!  Lethe it might be worth checking this one out as well.

   Incidentally that modern adaptation of Il Trovatore that you provided a link for has been reviewed by Lis and I believe she liked it very much! 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 18, 2007, 10:42:06 AM
I'm a poor one to recommend a Trovatore.  Just as Tsaraslondon likes Callas so much, I am the same way about Pavarotti.  Thus I have the Met performance with Pav and enjoy it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 18, 2007, 10:47:38 AM
I've never been able to get into opera by listening to it, but I saw a televised broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera and liked it a lot.  I would like to get an opera DVD, but don't know where to start.  What is a good DVD to begin with?  I think I'd like to start with Wagner, unless that's a bad place to start.  Here are some thoughts on what I am looking for:

1.  Relatively recent production (nothing "historical").
2.  No movie adaptations, I want to see the actual opera performed.
3.  Sung in the original language.
4.  Subtitled.

Thanks in advance for you help.   :)   


  If you want to start with Wagner (a composer whose operas are very dear to my heart) I would like to recommend this recording:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KS2QACPPL._SS500_.jpg)

    Lethe is right however,  Lis and T.C. are out most knowledgeable opera DVD members and I am sure they will be better able to guide you with Wagner's other DVD operas.

  marvin

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 18, 2007, 10:50:55 AM
I.m a poor one to recommend a Trovatore.  Just as Tsarslondon likes Callas so much, I an the same way about Pavarotti.  Thus I have the Met performance with Pav and enjoy it.

  Anne your opinion is always welcome  :). 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 18, 2007, 05:10:46 PM
  Anne your opinion is always welcome  :). 

  marvin

Thanks, Marv. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on November 19, 2007, 03:24:58 PM
I've never been able to get into opera by listening to it, but I saw a televised broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera and liked it a lot.  I would like to get an opera DVD, but don't know where to start.  What is a good DVD to begin with?  I think I'd like to start with Wagner, unless that's a bad place to start.  Here are some thoughts on what I am looking for:

1.  Relatively recent production (nothing "historical").
2.  No movie adaptations, I want to see the actual opera performed.
3.  Sung in the original language.
4.  Subtitled.

Thanks in advance for you help.   :)   


This one is very good.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NKJ4VY0RL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 20, 2007, 08:01:21 AM
Thanks for the DVD recommendations.   :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on November 22, 2007, 06:38:05 AM
Christmas is coming!!!  Relatives are asking me what I want, and I'd like to suggest they give me Opera-on-DVD.

My current collection is minute, so I'm very much interesting in getting some of the popular staples.  In particular any of the following:

I'd love to hear recommendations on any of these from you erudite aficianados.  My priorities are these:

Any and all suggestions welcome.

(Happy Thanksgiving to U.S. members  :D)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 22, 2007, 08:11:58 AM
Christmas is coming!!!  Relatives are asking me what I want, and I'd like to suggest they give me Opera-on-DVD.

My currently collection is minute, so I'm very much interesting in getting some of the popular staples.  In particular any of the following:
  • MOZART:  Don Giovanni
  • MOZART:  Marriage of Figaro
  • PUCCINI:  La Boheme
  • PUCCINI:  Madame Butterfly
  • STRAUSS:  Der Rosenkavalier
  • WAGNER:  Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg

I'd love to hear recommendations on any of these from you erudite aficianados.  My priorities are these:
  • Music and singing (... dah!)
  • Acting and production
  • Sound, ideally 5.1 multi-channel;  (I'm an audiophile ... so bite me >:D)

Any and all suggestions welcome.

(Happy Thanksgiving to U.S. members  :D)


For Madama Butterfly I recommend Mirella Freni with von Karajan conducting
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 22, 2007, 02:52:56 PM
Christmas is coming!!!  Relatives are asking me what I want, and I'd like to suggest they give me Opera-on-DVD.

My currently collection is minute, so I'm very much interesting in getting some of the popular staples.  In particular any of the following:
  • MOZART:  Don Giovanni
  • MOZART:  Marriage of Figaro
  • PUCCINI:  La Boheme
  • PUCCINI:  Madame Butterfly
  • STRAUSS:  Der Rosenkavalier
  • WAGNER:  Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg

I'd love to hear recommendations on any of these from you erudite aficianados.  My priorities are these:
  • Music and singing (... dah!)
  • Acting and production
  • Sound, ideally 5.1 multi-channel;  (I'm an audiophile ... so bite me >:D)

Any and all suggestions welcome.

(Happy Thanksgiving to U.S. members  :D)


  Feanor:

  For Wagner's Meistersingers, I  definitely recommend the MET Levine production.  This has got to be one of my all time favorite productions (I have recommended it so many times on so many threads)- I don't know what it is but the chemistry between the singers, Levine's conducting, the stage design the costumes all come together so perfectly its unbelieveable- pure magic!

  For Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, Lethe and I along with Bruce I think, had a long discussion over which Kleiber DVD to get and like Lethe I settled for the Munich production.  You definitely want one of the Kleiber DVDs as this Strauss opera is very much in Kleiber's blood.

  Hope this helps...

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on November 22, 2007, 04:58:24 PM
  Feanor:

  For Wagner's Meistersingers, I  definitely recommend the MET Levine production.  This has got to be one of my all time favorite productions (I have recommended it so many times on so many threads)- I don't know what it is but the chemistry between the singers, Levine's conducting, the stage design the costumes all come together so perfectly its unbelieveable- pure magic!

  For Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier, Lethe and I along with Bruce I think, had a long discussion over which Kleiber DVD to get and like Lethe I settled for the Munich production.  You definitely want one of the Kleiber DVDs as this Strauss opera is very much in Kleiber's blood.

  Hope this helps...

  marvin

Thanks indeed, Marvin!!

That helps a lot.  I'll definitely go with the Levine/Met for Meistersinger.  As for Rosenkavalier, I can't seem to locate the Kleiber/Munich copy.  How about the Klieber/Bavarian State, below ???

Also, thanks to Anne for her suggestion for Madama Butterfly.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on November 22, 2007, 05:03:44 PM
As for Rosenkavalier, I can't seem to locate the Kleiber/Munich copy.  How about the Klieber/Bavarian State, below ???

That's the one - it's the theatre that is in Munich. I've recommended it, I think twice within the past few weeks, so it seems overkill (:P), but this (http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Boheme-Aquiles-Machado/dp/B000ICLHOI) is a very good modern Bohème.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 22, 2007, 05:08:50 PM
feanor,

I just noticed I had not spelled the conductor's name correctly.  I corrected it.  Hope it did not cause you any trouble.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on November 22, 2007, 06:12:08 PM
feanor,

I just noticed I had not spelled the conductor's name correctly.  I corrected it.  Hope it did not cause you any trouble.

No prob!!  :)  I found it with no difficulty.  Thanks a lot ...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 23, 2007, 02:38:24 AM
Thanks indeed, Marvin!!

That helps a lot.  I'll definitely go with the Levine/Met for Meistersinger.  As for Rosenkavalier, I can't seem to locate the Kleiber/Munich copy.  How about the Klieber/Bavarian State, below ???

Also, thanks to Anne for her suggestion for Madama Butterfly.


  That Klieber/Bavarian State you posted below is  the one I was refering to- for some reason we kept calling it the Munich DVD recording. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on November 23, 2007, 03:49:02 AM
These are my opinions:

1. Don Giovanni - get the Glyndebourne one.  I enjoyed it very much. A modern production with very good singing, controversial setting. Cast: Gilles Cachemaille, Steven Page, Hillevi Martinpelto, and Adrianne Pieczonka.  There have been plenty more since this 2000 release but i always turn back to this one.

2.  Der Rosenkavalier - the Zurich DVD with Nina Stemme, and Kasarova.  Conductor is Welser-Most.  Modern production, excellent singing.

3. La Boheme.  Either the Australian one with Hobson and Barker.  Nice production with a young cast.  Very touching.  Or the Marcello Alvarez (la scala) production. Cristina Gallardo-Domas is Mimi.  I like to be moved with the great arias and neither of these 2 disappoints.

4. Le nozze di Figaro - either the Berlin/Barenboim DVD or the Bel Air Classique DVD with Annette Dasch and Pietro Spagnoli.  Renee Jacobs conducts this production from Paris.  I find these 2 similar in production.

5.  Madame Butterfly - no out right winner here but i would recommend the Mitterand Film with Ying Huang, Richard Troxell as Butterly and Pinkerton.  I really have not seen anything better than this on DVD -yet.

You have picked some great operas for your 'wish list'. I am sure there will be plenty of debate!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on November 23, 2007, 04:56:35 AM
These are my opinions:

1. Don Giovanni - get the Glyndebourne one.  I enjoyed it very much. A modern production with very good singing, controversial setting. Cast: Gilles Cachemaille, Steven Page, Hillevi Martinpelto, and Adrianne Pieczonka.  There have been plenty more since this 2000 release but i always turn back to this one.

2.  Der Rosenkavalier - the Zurich DVD with Nina Stemme, and Kasarova.  Conductor is Welser-Most.  Modern production, excellent singing.

3. La Boheme.  Either the Australian one with Hobson and Barker.  Nice production with a young cast.  Very touching.  Or the Marcello Alvarez (la scala) production. Cristina Gallardo-Domas is Mimi.  I like to be moved with the great arias and neither of these 2 disappoints.

4. Le nozze di Figaro - either the Berlin/Barenboim DVD or the Bel Air Classique DVD with Annette Dasch and Pietro Spagnoli.  Renee Jacobs conducts this production from Paris.  I find these 2 similar in production.

5.  Madame Butterfly - no out right winner here but i would recommend the Mitterand Film with Ying Huang, Richard Troxell as Butterly and Pinkerton.  I really have not seen anything better than this on DVD -yet.

You have picked some great operas for your 'wish list'. I am sure there will be plenty of debate!

Wow!! Thanks a lot;  that's great coverage.

I will consider your suggestions very carerfully.  A small caveat is that my elderly mother will be giving me at least one of my choices, and will be watching all of them with me.  On account of that, I would prefer to avoid the more far-fetched productions that are out there.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on November 23, 2007, 06:18:10 AM
Only the Don Giovanni might cause offense.  The others are modern productions but in good taste.  I have one or two 'old Met' productions and to be honest i get bored of the stand and deliver fat singer style where they have big ego's, big shoulderpads and even bigger waistlines.

Give me Eurotrash anyday!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 23, 2007, 06:22:36 AM
Only the Don Giovanni might cause offense.  The others are modern productions but in good taste.  I have one or two 'old Met' productions and to be honest i get bored of the stand and deliver fat singer style where they have big ego's, big shoulderpads and even bigger waistlines.

Give me Eurotrash anyday!

  Everything in moderation Yashin....everything in moderation  $:). 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on November 23, 2007, 07:23:09 AM
Please, can't we have just one, a singularly beautiful opera DVD I wrote about but has been ignored: Michael Tippet's King Priam from the Kent Opera with Roger Norrington conducting a stellar star, stars in singing and acting and not one big waistline in sight!  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 23, 2007, 07:27:46 AM
  If you want to start with Wagner (a composer whose operas are very dear to my heart) I would like to recommend this recording:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KS2QACPPL._SS500_.jpg)

I've decided to put this one on my Christmas wish list.  :)

EDIT:  I forgot to mention, the other recommendations kindly provided have been added to my Amazon.com wishlist for use at a later date.  I decided to only ask for one opera DVD for Christmas to ease into the genre.   :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on November 23, 2007, 12:43:22 PM
So delighted we are back to the fat waistlines! Heppner's that is.  ::)

He can't even sing, misses one high not after the other. Sheeeeesh!  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 23, 2007, 12:49:02 PM
So delighted we are back to the fat waistlines! Heppner's that is.  ::)

He can't even sing, misses one high not after the other. Sheeeeesh!  ::)

Do you have a better recommendation in response to my inquiry (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,116.msg109477.html#msg109477)?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on November 23, 2007, 02:03:39 PM
We have had page after page of discussions on this subject, but to make it easy, without having to scroll - and of course to keep our dear marvinbrown happy,  :-* - try this one. It's as historical as they come, a tenor who can sing like an angel, and looks like the knight he plays: Siegfried Jerusalem, in one of his very early Wagner performances:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=135855&album_group=2

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 23, 2007, 02:22:07 PM
We have had page after page of discussions on this subject, but to make it easy, without having to scroll - and of course to keep our dear marvinbrown happy,  :-* - try this one. It's as historical as they come, a tenor who can sing like an angel, and looks like the knight he plays: Siegfried Jerusalem, in one of his very early Wagner performances:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=135855&album_group=2



  No worries Lis I always welcome a difference of opinion  :).  So long as Keemun ends up with just one Die Meistersinger (whichever one Keemun decides to get is Keemun's choice)  I am happy  :).  We need more Wagner fans in GMG, and as I always say .....the more the merrier.  Finally, I suppose Lis is right Heppner is well,  "rotund" to say the least....... but I love him anyway.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on November 23, 2007, 05:02:37 PM
What about the L'amour des trois Oranges- is this a good opera?  Have seen the DVDs recently-think there are now 3 on the market.  The Amsterdam one on Opus Arte, the new TDK one from Paris and the even newer (released yet?) Bel Air classique one from Aix. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on November 24, 2007, 10:28:15 AM
We have had page after page of discussions on this subject, but to make it easy, without having to scroll - and of course to keep our dear marvinbrown happy,  :-* - try this one. It's as historical as they come, a tenor who can sing like an angel, and looks like the knight he plays: Siegfried Jerusalem, in one of his very early Wagner performances:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=135855&album_group=2

Thanks, I'll check that one out.  Maybe it will end up on my Christmas list instead.   :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on November 28, 2007, 06:51:32 AM
The other evening. Mamochka and I watched Katerina Izmailova (the 1966 Lenfilm with Vishnevskaya both singing and acting the title role).  It was my second pass through this one, in a slowburn project to get to know both the revised version and the original.  What I might have predicted if I had given it thought:   the Leskov novella is a classic, of course, so Mom's immediate impressions through the course of the opera, were a matter of disappointment at how the opera simplified the story, and 'washed out' much that is beautiful (and illuminative of various characters) in the novella.  I don't think that is 'permanent' (though it will be a while before I could watch it again with Mom, she would feel that her patience is being tried);  and in all events, she also expressed appreciation for the music, as a fine artistic statement more important than the loss suffered by the literary source.

The Decca DVD also has two musical numbers from Moskva: Cheryomushki, and that tickled Mom no end -- it's a light entertainment she's known from girlhood, and she never suspected that the music was by Shostakovich.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: The new erato on November 28, 2007, 11:34:54 AM
Recently watched Hundemiths Cardillac with Nagano/Paris opera. Outstanding staging, very good acting, superb music - very believable stuff - go for it!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on November 28, 2007, 01:18:35 PM
Hundemiths Cardillac

Not to pounce on an innocent typo (though this one's a dog) . . . one of the fun pages in the leaflet for the DG reissue of the Berliner Philharmoniker recordings conducted by Hindemith himself, is one page of facsimile from a notebook he kept of various misspellings of his name  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: The new erato on November 28, 2007, 01:28:31 PM
Hindemith bist kein Hund! In fact I have a really soft spot for his music.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on November 28, 2007, 01:38:06 PM
Is there aught in addition to Cardillac on that DVD? This opera is one of my more annoying Hindemith lacunae . . . .
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: The new erato on November 28, 2007, 02:20:27 PM
Is there aught in addition to Cardillac on that DVD? This opera is one of my more annoying Hindemith lacunae . . . .
A 50 min documentary on the background to Cardillac, which I haven't seen, but plan to,
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on March 27, 2008, 07:29:28 PM
Am bumping this one up.

Anyone bought anything good recently? Seems like a flurry of good looking DVDs out now.

Am shopping for some this weekend and hope to find somthing nice.  Any opinion on these?

The Tristan und Isolde with Nina Stemme from Glyndebourne.  I loved her in Rosenkavalier but she left me cold in Aida.  Any good as Isolde? I really enjoy the Armin Jordan/Oliver Py production on DVD with Charbonnet as Isolde so i am not sure i need to replace it

Wozzeck from Liceu with Angela Denoke.  Have seen some mixed reviews from excellent to rubbish.  I really love this opera. Since there are not many available on DVD i am looking for something good.  I adore Denoke too. I used to have the Barenboim video from Paris with Grundheber and i loved it-this would be my first choice on DVD.  I did pick up the DVD with Dale Duesing as Wozzeck.

Hansel und Gretel - never seen this opera.  I have a cd version with Runniclecs conducting.  I am looking at the DVD from Dresden on the Euroarts label.

Finally, another opera i have never seen or heard is Ariadne auf naxos with Emily Magee and Elena Mosuc. I have read great reviews of this.

Opinions on these would be great.  Or have you bought anything terrific recenltly on DVD?


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on March 30, 2008, 05:58:30 PM
yashin,

I like the Solti Hansel und Gretel very much.  In the middle of the story the children are lost in the woods.  Angels come down from heaven to surround them and keep them safe until morning.  The music for this scene is so beautiful!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on March 30, 2008, 06:47:33 PM
Yashin, I have almost given up looking for any further Tristan und Isolde after I watched the Olivier Py production. What a colossal work! All the symbolism he gives us to think about and try to fathom; a work keeping an inquiring mind busy for a long time.

To really stir the pot here: Do you agree with the possibility hinted at by Py, of König Marke and Tristan being gay partners? And of course all the following implications of jealousy and so on?  ???
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: stridonolassu on March 30, 2008, 08:58:40 PM
Re: L'Amour des Trois Oranges.  I highly recommend the Opus Arte release from Amsterdam.  I am a fan of Pelly's creative productions, and this one is not just quite beautiful to look at but very impressive.  Excellent singing/acting/conducting, and as usual with Opus Arte the (video/sound) quality is of the highest order.  I'm sure even those who don't know or are not very familiar with Prokofiev's score would enjoy it.  I have not yet watched the newest TDK or BelAir releases but I'm looking forward to them, they have a tough act to follow.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on March 31, 2008, 05:33:28 AM
Yashin, I have almost given up looking for any further Tristan und Isolde after I watched the Olivier Py production. What a colossal work! All the symbolism he gives us to think about and try to fathom; a work keeping an inquiring mind busy for a long time.

To really stir the pot here: Do you agree with the possibility hinted at by Py, of König Marke and Tristan being gay partners? And of course all the following implications of jealousy and so on?  ???

  King Mark and Tristan gay partners  :o!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on April 03, 2008, 01:07:49 AM
I managed to get the Polaski/Treleaven DVD of Tristan from Liceu on the Opus Arte Label.

I would agree with you about the Belair classique label DVDs -i usually find them first rate, cutting edge productions and i can't think of one which i don't like.  Indeed the La Traviata with Mirelle Delunsche is one of my favourites.  The Tristan und Isolde directed by Oliver Py is terrific in my opinion.  It is interesting to compare it with the Opus Arte DVD which is played much slower by De Billy.  I quite like the Opus Arte DVD but it is not better than the Oliver Py production.

I also managed to get the Lohengrin from Dresden with Treleaven and De Vol and Emily Magee.  I like this updated version into the classroom.  Much better than the Domingo DVD with Abbado conducting a traditional production.

King Mark and Tristan gay lovers.....what a thought....i will have to re-run through the Oliver Py interview.  One thing i would note about the Belair classique/Oliver Py DVD is the terrific info in the booklet about the directors thoughts on the opera....very informative.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 03, 2008, 02:27:40 AM
I managed to get the Polaski/Treleaven DVD of Tristan from Liceu on the Opus Arte Label.



  Hi Yashin,  I have seen bits and pieces of the Polaski/Treleaven DVD of Tristan.  I liked the set design of Act 1 (the foredeck of a ship) very much. With those moving splayed walls you get the sense that you really are on a ship!!  Also Polaski is wonderful as Isolde.  However from what I can remember I found the set design for Act 2 rather silly if not annoying!  I never got around to seeing Act 3 so I can not comment.  I would be very interested in hearing your reactions to this recording.  Please write a review if you get a chance. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 03, 2008, 04:00:19 PM
Die Meistersinger (Wagner)

The Bayreuth dvd featuring Weikl and Jerusalem.

I'm only familiar with the old Solti recording of this opera, so please keep this in mind if I seem to be raving a bit.

Just got done watching and hearing the first act, and I am very happy and inspired. The singer whom plays David in the opera is often fantastic, his control of tone and breath control can be extremely impressive. Jerusalem sounds quite good here as well; it seems like this opera was filmed shortly after his performance on the Stein Parsifal dvd. At this point (as on the aforementioned dvd) he sounds very very good...if not great. The slight hoarse quality of his voice on the later Levine Ring dvd is not in evidence here.

I can understand what fltraverso meant when writing about bang bang Wagner getting a bit tiring (I'm paraphrasing so forgive me, Fang). And this dvd (at least so far) has a lot of bang. But the sound is tremendous, the singers overall better than good, and I'm not only greatly enjoying this opera (first time seeing it) but looking forward to checking out the other two dvds mentioned here of it.

This is overall an exhilirating first act, at least for me!

Okay, onto the second!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on April 07, 2008, 02:42:06 AM
Die Meistersinger (Wagner)

The Bayreuth dvd featuring Weikl and Jerusalem.
...

Wonderful -- and great 5.1 channel sound to boot  :D

My DVD opera collection is small as yet, but this is my favourite production by a wide measure so far.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Keemun on April 07, 2008, 06:04:49 AM
This weekend I finally watched this DVD which was recommended on this thread (Lethe I think):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XYQ73QF7L._SS500_.jpg)

It was the first opera I watched in its entirety and it was great.  Next I want to watch one of the Wagner operas recommended here.  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on April 07, 2008, 07:18:53 AM
Wonderful -- and great 5.1 channel sound to boot  :D

My DVD opera collection is small as yet, but this is my favourite production by a wide measure so far.




Acts II and III were very good as well. The Finale was absolutely fantastic. Again I use the word "exhilirating".
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 07, 2008, 07:25:33 AM
It was the first opera I watched in its entirety and it was great.

Splendid!  I still have a soft spot for La bohème, way back in high school we sang the chorus in a concert performance.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on April 07, 2008, 08:16:30 PM
Wozzeck from Liceu with Angela Denoke.  Have seen some mixed reviews from excellent to rubbish.  I really love this opera. Since there are not many available on DVD i am looking for something good.  I adore Denoke too. I used to have the Barenboim video from Paris with Grundheber and i loved it-this would be my first choice on DVD.  I did pick up the DVD with Dale Duesing as Wozzeck.

Extended scenes in which the backdrop is a projected image of a cadaver being dissected, lots of scenes with nude extras portraying dead bodies being tossed around the stage.  One character seems to be dressed as Elvis.  You can decide if that sounds intriguing.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 07, 2008, 10:56:37 PM
It is important to know that the above mentioned production is directed by Calixto Bieito!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on April 08, 2008, 06:50:57 AM
I have now watched the Polaski/Treleavan DVD from Liceu on Opus Arte label. 

I must admit i prefer the Oliver Py production on the BelAir Classique label with Charbonnet and Forbis. I think the sound and visual experience is somewhat better.

However, i enjoy both Treleavan and Polaski as i did in the Liceu Ring cycle.  Polaski is tireless and i love the ending of the opera. To my mind it seems to be played a lot slower than other versions i have heard.  I must admit to liking John Treleaven.  I know he has many critics and to be honest i don't have the knowedge to compare him to other performers of the past but i have to acknowledge his work.  What strikes me at the end is the good rapport between him and Polaski.

The act 1 and 3 sets are quite stark but act 2 which someone asked about was a little unusual.  It comes across as a patch of straw/hay/grass with a ladder attached.  Not much good.  I prefer the sliding set of the Oliver Py production.  The ending of this opera is very 'modest' and more beautiful for it-i felt myself holding breath as Polaski sang.  De Billy's conducting is fine but slow...i seem to feel that Armin Jordan's interpretation is better.

I would recommend it though as another different interpretation of this opera.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on April 08, 2008, 09:23:13 AM

The act 1 and 3 sets are quite stark but act 2 which someone asked about was a little unusual.  It comes across as a patch of straw/hay/grass with a ladder attached.  Not much good.  I prefer the sliding set of the Oliver Py production.  The ending of this opera is very 'modest' and more beautiful for it-i felt myself holding breath as Polaski sang.  De Billy's conducting is fine but slow...i seem to feel that Armin Jordan's interpretation is better.

I would recommend it though as another different interpretation of this opera.

  I was that someone Yashin.  Thank you for posting your review.  I was a bit put off by the staging of ACT 2.  They could have been more imaginative than than that patch of grass.  Polaski performance more than makes up for it if you ask me.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Sarastro on April 08, 2008, 09:12:45 PM
A second choice:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QK8CHKGRL._SS500_.jpg)


I wonder how one can recommend this recording to a newbie.
Though being a good singer in the beginning of the nineties, he has lost all his technique and sense of music for the last decade. His vocalizing is more likely to be moaning, screaming, shouting, rattling, syllabizing, etc. Surely, not singing. After that DVD one would hate opera forever. And a free add on there is Hvorostosky.
No acting, actually: neither musical, nor on stage...
The one with Pavarotti would be a better choice, comparing to this...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on April 08, 2008, 10:19:15 PM
The one with Pavarotti would be a better choice, comparing to this...

Pavarotti a superior Manrico? Not in my book…

Cura is not ideal, but for my taste he is better suited for this role than Pavarotti.

Unfortunately, there are almost no excellent DVD versions for Il Trovatore. The best is the Karajan. For my taste, the Met DVD with Pavarotti is inadvisable.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: The new erato on April 08, 2008, 10:26:44 PM
Just bought the new Boulez From the House of the dead and am looking forward to watching it this weekend. Strong recommendation from musicweb.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on April 08, 2008, 10:34:38 PM
Just bought the new Boulez From the House of the dead and am looking forward to watching it this weekend.

This DVD is a KNOCKOUT !!!
   
The best opera DVD I watched lately.

(http://operachic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/15/janacek.jpg)

I presume, Sarastro will have another opinion…  ;D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on April 09, 2008, 06:26:13 AM
I must admit that the best DVD i have had in ages is still the new Die Zauberflote with Harnoncourt conducting and Strehl as Tamino-i love his voice.  Ruben Drole is excellent as Papageno and Elena Mosuc is a great Queen of the night.

A very modern setting.  It zips along.  Makes great sense and adds a new twist.  What more could you want?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 13, 2008, 10:23:30 AM


Wozzeck from Liceu with Angela Denoke.  Have seen some mixed reviews from excellent to rubbish.  I really love this opera. Since there are not many available on DVD i am looking for something good.  I adore Denoke too. I used to have the Barenboim video from Paris with Grundheber and i loved it-this would be my first choice on DVD.  I did pick up the DVD with Dale Duesing as Wozzeck.


Here is the latest on the Paris Wozzeck which Nigel attended and wrote one of his brilliant reviews:

http://npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on April 13, 2008, 09:54:02 PM
I must admit i prefer the Oliver Py production on the BelAir Classique label with Charbonnet and Forbis. I think the sound and visual experience is somewhat better.

At this point the issue is moot.  As far as I can tell, the DVD is no longer available in the US.  Amazon has withdrawn it from their site and those sites that do list it seem to have it back ordered indefinitely.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on April 14, 2008, 01:13:47 AM
Caiman says they have one copy for almost 89 bucks:

All(1 to 1 of 1 offers sorted by : Price + Shipping) 
Price + Shipping Condition Seller Information Ready to buy?
$88.99
+ $2.98shipping
LOW ITEM PRICE
 New  Seller:  --caiman--
Rating:94% positive over the past 12 months (400096 ratings.) 1483533 lifetime ratings.
Shipping: In Stock. Ships from FL, United States Expedited shipping available International shipping available See shipping rates
Comments:   Brand new Item. CD, DVD, Book, VHS more than 400 000 titles to choose from. ALL days Low Price ! 

       
 

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on April 14, 2008, 05:33:49 AM

Yes, it is typical, when a title goes out of print sources that happen to have a copy on their shelves will raise their price dramatically since it is "collectable."  I also noticed that caiman is selling a copy of it for $45 on their "tower records site" even though they list it for almost $90 on Amazon marketplace.  (In any case, I don't have a serious interest in it at this point.)

Caiman says they have one copy for almost 89 bucks:

All(1 to 1 of 1 offers sorted by : Price + Shipping) 
Price + Shipping Condition Seller Information Ready to buy?
$88.99
+ $2.98shipping
LOW ITEM PRICE
 New  Seller:  --caiman--
Rating:94% positive over the past 12 months (400096 ratings.) 1483533 lifetime ratings.
Shipping: In Stock. Ships from FL, United States Expedited shipping available International shipping available See shipping rates
Comments:   Brand new Item. CD, DVD, Book, VHS more than 400 000 titles to choose from. ALL days Low Price ! 

       
 


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: The new erato on April 26, 2008, 12:58:10 AM
This DVD is a KNOCKOUT !!!
   
The best opera DVD I watched lately.

(http://operachic.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/15/janacek.jpg)


Yes it was. Just not the thing for anyone of the belief that opera is about lyrcism and song.

Of all operas, I think perhaps Janaceks later ones benefits the most from having the image available.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on May 03, 2008, 04:38:39 PM
I must admit that the best DVD i have had in ages is still the new Die Zauberflote with Harnoncourt conducting and Strehl as Tamino-i love his voice.  Ruben Drole is excellent as Papageno and Elena Mosuc is a great Queen of the night.

A very modern setting.  It zips along.  Makes great sense and adds a new twist.  What more could you want?

The modern setting doesn't thrill me.  I think the traditional fairy-tale scenario makes more sense, although this one doesn't put me off entirely.  My main complaint with set is the audio engineering.  The orchestra and stage action is very close miked, so that there is a total absence of any reverberation or hall ambience.  This really interferes with my enjoyment of it.  My favorite Zauberflote video by far is the Colin Davis DVD on Opus Arte.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 08, 2008, 05:58:09 AM


  Opera fans I just want to alert your attention to the following compilation which I recently saw.  I am not sure if this has been discussed before but I saw this "box set" of Puccini's 3 operas (La Boheme, Tosca and Madam Butterfly) on DVD at HMV for just £25  :o.  What do you think? 


  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jCW1KGHjL._SS500_.jpg)

  I have none of Puccini's operas on DVD.  Could this set be what we are all looking for??
 
  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 08, 2008, 07:58:31 AM
I recognise the Tosca and Butterfly stills, though I have not seen the former. As to the latter, it is a film by Ponnelle using a Karajan performance. Freni is Butterfly and Domingo is Pinkerton. It is famous and well thought of. I enjoyed it. It is not a live performance, it is a film.

I have no idea about the middle photo.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on May 08, 2008, 06:13:01 PM
I recognise the Tosca and Butterfly stills, though I have not seen the former. As to the latter, it is a film by Ponnelle using a Karajan performance. Freni is Butterfly and Domingo is Pinkerton. It is famous and well thought of. I enjoyed it. It is not a live performance, it is a film.

I have no idea about the middle photo.

Mike

The middle photo is another Karajan film, this time with Freni, Raimondi, La Scala in Boheme.  Again, they are all nicely done films with singers lip-syncing to a recording.  Traditional staging (no Eurotrash) but lacking the electricity of a live performance.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 09, 2008, 02:42:48 AM

  Thanks Mike and head-case for your responses. head-case can you please elaborate more on this lack of electricity criticism.  I hope you didn't get bored watching this opera movie of La Boheme did you??

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sTisTi on May 09, 2008, 05:59:50 AM
  Thanks Mike and head-case for your responses. head-case can you please elaborate more on this lack of electricity criticism.  I hope you didn't get bored watching this opera movie of La Boheme did you??
  marvin
I have not seen the performance, but some Amazon reviewers criticised that the lip-syncing is far from perfect. It seems to be quite out-of-sync sometimes  :-\
The stage setting is supposed to be really beautiful and atmospheric, though.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 09, 2008, 06:42:59 AM
I have not seen the performance, but some Amazon reviewers criticised that the lip-syncing is far from perfect. It seems to be quite out-of-sync sometimes  :-\


  Oh that's not good, that's not good at all, for me anyway.  I should think that I would be bothered by that. 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on May 09, 2008, 06:44:54 AM
  Oh that's not good, that's not good at all, for me anyway.  I should think that I would be bothered by that. 

  marvin


Yes, I was bothered by that when I checked out the previews to the Karajan Rheingold dvd. Probably not worth it for us.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: head-case on May 09, 2008, 02:16:57 PM

The fact that the singer is on the stage and in danger of being drowned out by a 100 piece orchestra lends a certain urgency to the undertaking, and explains the singing style.  When you are watching a film it is not obvious why the actor is screaming at the top of his or her lungs all the time.

These films at least have the advantage that the actors are the singers and can duplicate their authentic singing style.  I don't find the lip-syncing a problem. However, when actors are used instead of the original singers (such as that horrid Parisfal film) the result is generally trash.

To follow the tangent, I consider the Karajan Rheingold to be among the best opera on film I've ever seen.  The sound is much better than on the DG recording (it was done by EMI) and the staging is quite impressive.  Some of the acting is quite good (Fassbaender and Schrier, particularly).  A few of the special effects are a bit loopy, though (like the trapeze artist Rhinemaidens with their boobs hanging out) but generally it is impressive.  I woudl still prefer to see a film of a real Saltzberg festival performance. 

  Thanks Mike and head-case for your responses. head-case can you please elaborate more on this lack of electricity criticism.  I hope you didn't get bored watching this opera movie of La Boheme did you??

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on May 11, 2008, 03:50:15 AM
I honestly can't recommend the Puccini DVD set with Boheme, Butterfly and Tosca.

They now look very dated and whilst there is nothing wrong with the singing i hate the bad lip synching- it really distracts. There are films rather than staged performances and i just want something less traditional and more thought inducing

If you want a decent Tosca then get the one from Opus Arte with Dessi, Raimondi and Armilato. Very good singing and terrific acting.

For La Boheme i still think the one from Australia with Hobson and Barker is really nice.  Young leads singing their hearts out.  Or what about the DVD with Marcello Alvarez?

For butterfly it is much more difficult to recommend a really good one.  I am still waiting for one!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 11, 2008, 09:39:45 AM
I honestly can't recommend the Puccini DVD set with Boheme, Butterfly and Tosca.

They now look very dated and whilst there is nothing wrong with the singing i hate the bad lip synching- it really distracts. There are films rather than staged performances and i just want something less traditional and more thought inducing

If you want a decent Tosca then get the one from Opus Arte with Dessi, Raimondi and Armilato. Very good singing and terrific acting.

For La Boheme i still think the one from Australia with Hobson and Barker is really nice.  Young leads singing their hearts out.  Or what about the DVD with Marcello Alvarez?

For butterfly it is much more difficult to recommend a really good one.  I am still waiting for one!

  Thanks Yashin.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on May 11, 2008, 04:36:01 PM
Anyone seen this one yet? I'm interested in a first Lohengrin.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on May 12, 2008, 03:13:04 AM
How about the Euroarts DVD of Lohengrin with John Treleaven and Emily Magee set in a school classroom.  Am working my way through it and enjoying it so far....will let you know what i finally decide.

I really want a decent Parsifal and would like to get my hands on the Dynamic DVD from La Fenice with Decker and Soffel.  Anyone seen this one?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 05, 2008, 02:45:03 AM
Great news for all Ring Cycle lovers that the Copehagen Ring Cycle will be released on DVD mid July 2008 on Decca.  Web sites have it at 70 UK Pounds,  for the complete cycle...does not say about selling separates.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 05, 2008, 06:21:22 AM
How about the Euroarts DVD of Lohengrin with John Treleaven

How is Treleaven's singing? Hitting the right notes after he stops looking for them all over? And his acting? I have yet to see him in any production where he was barely acceptable.

There must be better Lohengrin's available, like the one with Siegfried Jerusalem, or Peter Hoffmann and of course with Placido Domingo.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 05, 2008, 07:33:26 AM
Great news for all Ring Cycle lovers that the Copehagen Ring Cycle will be released on DVD mid July 2008 on Decca.  Web sites have it at 70 UK Pounds,  for the complete cycle...does not say about selling separates.



  Yashin could you please if possible provide a link for that Copenhagen Ring Cycle? I did a quick search on amazon.co.uk and was not able to find it  :-\.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2008, 07:56:32 AM
  Yashin could you please if possible provide a link for that Copenhagen Ring Cycle? I did a quick search on amazon.co.uk and was not able to find it  :-\.

  marvin

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Copenhagen-Opera-Wagner-Ring-Nibelungen/dp/B0019LZ19O

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 05, 2008, 08:01:22 AM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Copenhagen-Opera-Wagner-Ring-Nibelungen/dp/B0019LZ19O



  Thanks Wendell_E  :).  I was hoping they would have an album cover on there to see what kind of production (modern, tranditional,) and what spin the opera director was going to have with this Ring production.  I guess I'll have to search the interenet for photos.

 marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2008, 08:18:35 AM
  Thanks Wendell_E  :).  I was hoping they would have an album cover on there to see what kind of production (modern, tranditional,) and what spin the opera director was going to have with this Ring production.  I guess I'll have to search the interenet for photos.

 marvin

There's a cover picture at this site:  http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com/
But it doesn't have a picture of the production on the cover.
You can see some pictures here:  http://www.thecopenhagenring.dk/uk/fotos.html
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on June 05, 2008, 08:42:19 AM
There's a cover picture at this site:  http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com/
But it doesn't have a picture of the production on the cover.
You can see some pictures here:  http://www.thecopenhagenring.dk/uk/fotos.html


 Thanks for the link  :)!  I see this is a very modern adaptation!

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 05, 2008, 10:45:50 AM
Great pictures, Wendell, and many thanks for posting the news. I went to the Danacord site, but not a word about that Ring yet. Looks very promising!

Now do me a favour, please, and give me your idea or guess on what the last picture in Götterdämmerung means, the one with the babe in arms of the blond. Can't be Brünnhilde, can't be Sieglinde, they didn't survive. Did Siegfried have a chance at impregnating Gutrune, kind of a quickie before going back to the rock in disguise??  ???
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2008, 11:47:09 AM
Now do me a favour, please, and give me your idea or guess on what the last picture in Götterdämmerung means, the one with the babe in arms of the blond. Can't be Brünnhilde, can't be Sieglinde, they didn't survive. Did Siegfried have a chance at impregnating Gutrune, kind of a quickie before going back to the rock in disguise??  ???

I was wondering about that myself, Lis.  There's an article at that website by the director called "The difficulty of endings".  Unfortunately, it's a dead link, but I did some googling and found a cached version:

Quote
In our rendition of Die Götterdämmerung, Brünnhilde is pregnant, which was a conscious choice that aims to show that despite everything, Siegfried and Brünnhilde, before everything turned sour, believed in the future. Thus the seeds of despair and calamity are not the only seeds to be planted. We believe that no matter the difficulties, life will eventually overcome catastrophe. This has allowed us to narrow in on an ending that is not merely steeped in despair but also overwhelmingly happy.

We cannot bear that Brünnhilde is to meet her death on her husband’s pyre, as is traditionally the case. The purpose of a woman’s life should be far greater than to simply perish with her husband. And we need to put an end to the disposition within libretto tradition to redeem masculine sexuality through sacrificing the heroines – from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Verdi’s Violetta Valery to Wagner’s Senta and Brünnhilde. At the very last moment, our Brünnhilde decides to live. She incinerates the world of her family, thus liberating herself from her father and husband, and then insists on creating her own life on her own premises. In doing so she, in effect, also torches the patriarchal potency of 20th century ideologies.


We are not amused....

Here's the entire article:  link (http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:3cVGvoDMAGcJ:www.old.kglteater.dk/ringen/uk/om_ringen_ragnarok_artikler_De_sv%C3%A6re_afslutninger.html+%22The+difficulty+of+endings%22+holten&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 05, 2008, 12:05:47 PM
All highly amusing. I am relieved that the decision to make Brunhilde pregnant was 'conscious'. Though I am at a loss as to how it could have been other than conscious. Are subconscious, semiconscious or unconscious real options?

What is the director yapping about in referring to 20th century patriarchal potency, or 20th century anything? It was written in the 19th and performed in the 21st, beyond bizarre.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 05, 2008, 12:07:13 PM
"We are not amused...."

We's not either!

That just about shoots down my interest in the production. As most of you know, I am a noisy advocate of concept performances - as long as all of Wagner's notes are there, his libretto and his content. This Danish director changed the content and meaning of the Ring. Too bad, Danacord lost a sale of the series. I might go for the Walküre, my favourite segment of the Ring, unless the director lets Mime live to marry the widow Sieglinde!  ::)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2008, 12:10:54 PM
Though I am at a loss as to how it could have been other than conscious. Are subconscious, semiconscious or unconscious real options?

I suspect that drugs may be involved, so it was really an altered states of consciousness.

Yeah, "beyond bizarre" pretty much sums up my reaction, as well.  Oh, well there are plenty of other Ring DVDs available.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 05, 2008, 12:14:30 PM
Now Sieglinde was NOT consciously made pregnant. So perhaps it will be a phantom pregnancy and Siegfried is really all in Brunhilde's imagination, her father's alter ego. Of course that means Gotterdammerung is all a dream and she can awake from it liberated, having dropped all her emotional baggage, she can swim off and have her idealised Saphic romps with the Rheinmaidens. It all seems fine to me. What's yer problem?

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 05, 2008, 01:20:19 PM
At least the director's comments do answer my question as to why the female symbol () is on the DVD box cover.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 05, 2008, 11:35:35 PM
 a couple of reviews

http://www.newstatesman.com/200606050041

http://confidentialattachees.wordpress.com/2006/05/12/108/
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: PSmith08 on June 06, 2008, 12:10:20 AM
Anyone seen this one yet? I'm interested in a first Lohengrin.

Yeah, that's the famous Werner Herzog Lohengrin. It's beautiful as far as productions go, but, frankly, I find Peter Schneider to be a little four-square. He's not bad, but he's probably not the conductor whose Lohengrin I'd listen to all other things being equal. It's an important production in the Bayreuth universe, since - without Werner Herzog's Lohengrin - we wouldn't have gotten Schlingensief's Parsifal and we might never have almost gotten Lars von Trier's Ring. I know, Trier bowed out at the last minute, but the idea would never have come to pass without Herzog having some measure of success. I'm surprised Universal waited this long - it's been a banner couple of years for Wagner DVD releases: Kirchner's Götterdämmerung, Wolfgang Wagner's Parsifal, Karajan's Rheingold, and now Herzog's Lohengrin. It's a good time to like Wagner and own a TV.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 06, 2008, 12:20:05 AM
Yashin, Thanks for those links. I will be giving it a pass...though I would like a chance to visit the new opera house.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on June 06, 2008, 11:50:59 PM
Is everyone a completly out of their minds?  Ok bad start, but I've heard such praise over Colin Davis' magic flute
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417TF85NRQL._SS500_.jpg)
that I thought I'd give it a try...WTF! How in the world did anyone like, much less love this dvd? Boring costumes, sh*tty singers, wtf! I can't stop saying, nor could I stop thinking it! They even committed the gravest sin possible, changing the dialog! They took out everything funny and interesting. Tamino's aria put me half to sleep. Roschmann looks like a hog in a dress...(although I'm convinced she is a hog)


Stagging has gotten so poor that this passes as an excellent dvd? I felt like the opera takes place in a haunted hotel. Instead of Papageno being comic, he was quite depressing! I couldn't make it to the end, but I would hope he hangs himself! Save yourself a few hours and don't watch this filth. The only good thing about is was Damrau, she is very convincing queen. Anyways, I've totally got a new frisbee...

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/tvczeMHNJ-c
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 08, 2008, 03:33:10 AM
I happen to agree...very dull.  I still am knocked out by the new Harnoncourt flute DVD with Strehl as Tamino, Mosuc as the Queen and Salminen as Sarastro.
A modern and witty production.  Excellent conducting.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 09, 2008, 06:17:58 AM
I have just been watching the Nagano conducted DVD of Wagner's Lohengrin..with Klaus Florian Vogt and i must say i have fallen in love with it.  "In Fernem land" was heartbreaking..like it should be.  I did quite like the classroom set DVD with Emily Magee and John Treleaven but the Lenhoff DVD is much better.  Is this the best in your opinion?

Other DVD i have really enjoyed watching but yet to finish is Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" with Simone Alaimo and Ciofi in the soprano role.  Excellent and vital conducting from Pido.  The setting is excellent.  Real buffo comedy...can't wait to finish it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: scarpia on June 09, 2008, 07:35:14 AM

Couldn't disagree more, this is my favorite DVD of the magic flute, with the possible exception of the Bergman film.  Zauberflote is always problematic for me, since the scenario requires enormous suspension of disbelief, but I found the product just off-beat enough to avoid boredom, without going too far over the top (which the recent Harnoncourt DVD did, IMO). 

Is everyone a completly out of their minds?  Ok bad start, but I've heard such praise over Colin Davis' magic flute
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417TF85NRQL._SS500_.jpg)
that I thought I'd give it a try...WTF! How in the world did anyone like, much less love this dvd? Boring costumes, sh*tty singers, wtf! I can't stop saying, nor could I stop thinking it! They even committed the gravest sin possible, changing the dialog! They took out everything funny and interesting. Tamino's aria put me half to sleep. Roschmann looks like a hog in a dress...(although I'm convinced she is a hog)


Stagging has gotten so poor that this passes as an excellent dvd? I felt like the opera takes place in a haunted hotel. Instead of Papageno being comic, he was quite depressing! I couldn't make it to the end, but I would hope he hangs himself! Save yourself a few hours and don't watch this filth. The only good thing about is was Damrau, she is very convincing queen. Anyways, I've totally got a new frisbee...

http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/tvczeMHNJ-c
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: uffeviking on June 09, 2008, 06:44:12 PM
Of course it's my favourite Die Zauberflöte because Simon Keenlyside stole the show and laid claim to the role of Papageno, it's his for life! I usually schedule my trip to the refrigerator or loo when the Queen starts her yodeling; didn't have to do it with Damrau, I actually enjoy listening to her, and her acting is just as good.

Anybody accepting the opinion of our fellow member Mozart, should be cautious, I think he is overruled by an army of professional opera reviewers who have nothing but praise for this production.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mozart on June 10, 2008, 07:25:13 AM
That very army of professional opera reviewers are the very reason I found it to be so frustrated. They gave it so many praises when it's just another crappy flute production. If anyone who disagrees opinion is overruled, then there would be nothing but high praises. How can anyone watch the flute and skip the queen of the night...people who do that should be banned from enjoying the opera!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: scarpia on June 10, 2008, 07:48:41 AM

Oh get off it.  It has nothing to do with an "army of professional opera reviewers."  This is one of the most popular opera DVDs to come out recently because it is a great production with a great cast and a great musical performance.  Diana Danau's Queen of the Night absolutely steals the show, with her dramatic costume and campy, over-the-top, melodramatic acting.  I wish I had a blue-ray player so I could get in in High Def.  If anything should be banned, it is crappy posts by self-important boobs who think they have figured out that everyone's favorite dvd is "crappy."   ;D

That very army of professional opera reviewers are the very reason I found it to be so frustrated. They gave it so many praises when it's just another crappy flute production. If anyone who disagrees opinion is overruled, then there would be nothing but high praises. How can anyone watch the flute and skip the queen of the night...people who do that should be banned from enjoying the opera!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on June 10, 2008, 09:10:38 AM
Oh get off it.  It has nothing to do with an "army of professional opera reviewers."  This is one of the most popular opera DVDs to come out recently because it is a great production with a great cast and a great musical performance.  Diana Danau's Queen of the Night absolutely steals the show, with her dramatic costume and campy, over-the-top, melodramatic acting.  I wish I had a blue-ray player so I could get in in High Def.  If anything should be banned, it is crappy posts by self-important boobs who think they have figured out that everyone's favorite dvd is "crappy."   ;D


It's on Blu-ray? I'll have this one in mind for when I eventually buy one of those BD players.  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: scarpia on June 10, 2008, 09:41:55 AM
http://www.opusarte.com/pages/Product.asp?ProductID=233

It's on Blu-ray? I'll have this one in mind for when I eventually buy one of those BD players.  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on June 22, 2008, 05:01:42 AM
I've yet to get into opera on DVD.  Though the idea is very appealing, I've been bored by the few DVDs I've seen.  Guess I'll comb this tread to see if there are any strong recommendations I could try.

One thing that looks like a winner:  Kenneth Branaugh is completing a new film of The Magic Flute.  That might even entice me into the cinema!

Edit:  Praise for and controversy over the production mentioned above caused me to seek youtube clips of Damrau's performance.  (Loved the Papageno, BTW)

http://www.youtube.com/v/DvuKxL4LOqc&feature=related
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Daidalos on June 22, 2008, 06:51:58 AM
I've yet to get into opera on DVD.  Though the idea is very appealing, I've been bored by the few DVDs I've seen.  Guess I'll comb this tread to see if there are any strong recommendations I could try.

One thing that looks like a winner:  Kenneth Branaugh is completing a new film of The Magic Flute.  That might even entice me into the cinema!

Yes, that one I've seen. It was acquired by, ahem, dastardly illegal means, but I'll make up for it by buying the DVD when I get the chance.

I think the setting and translation worked remarkably well. Strangely enough, amidst all the zany CGI-effects and anachronisms, the plot seemed almost coherent. It was definitely an engaging production.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Maciek on July 10, 2008, 09:01:19 AM
Stickied.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: scarpia on July 10, 2008, 01:35:54 PM
I'm waiting for this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51a8Op3v6QL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 11, 2008, 11:13:42 AM
I'm waiting for this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51a8Op3v6QL._SS500_.jpg)

  I know you should never judge a book by its cover but after seeing that cover I am intrigued!  It has that "hellish" appeal about it, although I would hardly characterize Venus' grotto as "hellish".  If you do get a chance to see it scarpia please post a review.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on July 11, 2008, 11:18:52 AM
Quote from: DavidRoss
One thing that looks like a winner:  Kenneth Branaugh is completing a new film of The Magic Flute.  That might even entice me into the cinema!

Yes, that one I've seen. It was acquired by, ahem, dastardly illegal means, but I'll make up for it by buying the DVD when I get the chance.

I think the setting and translation worked remarkably well. Strangely enough, amidst all the zany CGI-effects and anachronisms, the plot seemed almost coherent. It was definitely an engaging production.

Excellent!  I have been hoping that one would prove worth the waiting.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on July 11, 2008, 03:38:44 PM
Yes, that one I've seen. It was acquired by, ahem, dastardly illegal means, but I'll make up for it by buying the DVD when I get the chance.

I think the setting and translation worked remarkably well. Strangely enough, amidst all the zany CGI-effects and anachronisms, the plot seemed almost coherent. It was definitely an engaging production.


Excellent!  I have been hoping that one would prove worth the waiting.
Seems not to have been released in the US. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 11, 2008, 10:57:01 PM
Is that new Tannhauser one of the dubbed ones?  Not keen on them.

I have been lucky to get some good new DVDs recently.

First, Don Pasquale with Simone Alaimo and Paticia Ciofi.  It is excellent.  Eveline Pido stirs up a storm with the orchestra and the whole thing just fizzes along.  Its one of those DVDs that you keep coming back too-dipping in for a few minutes of enjoyment.  Great comedy acting from Alaimo and super singing from Patricia Ciofi. Norman Shankle is Ernesto and he is a new singer to me.  He does not overact, just sings beautifully.  Highly recommended.

Second is L'Italiana in Algeri from the Belair classique label.  Whilst this opera is never going to be a favourite i really enjoyed it.  Maxim Miranov sings Lindoro and again he is someone i have not seen before.  He looks and sings great!

Third,  Falstaff from the TDK label with Ruggero Raimondi and Barbara Frittoli.  This is another opera i have found difficult to 'get into' but i really really enjoyed watching this production.  Ruggero Raimondi is excellent as Falstaff.  He has all the gestures and his voice is in good shape for his long years.  Danil Stoda and Mariola Cantarero sing the young lovers very well-even if he can't take his eyes off the conductor - a bit wooden to say the least.  Manuel Lanza i thought sang Ford really well.  Zubin Mehta is never a favourite of mine but here the orchestra is taught and thoroughly well played.  You know when you have a good DVD or CD -you dont need to buy another of the same opera.  For me this is the Falstaff i will turn too.

Oh some exciting DVDs coming out soon.  First, on the Dynamic label (www.dynamic.it) there are La Boheme with Massimo Pisapia and Norma Fantini.  It has just got a terrific review from one source and it was said to be the La Boheme of choice!

Then we have Mefistofele with Ferruccio Furlanetto , Faust is sung by Giuseppe Filianoti
Margherita is Dimitra Theodossiou. What a cast!  And it looks superb on the website.  There are some rough shot clips of this procuction on youtube.  Listen to Dimitra Theodossiou in this part.  We really need a modern Mefistofele on DVD and this could be it!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 12, 2008, 01:31:26 AM
Is that new Tannhauser one of the dubbed ones?  Not keen on them.



  Dubbed  ??? ?? How could it be dubbed? It's from the Bayreuther Festpiele, if anything it should be a live performance, am I mistaken?

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on July 12, 2008, 05:37:18 AM
  Dubbed  ??? ?? How could it be dubbed? It's from the Bayreuther Festpiele, if anything it should be a live performance, am I mistaken?

  marvin

I think he means lip-synched.  Yes, it is a live performance, and a pretty good one as I recall. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 12, 2008, 10:06:20 PM
Sorry, i meant lip-synched in the Ponnelle mode.

Good to see La Rondine is due for release on DVD.  See a few clips of this are on youtube...search for La Rondine at La Fenice, Venice.

Any news on the Copenhagen Ring? I was hoping to buy this but as i have 3 other complete rings on DVD (Liceu, Amsterdam and Stuttgart) do i need another :-)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: scarpia on July 13, 2008, 09:16:48 PM
I think he means lip-synched.  Yes, it is a live performance, and a pretty good one as I recall. 

Judge for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETTgybOtFXk

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on July 25, 2008, 08:03:58 AM
Six Metropolitan Opera live broadcasts are to be released on DVD by EMI, including Peter Grimes and the highly imaginative Hansel and Gretel (originally from the Welsh National Opera).  The UK release date is September 16.  Here (http://www.gramophone.co.uk/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=3066&newssectionID=1) is the story on Gramophone.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on October 11, 2008, 05:46:23 AM
Well, i managed to get my hands on some great DVDs recently.

La Boheme- with Massimo Pisapia and Norma Fantini.  Strange set- large, open-air i think. The set is actually a palatte with the colours flashing-red for the fire in act 1 -reminded me of the kids game where you press the colours flash and you have to press them! There is no set as such-just a large screen as a backdrop which changes to show the rooftops over paris, the red of Marcello's paining and a starry night. Singing is good, Pisapia sings well as Rodolfo and Norma Fantini can't be faulted either.  Acting is a little exaggerated and 'broad strokes' rather than any detail-the sort of stand and deliver of old but maybe it was a large open air arena.  The curtain calls between each act which seems popular in Italy can interrupt the viewing somewhat.  Did not grip me as some La Boheme's have done despite the singing.  I don't think this is the La Boheme of one's dreams - i will still hold onto the La Scala (?) DVD.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on October 16, 2008, 05:56:02 PM
Is anyone familiar with Gergiev's Khovanshchina DVD on Immortal label? It's been offered for rather reasonable price by MDT at the moment.

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//IMM950014.htm (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//IMM950014.htm)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on October 16, 2008, 07:26:19 PM
That is a production in traditional style and with Vladimir Galusin in the cast it has to be good!

I have the Khovanshchina performance at Barcelona, also with Galusin, but it is a contemporary production on the Opus Arte label. It's up to your taste in productions, old or new, both are good musically, but since I prefer new ones, I kept the Barcelona and sold the Gergiev.

If you remember Mime in practically every Ring production, Graham Clark, you'll be surprised to see him as the Scribe in the Barcelona performance!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on October 18, 2008, 03:16:32 AM
That is a production in traditional style and with Vladimir Galusin in the cast it has to be good!

Thanks, Lis :-*

I'll be getting it then, some customers on japanese sites were objecting to picture quality, but I'm not very picky about that.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on November 01, 2008, 01:44:54 AM
Has anyone heard this (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9381343) Eugene Onegin (with Mattei/Samuil/Gubanova/Kaiser/Furlanetto/VPO/Barenboim) from last year's Salzburg Festival?  It sounds ravishing (terrible acting, though).

Final Scene 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE4D1tTI1SQ)

Final scene 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1CuixiWKPE&feature=related)

Letter Scene 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB7r1AOIgEs&feature=related)

Letter Scene 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdXog55Xbas&feature=related)


PS. I still haven't figured out how to insert videos using the flash feature.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on November 01, 2008, 02:22:10 AM
Has anyone heard this (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9381343) Eugene Onegin (with Mattei/Samuil/Gubanova/Kaiser/Furlanetto/VPO/Barenboim) from last year's Salzburg Festival? 

Lis wrote about it in her Peter Mattei Trilogy (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9312.0.html) thread.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 01, 2008, 06:03:01 AM
A deep sigh! Wendell, that's the story of my forum life, spending time to write a fairly decent review and it's overlooked. Thank you for your promotion!  :-*

As to Wanderer's critic of the acting in this ravishing production: Watching the entire opera, not just blips, anybody who is unhappy with the acting will change his/her mind. The acting of Peter Mattei is the best Onegin I have seen. Tatyana is still young but her voice more than compensates for the lack of some stage experience. And the scene between Gremin and Onegin can't be topped!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on November 01, 2008, 08:46:07 AM
As to Wanderer's critic of the acting in this ravishing production: Watching the entire opera, not just blips, anybody who is unhappy with the acting will change his/her mind. The acting of Peter Mattei is the best Onegin I have seen. Tatyana is still young but her voice more than compensates for the lack of some stage experience. And the scene between Gremin and Onegin can't be topped!

I really hope so, dear Brünnhilde, as I'm planning to buy this (the singing - and Barenboim's conducting - are so good!).  8)
I have to say, those clips didn't enthrall me visually which could be the director's fault; the final scene, at least, when compared to the one from the Hvorostovsky/Fleming/Gergiev production seems to me positively awkward.
It's good to read the protagonists are good actors in their respective roles, though. What matters to me most is the interpretation so I'd  probably get this anyway, but it's always good to be able to enjoy opera DVDs audio-visually.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: stridonolassu on November 04, 2008, 03:03:35 AM
  Dubbed  ??? ?? How could it be dubbed? It's from the Bayreuther Festpiele, if anything it should be a live performance, am I mistaken?

  marvin

A belated clarification: This 1978 Tannhäuser is "live" in that it is being sung as it is being videotaped.  There's no lip-synching.  However, while most "live" opera videos are edited by putting together clips from different perfomances in the run, all videos from Bayreuth up until this summer have been recorded without a theater audience.  The "live" element is therefore taken out as it would be in a studio CD recording.  This past summer festival's Meistersinger marked the first time cameras were accomodated in a way that allowed for a true "live" taping with a theater audience present during an actual performance (not one done for a video release only).  A DVD of this 2008 performance, available live in July over the internet for a high price, has been promised for release.

Opera on DVD and Blu-ray site for collectors: http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 04, 2008, 06:47:58 AM
Great list, stridonolassu! Thanks for posting and also a friendly welcome to our opera room. Not too busy, I agree, maybe your presence here will change it.  ;D

T.C. used to keep us informed of new issues, but he hasn't been here too long!  :'(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 04, 2008, 08:18:43 AM
Coincidence? MDT notified me a few minutes ago that they mailed me Die Walküre now released. It's the opera on the list stridonolassu generously provided us with.

I do look forward to seeing and hearing Willard White as Wotan. I first 'met' him on a DVD of  Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, performed during the 1999 Salzburger Festspiele. His Méphistophélès was a wicked, yet loveable creature, and of course he could sing spendidly, almost as good as José Van Dam did in the Solti concert performance.

I wanted to discover more about Willard White and fortunately ArtHaus issued the DVD of Verdi's Falstaff with White as a Sir John without pillows stuffed up is shirt, just his normal average male human figure. It's a Herbert Wernicke production and should be in any opera lover's collection.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on November 04, 2008, 10:57:23 PM
Great site, stridonolassu. I discovered it some months ago, and I use it now regularly.
Keep on the good work!


Dear Brunnhlide,

Yes, it's been some time that I have written here. I am glad to know that I am not forgotten…

Congratulation for your new Walkure acquisition. Actually, I saw part of this production on TV and was not especially impressed, but one should watch an opera production in its entirety to give an opinion, so I will wait for your review…

Are you, as I am, an admirer of the young and very talented French opera director Laurent Pelly? For me, some of the greatest hits on DVD are his productions (with conductor Mark Minkowski) for Offenbach’s greatest operettas: La Belle Hélène, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and Orphée aux Enfers.

This month, Virgin Classics is offering a new Laurent Pelly Offenbach production on DVD: La vie parisienne from Lyon. MDT is offering this DVD for only £7.45!!

More opera DVDs from Virgin this month: Tristan und Isolde from La Scala with Waltraud Meier, Daniel Barenboim and Patrice Chéreau. A 3-DVD set for only £12.34.

La Vie Parisienne (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5193019.htm)   

Tristan und Isolde (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//5193159.htm)

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on November 05, 2008, 07:28:15 AM
T-C, how nice to see you here again!  And I am also a fan of Laurent Pelly, although I have only seen one production so far, La Fille du Régiment, which sold me completely (and I'm not even that much of a Donizetti fan). 

Thanks for the heads-up on that Tristan with Meier.  I like her enormously and will probably have to get that at some point. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on November 05, 2008, 07:31:57 AM
A belated clarification: This 1978 Tannhäuser is "live" in that it is being sung as it is being videotaped.  There's no lip-synching.  However, while most "live" opera videos are edited by putting together clips from different perfomances in the run, all videos from Bayreuth up until this summer have been recorded without a theater audience.  The "live" element is therefore taken out as it would be in a studio CD recording.  This past summer festival's Meistersinger marked the first time cameras were accomodated in a way that allowed for a true "live" taping with a theater audience present during an actual performance (not one done for a video release only).  A DVD of this 2008 performance, available live in July over the internet for a high price, has been promised for release.

Opera on DVD and Blu-ray site for collectors: http://stridonolassu.googlepages.com



  Thank you for the clarification stridonolassu and welcome to the forum  :)! I am glad to hear that the DVD recordings from Bayreuth are actually sung  :)!  The trouble I have faced with dubbed recordings in the past is that the visual and audio aspects are not synchronized properly- I can tell that the sound is not matching the lip movements  >:( ! 

  Thanks for posting a link to the site.  I find myself forever looking for that perfect DVD staged recording of Tristan und Isolde, my favorite opera in the entire operatic repertoire.  Hopefully I will find that recording one day  :-\....some day  ???!  The Berg/Decker DVD recording featured in the web site is foreign to me, I will have to check it out  :).

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on November 05, 2008, 07:48:24 AM
Yes, it's been some time that I have written here. I am glad to know that I am not forgotten…

Delighted to see you again, TC!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on November 05, 2008, 09:12:53 AM
Thank you, Bruce and Karl !

Bruce,

Laurent Pelly’s production of La Fille du Régiment, with the winning team of Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez is a smash hit. Luckily, we have it on DVD !

But each and every one of Pelly’s filmed opera productions that are available on a commercial DVD is worth watching:

Rameau – Platee
Prokofiev – L’Amour des Trois Oranges
Donizetti – La Fille du Régiment
Offenbach – La Belle Hélène
Offenbach – La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
Offenbach – Orphée aux Enfers

Pelly is really outstanding in all kinds of comic operas. But this year, he will direct at the Vienna state opera, Debussy’s masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande with Natalie Dessay, her husband Laurent Naouri and the young and excellent French baritone Stephane Degout. This is really intriguing!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on November 05, 2008, 09:21:27 AM
Thank you, Bruce and Karl !

Bruce,

Laurent Pelly’s production of La Fille du Régiment, with the winning team of Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez is a smash hit. Luckily, we have it on DVD !

But each and every one of Pelly’s filmed opera productions that are available on a commercial DVD is worth watching:

Rameau – Platee
Prokofiev – L’Amour des Trois Oranges
Donizetti – La Fille du Régiment
Offenbach – La Belle Hélène
Offenbach – La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein
Offenbach – Orphée aux Enfers

Pelly is really outstanding in all kinds of comic operas. But this year, he will direct at the Vienna state opera, Debussy’s masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande with Natalie Dessay, her husband Laurent Naouri and the young and excellent French baritone Stephane Degout. This is really intriguing!


Thanks, I should really get all of those!  PS, I have the Fille DVD but haven't watched it yet, and one of its attractions (I hear) is Dawn French as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.  (I just love typing that name.  ;D)  In the Met's version here, the role was done by Broadway veteran Marian Seldes, who was superb.

And that Pelléas et Mélisande does sound mighty tempting...I doubt I'll get to see it live, so hopefully they will tape that as well.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 05, 2008, 11:03:26 PM
TC, great to know you are still around, and I hope well in all senses. And a warm welcome stridonolassu. Thanks for the list.

Mike

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on November 06, 2008, 03:30:30 PM
Delighted to see you again, TC!


Welcome Back!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on November 07, 2008, 04:22:15 AM
Thanks, Mike and Andy.

With a warm reception like this, I already feel obliged to visit here more often…  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on November 07, 2008, 08:59:31 PM
I'm glad to see you come back too, TC.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: stridonolassu on November 08, 2008, 02:01:17 AM
Thank you all for the kind words and the very warm welcome!  Now I know this IS the place to hang out...

Speaking of Pelly, I am a big fan.  I love the Offenbach productions (and the Platee is truly a milestone in staging a baroque opera these days), but my number one favorite from T-C's list is The Love for Three Oranges.  The opera itself doesn't seem to get much attention at least here in the US so I was glad we had three DVD releases last year (one in Russian!).  I did like all of them but Pelly's from Amsterdam was by far my favorite.  Out on Opus Arte DVD now, it's coming out on Blu-ray soon and I can't think of a more deserving production for the full HD treatment.  The spectacular Fata Morgana/Tchelio duel with the cards alone is worth the price.  Highly recommended to all, even those who are not so much into 20th-century opera.

Thanks again guys.  I look forward to checking out this thread with your opinions and recommendations of opera on video.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 09, 2008, 06:58:33 PM
A name sending shock waves through opera lovers: Calixto Bieito! I have watched his Don Giovanni and it did not entertain me, so I sold it. Others have praised it and they are still my friends. I wanted to see more than one of his creations - not fair to judge a director by just one work - but did not chose any of his Verdi efforts. From what I understand reading reviews and critics, screwing to Verdi's music seems to be the predominant activity. I bought Alban Berg's Wozzeck, hoping Bieito has discovered a deeper meaning in Berg's composition than intercourse. I'll approach it with an open mind.

Any members of this opera section have seen this DVD:

BERG Wozzeck. Franz Hawlata, Angela Denoke, Reiner Goldberg. Directed by Sebastian Weigle, Calixto Bieito. Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu. BBC Opus Arte DVD
 
label: BBC Opus Arte
format: DVD-Video

Composer: (click for full listing)
BERG, ALBAN
 
released: 01/10/07
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2008, 07:13:04 PM
Be careful, Brünnhilde, else you'll have even ME watching Verdi... :)  I have to admit to a reticence to watching opera that is so far from the original intent of the composer. Or hell, maybe that WAS his original intent but public scruples of the time wouldn't allow it. I really do prefer my operatic sex to be implied though, where my fervid little imagination can do as it will... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Pinnock, Trevor; The English Concert - Symphony #20 in D, K. 133: IV. [Allegro]
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: T-C on November 10, 2008, 06:57:00 AM
Any members of this opera section have seen this DVD:

I have, and quite enjoyed it, but I know of others who did not…

Anyhow, from the musical point of view, this is a good performance, so in case you don’t like what you see, you can close the TV set and listen to the music…

A very favorable review is here: WOZZECK (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=11300)

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on November 10, 2008, 08:23:33 AM
I knew I could count on hearing from you, T-C, and that you have watched this Bieito work. Thank you!  :-*

Now as to the review at Arkiv: Maybe I should not have read it.  :-\  Somehow intercoursing to Verdi's music now looks like clean, natural human activities compared to cannibalism and feces all over the stage and people. But I'll give it a try, promise! - fingers crossed behind my back.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Hector on November 11, 2008, 06:28:41 AM
Thanks, I should really get all of those!  PS, I have the Fille DVD but haven't watched it yet, and one of its attractions (I hear) is Dawn French as the Duchess of Krakenthorp.  (I just love typing that name.  ;D)  In the Met's version here, the role was done by Broadway veteran Marian Seldes, who was superb.



--Bruce
[/quote]

You heard wrong although, like me, you may find her as funny, if not more so, than the opera.

If only Offenbach had composed this.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on November 21, 2008, 12:31:31 AM
Any opinions on this (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/2376183?rk=home&rsk=hitlist) Tosca?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0044007432013.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Harry on November 21, 2008, 12:39:51 AM
Last night I saw on a HD channel,  a stunning performance of Don Giovanni by Mozart in a modern French setting Razor sharp images and some fabulous vocals.
That prompted me to go in search for Blu-Ray's with opera's on it, for to see and hear it, is to believe it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 21, 2008, 01:20:55 AM
Tasos, Here is a copy of my comments from the Puccini thread.

Mike

I assume there will be celebrations to mark the anniversary of the composer's birth. Every opera house will be programming at least one of his works; though I wonder, will we notice; as his operas are fairly ubiquitous in non-anniversary years.

I have started the year by buying a newly issued Tosca. It is by Decca:
Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Catherine Malfitano (Soprano), Richard Margison (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus Director: Nikolaus Lehnhoff.

This DVD has been mentioned elsewhere on the forum. Although it may not please purists, I thought it was a completely successful fresh take on the piece. The sets and lighting are atmospheric and the timescale indeterminate; late industrial revolution meets frock coats with a futuristic twist.

Act two looks almost art deco, a very stylish black marble hall. Each scene is dominated by a vast turbine, sometimes still, other times turning slowly and with dramatic shadows from the lighting effects.

The singing is never less than good. Malfitano has lost power in her lower register and she seems to avoid the etched exclamations Callas brought to this role. That sometimes leaves her sounding undercharacterised. But it is a committed performance, she looks sensational and stylish. Her acting is more 'grand' that Terfel's. This was his first stab at the part and he was well able to make it his own. He looks sexy and dangerous and his acting is much more natural than his Tosca's. He uses small gestures, a slightly raised eyebrow, a face going slowly rigid. She signals everything to the back stalls.

Margison has no noticeable expressions and that pretty much goes for his singing. He has a good voice, sings well, but does not appear to be all that engaged. He is a complete biffer to look at and when standing next to a similarily clad Terfel, the difference was marked. Terfel has such presence and is projecting communication all the time.

The orchestra sounds superb, Chailly does not go hell for leather, blood and guts. Rather he takes some passages dangerously slowly, the Te Deum is funereal, but it works. Act 2 seems a bit too much stop and start, I prefer a sweep that grips you. But his is a valid way, he is always thoughtful.

The look of it, Terfel, the production, Chailly and a good Tosca. It really is compelling. A winner of a performance.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on December 01, 2008, 10:30:11 AM
Mike, many thanks for the detailed review. It does look (and sound) compelling enough.  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 04, 2009, 08:56:23 PM
Nostalgia 1993

Telling you about my afternoon! I was going through my LVDs and there is one called 'Wagner Gala' with Claudio Abbado, the Berliners, Cheryl Studer, Waltraud Meier, Siegfried Jerusalem and Bryn Terfel! Surprise! Where did that one come from? I didn’t remember having it. It's a 31 December 1993 New Year's celebration. 16 years ago, All the old Berliners are still with the orchestra, everybody is so young and good looking. And there is Studer! Mercy me! When Meier stood next to her singing the confrontation between Elsa and Ortrud, Meier looked like a Barbie Doll! I had the feeling Waltraud was still working on making this one of her very own roles; not quite as good yet as the later ones, but still very impressive. I had so much fun watching this young Bryn Terfel! 16 years ago, very big face but a slim figure with lovely shoulder-length curly blond hair. And he was so happy with the roaring applause, just stood straight, taking it all in, his eyes roving to every section of the hall, smiling, and finally managed to bow once or twice. He was not a bad Hans Sachs already then in the Fliedermonolog.

Then came Jerusalem and Meier as Siegmund und Sieglinde, the big last part of Walküre's Act I, over 18 minutes of it, wonderful those two together. But the biggest hit for me, was the last one: The Ride of the Walkyries - that's what it says on the album cover! - only the orchestra. I don't remember ever having seen it played as a concert piece, only in an opera with the stage teeming with those assorted females cavorting around. The cameras did a beautiful job showing all the musicians, alone, in groups, all of their faces or only their fingers on their instruments, great camera work. And the sound! Ceiling rattling here! After the last note, Abbado just stood there as if he just finished the Boston Marathon!
 
At the very end I remembered the disc because when the four soloists descend stairs in the background, Jerusalem steps on Studer's long train, tried to support himself on the blank wall and goes down to his knees. Camera cuts away, I hope nobody got hurt.

It would be nice if this performance would be released on DVD!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 05, 2009, 01:27:37 PM
I have a couple of those New Year Day concerts; but not that one. I have a Strauss one on CD, great programme. I think these give more pleasure than the recently tired Vienna ones. I assume Rattle has been continuing the Berlin tradition.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 05, 2009, 07:59:27 PM
I have to check on Rattle's New Year's performances, surely there should be some available. I agree with you on the Vienna concerts. Very few are worth collecting, among them the ones with Herbert von Karajan and Carlos KLeiber, the two best Johann Strauß interpreters. Nikolaus Harnoncourt too is acceptable. I didn't listen to this year's Barenboim. Did you?

This one from 1993 I am afraid will not be published as a DVD because of the grotesquely huge figured soprano. She will never give permission.  :o
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on January 06, 2009, 03:05:29 AM
Nostalgia 1993

Telling you about my afternoon! I was going through my LVDs and there is one called 'Wagner Gala' with Claudio Abbado, the Berliners, Cheryl Studer, Waltraud Meier, Siegfried Jerusalem and Bryn Terfel! Surprise! Where did that one come from? I didn’t remember having it. It's a 31 December 1993 New Year's celebration. 16 years ago, All the old Berliners are still with the orchestra, everybody is so young and good looking. And there is Studer! Mercy me! When Meier stood next to her singing the confrontation between Elsa and Ortrud, Meier looked like a Barbie Doll! I had the feeling Waltraud was still working on making this one of her very own roles; not quite as good yet as the later ones, but still very impressive. I had so much fun watching this young Bryn Terfel! 16 years ago, very big face but a slim figure with lovely shoulder-length curly blond hair. And he was so happy with the roaring applause, just stood straight, taking it all in, his eyes roving to every section of the hall, smiling, and finally managed to bow once or twice. He was not a bad Hans Sachs already then in the Fliedermonolog.

Then came Jerusalem and Meier as Siegmund und Sieglinde, the big last part of Walküre's Act I, over 18 minutes of it, wonderful those two together. But the biggest hit for me, was the last one: The Ride of the Walkyries - that's what it says on the album cover! - only the orchestra. I don't remember ever having seen it played as a concert piece, only in an opera with the stage teeming with those assorted females cavorting around. The cameras did a beautiful job showing all the musicians, alone, in groups, all of their faces or only their fingers on their instruments, great camera work. And the sound! Ceiling rattling here! After the last note, Abbado just stood there as if he just finished the Boston Marathon!
 
At the very end I remembered the disc because when the four soloists descend stairs in the background, Jerusalem steps on Studer's long train, tried to support himself on the blank wall and goes down to his knees. Camera cuts away, I hope nobody got hurt.

It would be nice if this performance would be released on DVD!




I have that one on VHS, and the overture to Tannhauser is particularly rocking!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde forever on January 06, 2009, 07:48:47 AM
Somehow Claudio Abbado turned those Wagner overtures into a rousing New Year's celebration! Andy, have you ever heard the Ride of the Walküres performed like that? Perfect way to send audience, listeners and watchers off into a New Year.   :D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Haffner on January 06, 2009, 10:03:10 AM
Somehow Claudio Abbado turned those Wagner overtures into a rousing New Year's celebration! Andy, have you ever heard the Ride of the Walküres performed like that? Perfect way to send audience, listeners and watchers off into a New Year.   :D


I was mightily rocked by both the Ride... and the Tannhauser Ouverture. Abbado was completely devastating throughout. When this is released on 5.1 sound dvd, we will both be tearing our roofs off.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wanderer on January 27, 2009, 02:07:07 AM
I've sampled sections of Rautavaara's Rasputin yesterday and will probably listen to/watch the whole opera later today or tomorrow (or during the weekend:-). One word of caution, though, regarding the Ondine DVD: whereas it is claimed that there is a PCM stereo track, that is not the case. Except for the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, there's a 2-channel track which is also encoded in Dolby Digital (i.e. compressed) and both have a bitrate of 448 kbps. I'm surprised that no review (to my knowledge) has identified this. Of course, there's no perceivable defect in the audio tracks (they do sound gorgeous) but this is still below standard CD quality, not to mention a rather annoying case of (unintended?) misinformation on the part of Ondine. Anyway, just wanted to let people know about this. The work itself has received for the most part very positive reviews and even from my limited exposure to certain parts of it I can see why.  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on April 20, 2009, 06:34:15 AM
Wagner, Ring, Levine/Met DVD

Suffering through 15 hours of this over the past several days proved more challenging than I expected.  Except for the first two acts of Siegfried, which move slowly but hurtle along in comparison to the rest of this sprawling, shamelessly self-indulgent monument to vanity, all of the drama inherent in the story is dissipated by the ponderous lethargy of Wagner's text, staging, and music. 

Now I understand why Wotan torches Valhalla:  he can't stand another minute of this tedious claptrap and just wants the damned thing to be over!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on April 20, 2009, 06:39:13 AM
Wagner, Ring, Levine/Met DVD

Suffering through 15 hours of this over the past several days proved more challenging than I expected.  Except for the first two acts of Siegfried, which move slowly but hurtle along in comparison to the rest of this sprawling, shamelessly self-indulgent monument to vanity, all of the drama inherent in the story is dissipated by the ponderous lethargy of Wagner's text, staging, and music. 

Now I understand why Wotan torches Valhalla:  he can't stand another minute of this tedious claptrap and just wants the damned thing to be over!

Are you criticising the piece or the performance?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on April 20, 2009, 07:40:17 AM
Are you criticising the piece or the performance?
Isn't it obvious? 

Re. the performance:  Morris as Wotan and Zednik as Mime were excellent, I thought, both vocally and as actors, and Jerusalem performed reasonably well as Siegfried though to me he seemed miscast in a part calling for a headstrong young hero.  Levine & the orchestra seemed fine--as Randy Jackson might say, "It was just aw-right for me, dawg."

For me the problem is how to critique performances in roles so inherently turgid and dull.  How can a performer be expected to breathe life into a role when the writer/composer's incompetence cripples the effort from the outset by creating characters so stillborn that calling them "cardboard" would be flattery?  ...and when most situations with the potential for drama are undercut by vapid, repetitive text interrupted by pointless musical interludes that bring what little action there is to a standstill?

Wagner's Ring, like everything else by him that I know, is like Gertrude Stein's Oakland:  there is no there there.  Grand ideas do not of themselves make great art; they must be competently realized...and in this Wagner fails spectacularly.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: nut-job on April 20, 2009, 08:01:47 AM
Isn't it obvious? 

Re. the performance:  Morris as Wotan and Zednik as Mime were excellent, I thought, both vocally and as actors, and Jerusalem performed reasonably well as Siegfried though to me he seemed miscast in a part calling for a headstrong young hero.  Levine & the orchestra seemed fine--as Randy Jackson might say, "It was just aw-right for me, dawg."

For me the problem is how to critique performances in roles so inherently turgid and dull.  How can a performer be expected to breathe life into a role when the writer/composer's incompetence cripples the effort from the outset by creating characters so stillborn that calling them "cardboard" would be flattery?  ...and when most situations with the potential for drama are undercut by vapid, repetitive text interrupted by pointless musical interludes that bring what little action there is to a standstill?

Wagner's Ring, like everything else by him that I know, is like Gertrude Stein's Oakland:  there is no there there.  Grand ideas do not of themselves make great art; they must be competently realized...and in this Wagner fails spectacularly.



I agree to a point, particularly about the lack of dramatic force in the text.  I am constantly mystified that Wagner nuts will rail on and on about how profound the story of the Ring is, and how it is dramatically necessary for Wotan to stop and retell the entire story every three hours or so.  (We need to know it from his perspective, they'll explain)  To me it seems like a garbled fairy tale that doesn't make any sense.   But it is worth it to me for the music.  Rheingold is the best of it.  It is a mistake, I'd say, to try to listen to the entire thing at once. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 20, 2009, 12:22:11 PM
Dave, have you been able to discern any motifs in the music?  Some are identified with a person, for example, the giants' stomping motif.  When they talk or someone mentions one, the motif will appear in the music.  There are 20+ in Das Rheingold alone.  Motifs can also be associated with an idea.  Recognizing the motifs enriches the listening experience.  It took me one whole summer to locate those in Das Rheingold.  Maybe this coming summer I'll try to find them in Die Walkure.

I just had a thought!  Maybe we could identify the motifs as a group project.  Once I locate one, I like to note it in the libretto right next to the words spoken as the motif is played and/or sung.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on April 20, 2009, 01:01:28 PM
Yes, Anne, I'm familiar with Wagner's use of musical themes others have called "leitmotivs."  To me his use of them is often heavy-handed, rather like Brian De Palma's warm light and soft focus in The Untouchables whenever Costner's Elliot Ness is with his family.  If you'd like to learn more about them, there are several websites with samples and detailed information, such as this one (http://www.trell.org/wagner/motifs.html).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Anne on April 21, 2009, 04:39:37 PM
Thanks, Dave.  I try to help you and you end up helping me.   :D
Title: Re: The Bruckner Method of Listening to Dick Wagner's Ditties
Post by: Cato on April 23, 2009, 11:38:52 AM
In one of Alma Mahler's books, she recounts a tale about Bruckner watching either Tristan or Götterdämmerung at the Vienna Opera.

Toward the end he leans over and asks the next person exactly why the heroine is committing suicide!   :o

Listening purely to the music as music is apparently what interested him, assuming that the story is not apocryphal.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: jhar26 on April 25, 2009, 11:43:11 AM
(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/dec06/Verdi_luisa_Miller_0734027.jpg)

I was just playing this DVD. Great performance by Scotto, Domingo and Milnes, but I was quite disappointed with the sound quality. It's a 1979 recording, but I have DVD's of opera performances older than this that sound far better. I'm almost wondering whether there's something wrong with my copy, especially since all those rave reviews on Amazon make no mention of poor sound quality. Has anyone else have this DVD - and if so, how is the sound quality on yours?
Title: Re: The Bruckner Method of Listening to Dick Wagner's Ditties
Post by: Haffner on June 16, 2009, 02:15:53 PM
In one of Alma Mahler's books, she recounts a tale about Bruckner watching either Tristan or Götterdämmerung at the Vienna Opera.

Toward the end he leans over and asks the next person exactly why the heroine is committing suicide!   :o

Listening purely to the music as music is apparently what interested him, assuming that the story is not apocryphal.


It's not. It was actually Die Walkure, and Bruckner asked why at the end Brunnhilde was set on fire (he had been completely closed-eyed with rapture during the performance).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Siedler on July 20, 2009, 05:30:27 AM
So I got this DVD a week ago or so from amazon.co.uk, haven't had time to watch it yet. Finally it's avalaibe on DVD, the last time I saw this production was more than 10 years ago on VHS borrowed from the local library.  :)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51N3oZ3xDoL._SS400_.jpg)
At the same time I bought this set of Ravel's operas, I haven't heard either of them so I'm looking forward to watching them.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AzYFA2NeL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on September 12, 2009, 02:16:30 PM
These two items in my buy basket, now will Elgarian beat me to the purchase first   >:D
I must support my darling Danielle.....

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41hx8vSy3jL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516kPK6jH7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on October 18, 2009, 10:17:34 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cnBxujzsE0&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Elgarian on October 18, 2009, 12:11:13 PM
now will Elgarian beat me to the purchase first   >:D
I must support my darling Danielle.....

I think you have a clear run to the tape, DA - I'm spent up for this month, and Danielle will have to wait till November.

However, last week I was utterly swept overboard by this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VKSGE5H0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Gwyneth Jones is now my ultimate Marschallin.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on October 18, 2009, 08:18:07 PM
And Brigitte Fassbaender the ultimate Octavian!

Of course there is also Carlos Kleiber making it all possible!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on October 18, 2009, 10:23:40 PM
Lis, Lovely to see you. Yes, I agree. I almost did not buy that set because Gwyneth Jones was in it and I have junked a good few otherwise good performances that she has ruined for me. Our old friend Nigel talked me into nevertheless buying it and he was right to press me. It is an all round wonderful set, especially Fassbaender, but Jones is womanly, her acting excellent and the only wobbles she displays are for once non-vocal.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Elgarian on October 19, 2009, 10:47:56 AM
It is an all round wonderful set, especially Fassbaender, but Jones is womanly, her acting excellent and the only wobbles she displays are for once non-vocal.

There's a moment at the end of the final trio, Mike, when a shadow passes over her face, just as she turns to leave. During that moment, and the two or three seconds following as she walks away, are laden with meaning in a way that makes me shake my head in awe. Something to do with the way she 'holds' herself, carrying the whole weight of all these complex intertwined events, emotional shifts, and experiences.

It's that quality of acting, which surfaces again and again through her performance, that transforms this DVD into something quite extraordinary, for me.

I agree that Fassbaender is magnificent, but her acting strikes me as a little mannered - her 'masculine' expressions and movements, convincing though they are initially, become repetitive and convince me less as time goes on. But let me be absolutely clear that I'm nitpicking here, OK? - I'm talking about the variations in minutely differing degrees of excellence.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on October 19, 2009, 01:08:08 PM
The whole performance is terrific. Jones does indeed manage that delicate issue of release beautifully, self sacrifice and generosity tinged with regret. I am a complete sucker for Fassbaender's voice in its prime. There is a live recording on CD, Bohm, Fassbaender & Janowitz, Cosi fan Tutti...rather heavily cut, but well worth adopting into anyone's library.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: offbeat on October 30, 2009, 01:53:09 PM
At my local music club which i attended the other week they played excerpts from
Debussy's opera Pelleas and Melisande on DVD
Never heard before but thought was wonderfully atmospheric
Unfortunately the version i saw was from MET with James Levine and appears not listed on Amazon.
Wonder if anyone can recommend a good version of this opera- i know the productions can vary on the whim of the director
In the MET version the setting took place in a gloomy castle type room instead of the forest the act was supossed to reflect nevertheless thought it was great- Any input would be greatfully received  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on October 30, 2009, 04:13:52 PM
At my local music club which i attended the other week they played excerpts from
Debussy's opera Pelleas and Melisande on DVD
Never heard before but thought was wonderfully atmospheric
Unfortunately the version i saw was from MET with James Levine and appears not listed on Amazon.
Wonder if anyone can recommend a good version of this opera- i know the productions can vary on the whim of the director
In the MET version the setting took place in a gloomy castle type room instead of the forest the act was supossed to reflect nevertheless thought it was great- Any input would be greatfully received  :)

I've got two versions on DVD:  Peter Stein's Welsh National Opera production, conducted by Boulez, and Graham Vick's Glyndebourne production, conducted by Andrew Davis.  I prefer the former, which has fewer of those directorial whims you mention, and actually has the different settings the drama asks for, rather than Glyndebourne's "one-set-fits-all-none" approach. 

I saw a third version (back in May 2005 according to Netflix) from Opéra de Lyon, directed by Jean-François Jung and conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.  I dimly recall being really irritated by the production, and it also had sound that seemed to get worse with each act. Others have commented on that sound problem, so it wasn't just a bad copy.  I gave it a one-star rating. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: stridonolassu on October 30, 2009, 10:43:32 PM
As far as I know there has never been a telecast of Pelléas from the Met.  Radio broadcasts with Levine, yes, but no video with anyone.  If it was from the Met it could only have been an amateur pirate tape or a hard-to-come-by single-camera theater archive tape.

There have been four commercial DVD releases of the opera.  Wendell_E mentions three of them, and I strongly agree with his recommendation of the 1992 WNO Stein production conducted by Boulez (on Deutsche Grammophon).  A fifth performance is about to join the catalog in the coming weeks as Virgin is about to release the Laurent Pelly production recorded in Vienna (2009), featuring Natalie Dessay and Stéphane Degout, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: offbeat on October 31, 2009, 01:11:34 PM
Tks Wendell/Stridonolassu

Its strange i felt sure the version i saw was from the MET but maybe im mistaken - i thought the idea of the action taking place in a castle instead of a forest strange but for me it worked

Looks like i'll go for the Boulez
cheers  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on November 04, 2009, 06:19:18 PM
Messiaen at De Nederlandse Opera.

Not being a fan of Messiaen, I ignored the premier of his opera Saint François d’Assise but when one of my favourite directors Pierre Audi did his version in Amsterdam, I bought the 3 disc DVD. The other attraction was the special talented conductor Ingo Metzmacher. Also my curiosity wanted to see and hear the singer of the title role Ron Gilfry, who I have seen last as Graf Danilo in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe. Quite a difference in character is Tom Randle, the Franciscan Frère Massée, who I know from John Adams’s Klinghofer opera as the patriotic Palestinian Mahmoud.

This is a very impressive production, a friend who has seen both, prefers Pierre Audi’s inspirational  format; the center stage area cluttered with massed, simple natural wood crosses, a bare smaller platform in front where most of the action occurs. The outstanding chorus most of the time gathering around the crosses. Audi likes to move the orchestra and he did a superb job this time by placing the musicians in the back of the action, occasionally giving a glimpse of Metzmacher conducting.

The singing, acting, music, production, everything combined, does make me look for more of Messiaen’s Catholicism inspired works. It won’t make me an ardent Catholic, but will make me listen to my beloved wild bird back yard popuation with different ears.

http://www.hbdirect.com/album_detail.php?pid=3003458
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mandryka on December 12, 2009, 07:46:28 AM
I saw Rheingold from The Copenhagen Ring recently -- this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0019LZ19O/ref=s9_sima_gw_s0_p74_t1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1NWDZB8QWQWXSH8F7K3Q&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=467198433&pf_rd_i=468294

I just wanted an excuse to jot down my reactions -- hence this post. Anyway here goes:

This was the most entertaining Rheingold I have seen -- even more entertaining than Kupfer's Beyreuth DVD, and that's saying something.

In terms of singing and acting, Loge steals the show (as usual.) He's played camp, archly knowing, a functionary. He reminded me of that gay character in Bergman's "From The Life of Marionettes" Alberich was also outstanding - handsome and suave and intelligent. So was Erda (an aging peroxide, rather like a madame in a brothel), but I am a sucker for Erda myself: I think her music is beautiful.

The rest of the cast sang very well - if they sang like this at Covent Garden they wouldn't be letting The House down. Only Wotan was a bit ordinary - mellifluous but uncharismatic. I believe they use someone else (hopefully better) in the subsequent operas.

The production is interesting. The whole thing is set as a recollection of Bruenhilde's after Wotan's death That means that we are seeing things from her point of view - and from that perspective Wotan is pretty bad - a feeble, self interested sadist in fact.

I have some sympathy for that interpretation, but I can imagine some of the old timers from the Wagner Society in London will be outraged.

The magical gold is personified - it is a beautiful naked swimming kouros whom the maidens are, longingly, trying to fondle. A sexy merboy -- I am sure there wasn't a dry seat in the house. When Alberich steals the gold he rips this Adonis's heart out. Boo.

This type of grotesquery pervades the production. For example, Alberich's place - a factory in which children do the hard work - contains a cadaver which has been sliced in two . Alberich's hand is cut off at the arm by Wotan, who seems to relish the experience. Gratuitous? We shall see. An armless Alberich may generate sympathy, like Hans Biberkopf in Berlin Alexanderplatz.

There's a lot of comedy in the opera - Fasholt is an obese geriatric in a wheel chair - he gets out to kill his brother with a walk which reminded me of Max Wall. And Loge's disturbingly unpredictable, over emotional, queenliness at times called to mind Adrian Edmondson in Bottom (that's probably wasted on the Americans reading this - Do you get Bottom on TV? Do you say that a camp gay is a queen?)

Orchestra was just fine - some haunting moments in fact (like when Loge and Wotan are persuading Alberich to show off the Tarnhelm.) But really, you don't get this DVD for the orchestra.

I liked it a lot - I think it is as interesting and well done a Rheingold as I have seen. In fact. I am looking forward to Walkuere (It will arrive soon - I am renting the DVDs but feel a bit tempted to buy them.)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on December 12, 2009, 02:00:30 PM
I found this Ring the most engrossing and intelligent I have seen. The orchestra are excellent and for the most part acting and singing is very good. As you go through the journey, it will draw you in still further. I think Walkure is the highlight. The psychological insights fall thick and fast and watch for the scene steeling Hunding.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mandryka on December 12, 2009, 02:14:50 PM
I found this Ring the most engrossing and intelligent I have seen. The orchestra are excellent and for the most part acting and singing is very good. As you go through the journey, it will draw you in still further. I think Walkure is the highlight. The psychological insights fall thick and fast and watch for the scene steeling Hunding.

Mike

Can't wait to get it.  Sounds like you prefer it to my two other Rings on DVD --  Kupfer/Barenboim and Chereau/Boulez.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on December 12, 2009, 03:10:48 PM
I know both of those Rings and I would place it above in terms of the gripping concept. As the works progress, Brunhilde's investigations become more compelling. The Wotan is a bit underpowered, but he engages you with his characterisation.

I don't know of another Ring where you can see how you move forward in time as the generations grow through the cycle. Usually you remain in a mythic remote past, or in the Boulez, a twisted 19th Cent industrial revolution. Because the settings are so specific, you see even the Rheinmaidens grow old, the world is moving on.
Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on December 14, 2009, 12:00:42 PM
Hans Biberkopf and Wotan? It never occurred to me, but Mandryka, now that you made me think of it, it's a an ingenious comparison. This Ring has to be seen repeatedly to catch all the fast hints and innovations no other director has ever thought of. The Waldvogel as pet bird in Brünnhildes and Siegfried's home, part of it a cozy potting shed? It works!

And all this brilliant insight from the young, almost unknown, director Kasper Bech Holten! Europeans probably know him better than we do here in the US, but I am sure looking foreward to more of his work.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mandryka on December 18, 2009, 09:34:05 AM
The Copenhagen Walkuere is the most scary Walkuere I have seen, mainly because of Hunding. Chereau made Hunding's return to his hut frightening by having him return with his crew. In the Copenhagen Ring he comes home alone, but his demeanour, his manner, his appearance, his voice are so threatening and evil that the impact is extremely unsettling.

Women cowering in front of menacing men is a bit of a leitmotif. Sieglinde cowers in front of her husband. Bruenhilde cowers when Wotan becomes angry in Act 2 . But by the end of the opera you get the feeling that the daughter is stronger than her father. She positively supports him when he is pronouncing her punishment in Act 3. She laughs with glee at the prospect of being encircled by Magic fire - you can tell she is looking forward to the experience.

Unexpected manifestations of strength by women is another leitmotif of the production, in fact. It's Sieglinde who retrieves Notung - and she keeps it.

The only good man is Siegmund . That may be right though - maybe he really is the only hero in the opera.

Siegmund is played very well indeed. Take the scene in Act 2 where Bruenhilde tries to persuade Siegmund to abandon Sieglinde and accompany her to Valhalla. I have never seen or heard a more intense performance: the closest I have experienced to this degree of intensity is a live recording, with Karajan and Vickers and Nilsson, from La Scala in 1958. This scene in the DVD is beautifully set and produced. Bruenhilde wears wings, and as she stands in front of Siegmund in the dimming light, she reminded me of an illustration of Abu Ben Adam which I had when I was a child (you know, the angel who awoke him from his deep from of peace.)

This wings, by the way, are a metaphor of her divinity. Wotan rips them of when he humanises her. I like all of that - I had never thought of her as an angel before - but that's exactly right.

I should say that the whole thing from Act 2 to the end of the opera is absolutely top drawer, in terms of drama. Maybe the best I have seen. Of course, there are better singers. But in terms of total dramatic intelligence and impact this is outstanding.

There are some loose ends - why does Bruenhilde release a dove before the magic fire is lit? There are obvious possibilities, but we will have to see what will be made of it in Siegfried. Why does she and not her brother remove the sword? There are lots of questions like this - but no matter.

A particularly nice improvement on Wagner, I thought, was the fact that Wotan leaves Hunding alive. Why should he have him killed? After all, Hunding has done Wotan a service killing Siegmund.

Wotan is a different singer than in Rheingold - better. Not a great Wotan though, but not so bad as to spoil things. I am sure he will be just fine as The Wanderer.

Bruenhilde's impressiveness increased as the opera progressed. Powerful. I can just imagine how well she will declaim "Heil dir, Sonne!"

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:-
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?"-The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mandryka on December 18, 2009, 09:36:35 AM
Hans Biberkopf and Wotan?

I meant Alberich = Biberkopf. If we're going to extend it to Wotan then he's got to be Reinhard.

Actually that could make the basis of a good production. Over to you.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on December 18, 2009, 11:18:56 AM
We watched it together, Mandryka? Where were you sitting?

To refresh my memory I spent the past three afternoons with this superlative DVD, and I am still recovering tiny moments inserted by the very talented director Kasper Bech Holten. "Rüst uns Männern das Mahl" commands Hunding and Sieglinde brings in a steaming terrine; Hunding serves himself, terrine remains on the table, still steaming. Hunding and Sieglinde gone to their bedroom, Siegmund helps himself to the still slightly steaming food. Of course he is hungry, he hasn't had anything to eat all the time!

A pointer about the terrific acting by everybody throughout the production: The very same adoring and gentle lover of Freia, - remember the tiny bouquet of flowers he brings her? - Stephen Milling as Fasolt in Das Rheingold, is the very same loathsome Hunding!

Hunding - in my opinion the most evil Hunding ever! - walks off stage after spitting on the dead body of Siegmund.  Wotan told him to "Geh!". I don't recall Wagner having written in the stage directions for Hunding to die; so Hunding 'ging'.

Mandryka, did Brünnhilde release the Waldvogel, sending it to Siegfried to guide it to her confinement?

I have read again and again that the Copenhagen Ring is a feminist Ring and - not being a feminist myself! - I tend to agree with the view. You point out all the directions to those thoughts, it's Sieglinde's sword - didn't do any good for Siegmund, Wotan smashed it - and Brünnhilde's punishment by her father turns into a temporary happy marriage. I am not giving away the ending though, we'll hopefully talk about that later!

I have never heard of Abu Ben Adhem but certainly think it's a very lovely poem. Thank you for sharing. - The first thought coming to my mind seeing Brünnhilde with her wings appearing to Siegmund in very imaginative lighting , were the paintings of William Blake. -

Will you join me in a cup of espresso in the lobby before Siegfried starts?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on December 18, 2009, 02:48:52 PM
All these comments are only making me eager to see the entire cycle.  (I've only seen a few scenes from all four operas, but they were very impressive.)

PS, slightly off-topic, as not on DVD, but here (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2009/Jul-Dec09/DKT_tannhauser.htm) is a preview (alas, no photos!) of Kasper Bech Holten's new Tannhäuser, premiering at the Royal Danish Opera on Sunday.   

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on December 19, 2009, 08:00:10 AM
Hunding - in my opinion the most evil Hunding ever! - walks off stage after spitting on the dead body of Siegmund.  Wotan told him to "Geh!". I don't recall Wagner having written in the stage directions for Hunding to die; so Hunding 'ging'.


"Vor seinem verächtlichen Handwink sinkt Hunding tot zum Boden"  seems pretty unambiguous to me.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on December 19, 2009, 08:12:46 AM
I always appreciate having a thoroughly knowledgeable Wagnerian watch over my posts. Thank you Wendell!  :-*

Would I be committing a deadly sin, appreciating Kasper Bech Holten's direction in this production? It simply feels more fitting.  :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on December 19, 2009, 03:13:48 PM
I always appreciate having a thoroughly knowledgeable Wagnerian watch over my posts. Thank you Wendell!  :-*

Would I be committing a deadly sin, appreciating Kasper Bech Holten's direction in this production? It simply feels more fitting.  :)

No sin at all in my opinion.  In the great sceme of Ring things, I don't think Hunding's (or Alberich's) fate rates very high.  Brünnhilde's on the other hand...  In any case, I really want to see this production some day.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2009, 10:10:57 AM
I don't think Hunding's (or Alberich's) fate rates very high. 

The interesting thing for me is what it says about Wotan -- his decision to leave him alive rather than to kill him.

In this production, letting him go just seems to create a tie between Wotan and Hunding which wouldn't  have been there if Wagner's stage direction had been followed.

And given that Hunding is particularly nasty, that's not exactly to Wotan's credit.

I'm going to have to check but I don't think we got a verächtlichen handwink either.

It's just more grist to the mill  for Wotan's vilification.

Siegfried tonight!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on December 20, 2009, 10:33:32 AM
Right! No Handwink verächtlich or otherwise because Wotan is going down in his knees to bend over his son's body, in deep sorrow, completely ignoring Hunding.

One question has been bugging me for a long time and maybe we get an answer here. At the end of Das Rheingold Wotan jams his spear into Loge's tape recorder, playing the Rheinmaiden's song, but then also runs the spear into Loge's chest. The first time I saw this, I couldn't stop myself from calling out to Wotan: "But you need him later to set the fire around Brünnhilde!"

Any suggestions?  ???
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Franco on January 05, 2010, 10:58:21 AM
Presto Classical is pushing the new Ring "from the Spanish city of Valencia and its spectacular new opera house, the Palau de les Arts “Reina Sofía”, staged by Carlus Padrissa and his theatre group La Fura dels Baus."

Here's a quote from the Presto blurb:

Quote
Up until the mid 1800s the musical aspects of operas always took precedence over the theatrical aspects. Wagner tried to change all that and transformed musical thought through his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork). His idea was simple in that he felt that the poetic, visual and dramatic aspects were just as important as the musical ones. His monumental four-opera Ring cycle (which he completed in 1876) epitomized this thought process and he even built his own opera house (the Bayreuth Festspielhaus) in order to try and stage his works more as he had imagined them.

Now in the 21st Century, the imagination of Carlus Padrissa and La Fura combined with the awesome potential of modern technology means that we’re perhaps closer to realising Wagner’s visionary world than ever before. Finally now the Rhinemaidens can emerge from the Rhine (tanks of water), the gods can swoop around the stage (on personal cranes) and Wotan can ride over the mountaintops for his encounter with Erda (accompanied by huge video projections). The whole production is breathtaking, with the magical use of human beings to create organic structures such as Valhalla (here in the picture) producing several jaw-dropping moments.

Link to the Presto Ring page with the trailer. (http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/record.php?blurb=22&label=C+Major&cat=700508&cat1=700604&cat2=700708&cat3=700804&cat4=700908&cat5=701004&cat6=701108&cat7=701204&pageTitle=Wagner+-+Der+Ring+des+Nibelungen)

I have not, in the past, enjoyed Richard Wagner's music, but I may try again with this production.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on January 11, 2010, 11:45:24 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UWKjrei4L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FW8vhRsvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Wagner Ring meets digital age..........Zubin Mehta Valencia Ring
(this is same set Franco refers to in post above)

The use of huge back projected screens make almost anything you imagine possible, along with a "Cirque de sole"
type cast of extras makes for spectacular visual experience.......anyone seen this?  Check the 4 minute
video below  :o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4owd7YU7lxQ&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4owd7YU7lxQ&feature=related)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on January 11, 2010, 11:57:17 AM
I posted about this new Ring last week but got no response.  Maybe you will have better results.

Yes just saw that post...........
this is amazing visual production, without knowing anything about the quality of the singers  :)

The hardcore Wagner fans here surely must be aware of this.........
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on January 21, 2010, 06:52:04 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41R2s8ByBYL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419W5pVsUQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

La Boheme
The 1982 Teresa Stratas La Boheme now available again (10/2009) for new purchase, Zefferelli Met production Levine conductor......order placed
Stratas usually a very fine actress in these productions, love her La Traviata from same period

Movie La Boheme
Netrebko & Villazon version available as DVD or Blu Ray, anyone own or seen this yet?
How does it compare to the opera versions?
Some Amazon comments complain about inclusion of sex scences (gasp)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on January 21, 2010, 07:59:23 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419W5pVsUQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Movie La Boheme
Netrebko & Villazon version available as DVD or Blu Ray, anyone own or seen this yet?
How does it compare to the opera versions?
Some Amazon comments complain about inclusion of sex scences (gasp)

I saw this on PBS last week, and thought it was marvelous.  (And perhaps I stepped away from the TV for a few seconds, but I don't recall any overt sex--other than maybe the two leads nestling together in bed, followed by a fade-out.  ;D)

The filming is quite good, using realistic sets and cameras roaming all over, and the singing (which I assume is lip-synched by the same cast members) is excellent.  I can't comment on other versions since I only have one other Bohème--the one with Gheorghiu and Alagna, with Chailly conducting--and it's audio only.  But if you like Netrebko and Villazón, I wouldn't hesitate to get this film version.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on January 21, 2010, 08:45:55 AM
I saw this on PBS last week, and thought it was marvelous.  (And perhaps I stepped away from the TV for a few seconds, but I don't recall any overt sex--other than maybe the two leads nestling together in bed, followed by a fade-out.

Yeh that's what some traditionalists are upset about.......
opera productions always innocently go right from Rodolpho/Mimi apt scence kiss to the streets of Latin Quarter/Cafe Momus without any literal depiction of further sexual encounter.....scandalous

The TV version bedroom scence may have been toned down from the movie version  ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on January 21, 2010, 02:24:03 PM
the singing (which I assume is lip-synched by the same cast members) is excellent. 

Not in all cases.  The Shaunard and Colline aren't acted by the singers, nor are several of the smaller roles.  Alcindoro is acted (but not sung) by Ioan Holender, the Director of the Vienna State Opera.  You can see the whole cast (singers, actors, and singer/actors) at the film's website: http://www.labohemethemovie.com/about.htm
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on January 21, 2010, 02:29:42 PM
Not in all cases.  The Shaunard and Colline aren't acted by the singers, nor are several of the smaller roles.  Alcindoro is acted (but not sung) by Ioan Holender, the Director of the Vienna State Opera.  You can see the whole cast (singers, actors, and singer/actors) at the film's website: http://www.labohemethemovie.com/about.htm

As far as I am concerned, films of operas don't make much sense.  The fact that the actors are singing so loud only makes sense in the context of an operatic stage, a large auditorium and a 100 piece orchestra rumbling under their feet.  Why would Mimi be bellowing so loud in the privacy of her tiny loft bedroom?  I prefer films of proper staged productions, where the sense of spectacle of grand opera is there.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on January 21, 2010, 02:47:20 PM
Yeh that's what some traditionalists are upset about.......
opera productions always innocently go right from Rodolpho/Mimi apt scence kiss to the streets of Latin Quarter/Cafe Momus without any literal depiction of further sexual encounter.....scandalous

Well, the dialogue at the end of Act I pretty much says Rodolfo ain't gettin' any until after he takes Mimì out on a little date to Café Momus, and maybe not even then.   :D

I'm with Scarpia.  I'll take a live production over lip-synched film any day.  I'm no big fan of Zefferelli (certainly not of his opera films), but I really do like that Met DVD Dark Angel mentions above with Stratas.  And the DVD of his Met production of Otello with Vickers, Scotto, and MacNeil easily beats his film version
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on January 22, 2010, 07:38:34 AM
Not in all cases.  The Shaunard and Colline aren't acted by the singers, nor are several of the smaller roles.  Alcindoro is acted (but not sung) by Ioan Holender, the Director of the Vienna State Opera.  You can see the whole cast (singers, actors, and singer/actors) at the film's website: http://www.labohemethemovie.com/about.htm

Wendell, thanks for that link, and for the clarification.  (Didn't realize the film had its own site... :-[)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 30, 2010, 11:04:26 AM
Just recievedPrevin's Streetcar named desire in the post -I know the opera quite well from the CD and it was very nice to actually see it. The first act is quite bad, but the second and third acts are just wonderful, dramatic and incredibly touching. It's a shame that theres's no english subtitles available, but 95% of it is understandable - clearly the original production had surtitles because the audience often laughs before a punchline is delivered!

This is the first opera DVD that I have seen and I think there are problems inherent in the medium. First the singers often need to over act for it to project to the audience, so seeing it up close can be a little distracting. Second, seeing operas live from a distance offers an element of abstraction and leaves more of what the character looks like exactly to the imagination (especially important for Salome for example who's meant to be a teenager but will rarely be sung by someone younger than 35). Some of the best scenes in the DVD were when the whole stage was shown at once. Also a lot of the drama in opera comes from seeing the characters in their setting singing at or with one another - this is lost when its always close ups of the face.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on January 30, 2010, 11:40:17 AM
This is the first opera DVD that I have seen and I think there are problems inherent in the medium. First the singers often need to over act for it to project to the audience, so seeing it up close can be a little distracting. Second, seeing operas live from a distance offers an element of abstraction and leaves more of what the character looks like exactly to the imagination (especially important for Salome for example who's meant to be a teenager but will rarely be sung by someone younger than 35). Some of the best scenes in the DVD were when the whole stage was shown at once. Also a lot of the drama in opera comes from seeing the characters in their setting singing at or with one another - this is lost when its always close ups of the face.

What you are describing is more a limitation of the director of the particular DVD than of the medium.  A skillful director will use close-ups sparingly, and many do.  Excessive close-ups is the most common complaint about opera DVDs but you can often pick up on this problem by reading reviews on Amazon or similar sites.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 30, 2010, 12:17:34 PM
What you are describing is more a limitation of the director of the particular DVD than of the medium.  A skillful director will use close-ups sparingly, and many do.  Excessive close-ups is the most common complaint about opera DVDs but you can often pick up on this problem by reading reviews on Amazon or similar sites.


Ah, that's good to know!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on February 13, 2010, 07:45:42 AM
Watched Doctor Faustus, by Busoni. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-muewODPL._SS400_.jpg)

The music is fascinating, a lot of sensuous counterpoint, complex harmonies.  As a whole it was satisfying, although it started better than it ended.  The conclusion is mostly rumination by Faustus on the events that have occurred at the beginning of the opera.  The production stays close to the original scenario, while adding some "modern" symbolic, which are interesting.  The two principal roles, Faustus and Mephistophele, and very well performed, particularly Hampson's brooding, Faustus.  And it looks very good on blu ray.
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on February 25, 2010, 09:05:05 PM
Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen" is a wonderful work, full of wonderful snatches of melody, syncopated rhythms, and bittersweet harmony.  This one is visually very attractive, as well.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AQC9CFF7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


I also have this one, which is very good.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/711V2CCY4FL._SL500_AA240_.gif)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on February 27, 2010, 05:10:40 AM
Arg - I just got a Glyndbourne DVD of Intermezzo and its a region 1, but I'm in England and my computer wont read it - It suggests I change the region on my DVD drive but I'm only allowed to do it four times - is there a solution so that I can ignore the region?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: listener on February 27, 2010, 10:39:14 AM
You will find purchase of an all-zone DVD player might be the less expensive alternative.  They play CD's as well as DVD's from any source.   Specialist video stores might carry them.
Here's a link to an asian DVD source's page explaining regional coding:
http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/infoID.32/qx/info.htm
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Novi on February 27, 2010, 11:12:09 AM
Arg - I just got a Glyndbourne DVD of Intermezzo and its a region 1, but I'm in England and my computer wont read it - It suggests I change the region on my DVD drive but I'm only allowed to do it four times - is there a solution so that I can ignore the region?

Guido, I use VLC, which seems to ignore regional codes:

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on February 27, 2010, 01:44:23 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UWKjrei4L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I must say this production repulsed me, a lot of silly distracting projections and absurd props and costumes that just make the singers look awkward and uncomfortable.  I didn't manage to watch the entire thing yet, but I've put it up for sale already.

I must say these odd productions of the Ring that seem to be modeled after a 1950's science fiction movie have no appeal for me.  The Levine DVD is the finest alternative, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on February 28, 2010, 05:41:18 AM
The last DVD player I had, my nephew reconfigured it so it would play 'any region' discs. He had to muck about a bit to manage it, so I can't just ask him for helpful instructions. But it seems to be a possible option.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on February 28, 2010, 06:10:31 AM
With standalone DVD players it's generally not to difficult to get rid of region coding, for instance my Yamaha needed just four number code to be typed in with remote control.

With computer DVD drives (what is Guido asking about, I believe) is bit more complicated, asks for procedure called flashing, perfectly doable but needs to be done by someone with some computer savvy, if not done right can fuck up the DVD drive.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/Hardware/Make_your_DVD_drive_region_free/ 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on February 28, 2010, 06:11:23 PM
Hi guys - found a tool called ANY DVD which seems to work - though I have to pay in 21 days time. I think my DVD player at home is any region though so it should be fine.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on March 05, 2010, 05:39:21 PM
Bought the new Mehta Ring on Blue-ray.  I only have the Gotterdammerung so far.  Visually it looks great but so far it has left me a little cold.  Maybe i need to watch it a little more.

I did not grip me like the Copenhagen ring which i thought was very clever and very well sung.  However, i still compare them to the Amsterdam Audi Ring which is most beautifully played and staged.

I am looking forward to seeing the other parts of the Mehta Fura Del Baus Ring...but not sure if it is worth the cost.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on March 05, 2010, 07:20:32 PM
Bought the new Mehta Ring on Blue-ray.  I only have the Gotterdammerung so far.  Visually it looks great but so far it has left me a little cold.  Maybe i need to watch it a little more.

I did not grip me like the Copenhagen ring which i thought was very clever and very well sung.  However, i still compare them to the Amsterdam Audi Ring which is most beautifully played and staged.

I am looking forward to seeing the other parts of the Mehta Fura Del Baus Ring...but not sure if it is worth the cost.

I had Rheingold, watched about 30 seconds before listing it for sale on Amazon Marketplace. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2010, 01:16:44 AM
Scarpia! Not stepping into the shoes of Paulb with his sampling expertise I hope. The photos look exciting, but I would not be likelly to go for Mehta for anything lasting 15 hours, or even three.

I agree with yashin, that Copenhagen Ring is fascinating and compelling.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on March 06, 2010, 04:54:41 AM
The photos from Valencia look really good as did the clips advert clips on youtube. Maybe it is just Gotterdammerung. Its not my favourite part of the ring cycle anyhow.
Listen to the norns in the first act of the copenhagen ring and compare to the norns in the fura del Baus ring and you will see what i mean.
Innovative and modern does not have to be cold and unmoving.  I was unmoved at the end of the Fura del Baus ring....Brunhilde might as well have been walking off to the shops not into throwing herself into the burning Valhalle. Mehta of course, the overbloated conductor is not a favourite anyhow.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on March 06, 2010, 09:18:21 AM
Scarpia! Not stepping into the shoes of Paulb with his sampling expertise I hope. The photos look exciting, but I would not be likelly to go for Mehta for anything lasting 15 hours, or even three.

I agree with yashin, that Copenhagen Ring is fascinating and compelling.

Mike

In this case, a short sample was enough.  Mehta, I didn't mind, and the Blu Ray was wonderful from a technical perspective.  But the singers must be able to act, and in this production they were either dwarfed by absurd computer generated graphics that dominated the stage, or captive in ridiculous stage props that prevented them from displaying any human characteristics.   For much of the opera you are watching the actors ride around in decorated construction equipment.   And what is so sensuous about three rheinmaidens sloshing around in three fish tanks on a grate metal floor.  Just stupid. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on March 06, 2010, 06:47:55 PM
Yes, reminded me of the Wozzeck from Covent garden with Goerne-but that was stunning - him in the water drowning.  I thought the young guy swimming in the Copenhagen ring was much more effective-especially when his heart was ripped out.

What about the other ring cycle that recently came out-anyone seen that? From St Clair
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 07, 2010, 12:12:09 AM
Yes the symbolism of the gold as a youth in the Copenhagen Ring worked well...as did showing the Rheinmaidens growing old throughout he cycle...so many wonderful ideas.

Sorry, I don't know of the St Clair version.

Scarpia, That opening scene of The Ring is very difficult to stage. There was a production in Bayreuth with Peter Hall as director and Solti conducting, it was savaged, but that opening scene sounded interesting.

A shallow pool on the stage was reflected in an enormous mirror at about 70 degrees to it. The audience watched the mirror and as the singers swam from back to front of the stage, it looked as though they were swimming up to the surface of the river or down to the bed of it. It read as though it would be very effective, but I have not seen it.

Looking at the illustrations of this scene from the first production, they attempted to harness to the top of small cranes rather well nourished singers who were, if anything, overdressed. Stagehands pushed them round the stage. I imagine it must have been innovative then, but would have made them look like puppets.

I have never once seen this scene enacted in a way I thought caught the fantasy of it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on March 07, 2010, 07:35:34 AM
Yes the symbolism of the gold as a youth in the Copenhagen Ring worked well...as did showing the Rheinmaidens growing old throughout he cycle...so many wonderful ideas.

Sorry, I don't know of the St Clair version.

Scarpia, That opening scene of The Ring is very difficult to stage. There was a production in Bayreuth with Peter Hall as director and Solti conducting, it was savaged, but that opening scene sounded interesting.

A shallow pool on the stage was reflected in an enormous mirror at about 70 degrees to it. The audience watched the mirror and as the singers swam from back to front of the stage, it looked as though they were swimming up to the surface of the river or down to the bed of it. It read as though it would be very effective, but I have not seen it.

Looking at the illustrations of this scene from the first production, they attempted to harness to the top of small cranes rather well nourished singers who were, if anything, overdressed. Stagehands pushed them round the stage. I imagine it must have been innovative then, but would have made them look like puppets.

I have never once seen this scene enacted in a way I thought caught the fantasy of it.

Mike

I've also read about the Bayreuth production you describe.  Sounds interesting in theory.  With typical singers I fear it would turn into a scene from Sea World whale exhibit.  The production in the Levine DVD makes the most sense to me, a set that depicts an underwater scene and use of lighting to give some impression of being under water.  It works to some extent, it would probably work better with singers that are more lithe.  Karajan's film actually uses models on wires, which looks a bit silly, I must admit.   But having them in tubs of water goes completely against Wagner's intention, which is to depict them as very lively and carefree until their gold is stolen.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: duncan on March 07, 2010, 02:18:39 PM
What about the other ring cycle that recently came out-anyone seen that? From St Clair

I've not seen the DVD but I did see the production in Weimar.  Overall, it was the most enjoyable of the four Rings I've seen in the theatre (the others were the Pappano/Warner/Royal Opera, the Gergiev/Mariinsky debacle at Covent Garden, and the Welser-Most/Vienna Staatsoper).  Some of the enjoyment was down to low expectations (if that is possible of a Ring cycle), being able to afford very good stalls seats for a change, and seeing the work in an 800 seat theatre so the non-starry cast could sing rather than strain to make themselves heard. 

It's a modern anti-heroic production which distressed some of the audience who seemed to be upset we were not at Bayreuth in the 1930s (English, accent you could engrave steel-plate with: “But Siegfried is supposed to be tall…and blonde”).  British readers may recognise Benny from Crossroads:
(http://operapoint.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/Siegfried.jpg)

The story was clearly told, and the director and ensemble took great care to match the action with the music. They looked like a very well-rehearsed ensemble. There was occasionally a little too much heavy-handed and gratuitous symbolism bolted-on for my taste but I thought many of the touches – Valkyries in a school dorm.– were witty and effective. The only real clunker was the first act of Siegfried, which suffered from an off-form (I hope) title tenor and a messy, confused staging. 

Vocal highlights were Hidekazu Tsumaya (Fafner, and a thoroughly evil Hunding), Christian Elsner (a magnificent Sigmund) and Catherine Foster (Brunhilde) who was secure, tireless and gave a thrilling performance. It’s probably unfair to compare someone singing in a small theatre with people trying to fill Covent Garden or the Albert Hall, but I preferred her to Christine Brewer or Lisa Gasteen.  I’m sure some larger houses have her in their sights.

It sometimes looked like an economy production and I don't think it will look great on DVD.  I'm not sure if the factors that made it work in the theatre will apply on screen and I wont be rushing to buy despite my enthusiasm above.

Short video clip (http://www.nationaltheater-weimar.de/frontend/index.php?page_id=52&v=repertoire_detail&pi=862&i=0&mid=13&step=4#SubNav%22).


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on March 08, 2010, 02:37:39 AM
Oh that could be a good one to watch then!

I actually really enjoyed the Stuttgart Ring cycle on DVD especially Das Rheingold which i thought was well set in a spa!!  The Siegfried with Jon Frederik West is also very good i think.

I mean you want good playing, good singing and a setting you can relate too. I don't mind eurotrash and i don't mind visual gimmicks but you need to be gripped.

Might look into this Weimar Ring-have been looking at clips on youtube and it seems ok. One thing that put me off the new Fura del Baus Ring is the cost-about 30 UK sterling each! 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on March 14, 2010, 12:37:01 PM
Does anyone know if the recent Met Rosenkavalier broadcast is making it to DVD?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 17, 2010, 10:07:25 AM
There are roughly 60 hits within our search engine for 'Eugene Onegin'; and yet none of them devote more than a line or so to what is one of the masterpieces of Russian opera, of all opera.

I have been watching the 2007 Robert Carsen MET production on DVD. Not often can the cameras catch a night where everything goes this well. Bruce Hodges saw four of this run of performances, including the one that was filmed. On each of the other three occasions there was a problem with one of the cast, or Gergiev was substituted by a less able conductor. But here we have it, captured on the best possible night and anyone interested in great opera performances should secure it.

Tchaikovsky wrote Onegin at a pivotal point in his life. During the conception of it, he contemplated marriage, disastrously embarked upon it and worked on the piece through the fallout of the failure. There is always suggestion that Tchaikovsky was investing himself in his work and exposing his psyche, especially in his later symphonies. But in this piece the claim seems to hold water. Not in the specifics of the story, rather in the direct way he communicates passion and loss and disappointment. Onegin as outsider, observer...ultimately as a failure in his emotional life.

Pushkin made Onegin more arrogant than he appears in the opera, where he is disdainful and spoilt, rather than cruel and cold. Tchaikovsky does not give him a great deal of music. I suspect his singing time in Act 3 exceeds his music in Acts 1 and 2 combined. He gets an arioso, but not, as do Tatiana, Lenski and Gremin, a full blown formal aria. In that respect it is a little how Mozart treats Don Giovanni. As there, everyone else revolves around the main character and we learn as much about him from the way they react to him, as we do from his own words and actions.

The music is glorious, not padded out but economical. At the very end, Onegin is rejected, Tatiana walks away and he is left devastated. He utters a very few words and the curtain falls, no extended aria of feeling or of farewell. The end comes like a guillotine and is all the more brutal for it. Verdi pulls the same masterstroke at the very end of Rigoletto where Guilda's body is discovered....grief, emotional collapse; what more is there to convey? The end.

The production is minimalist in its look. A few chairs, a couple of slim tall treetrunks in scene 1. The duel scene takes place on an entirely empty stage, the rim of the sun comes up silhouetting the duellists, then Lenski's dead body. There is nothing to distract from the crucible of the drama.

It takes talented singing actors to hold the attention on such a bare stage, no opportunity for stage business, the singers stand exposed to the drama and their ability to communicate it. Hvorostrovsky, Fleming and Vargas all riveted and inspired the audience, who roared their appreciation at the end.

This may be Hvorostrovsky's best role. It suits his slightly disengaged stage persona and he has the magnetism to pull your attention to him even when he is doing almost nothing. In this production, he shoots his friend dead. At once the polonaise starting Act 3 begins and Hvorostrovsky, numb, impassive allows himself to be undressed and dressed by servants in preparation for the ball. The body of Lensky is carried past him, the set itself is also dressed around him with a square of chairs and the mood of grief and loss is brought forward those three years into the new Act in a seamless and legitimate way.

Instead of watching dancers try to cope en-messe with that fast polonaise, its exuberance acts as a counterpoint to the self destructive emptiness evident within Onegin. This is such intelligent direction and it stokes up the emotions of the audience, rather than gives them the chance to dissipate and be distracted by what is usually second rate dancing.

As I have indicated, despite such bare sets, this was not at all a non-production. The prelude to act one finds Onegin sitting in a chair at the centre of a darkened stage. He is reading the letter Tatiana will send to him. He leafs through it in a perfunctory way, distracted, irritated. As he turns the pages, pressed autumn leaves fall out onto the ground. Then more leaves start to fall from the sky and he looks up as thousands and thousands descend around him. A potent and disturbing symbol, his future foretold. He looks perturbed.

There are many such touches and the counterpart in the final act is to see Tatiana's contrasting and grief-stricken reception to Onegin's belated letter with his own declaration of love. As in his scene, she sits on a chair in the centre of an otherwise bare stage.

When, earlier, love does finally hit Onegin, the staging and lighting conspire to provide it with the quality of a bolt of lightening.

The production is so strong because the relationships and the motivations are so well worked out and are displayed without at all being semaphored. The jealously of Lenski is set up masterfully. Olga is so flighty she cannot concentrate on his loving gift of the poems he has written for her. It is plain she wants a more tangible present. She is all too open to the flirting that Onegin indulges in, so as to torture Lenski. We see a classic relationship between the plain poet and the magnetically glamorous friend, the one who can attract women by merely being, whereas his own grip on the woman he loves is palpably tentative. Lensky's unease and slide into pathological jealousy is all too understandable.

They all sing up a storm. The big moments are a total success. Everyone's acting superb, as much in repose as in action. One instance, the song written for Tatiana's name day by Triquet is provided with genuine beauty and yearning by Gergiev and his singer, far from the comic ditty it is so often presented as. During it, Tatiana sits, and you can watch her restraining the conflicting emotions that pass through her. I do like to see an actor think, hardly moving a muscle yet so much is conveyed.

For a lot of this pinpointing we have Brian Large to thank, his TV direction is exemplary. He allows many full stage shots and homes in on the telling detail without being right down the throats of the singers.

Gergiev fires up the orchestra, it has sweep, but great tenderness is not left out. The playing is wonderful and Tchaikovsky's thumbprint woodwind lines come out clearly.

We had that debate recently about whether DVDs might be better than being there....I don't think so. This set provides a different experience of the production, legitimate and powerful in its own right. But I would so like to have been with Bruce at the House and seen it and sensed the audience around me. But what we have is treasure. It will become a classic, well, it already is one.

Mike

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on March 17, 2010, 10:35:21 AM
As I have indicated, despite such bare sets, this was not at all a non-production. The prelude to act one finds Onegin sitting in a chair at the centre of a darkened stage. He is reading the letter Tatiana will send to him. He leafs through it in a perfunctory way, distracted, irritated. As he turns the pages, pressed autumn leaves fall out onto the ground. Then more leaves start to fall from the sky and he looks up as thousands and thousands descend around him. A potent and disturbing symbol, his future foretold. He looks perturbed.

Wow, such a write-up, Mike!  (My favorite part above, and yes, that scene is incredibly effective.)  I'm glad you were so struck by it.  Too many beautiful moments to count (e.g., love the sustained applause for Ramón Vargas after Lenski's famous aria).  Everything seems close to ideal, and the final scene is shattering, as it should be.

Thanks for putting it all in place so clearly.  This DVD really is something special.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 17, 2010, 12:11:22 PM
Bruce, We should go on commission if we can off-load some copies. I did not go into the singing in detail, the review is really overlong anyway. But as we have each indicated, it is excellent.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on March 21, 2010, 01:07:19 PM
Mike, thanks for the detailed review! Onegin is one of my favorite operas but somehow haven't seen this DVD yet. Will be getting it as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2010, 02:34:16 PM
Let me know what you think, I hope you enjoy it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on March 21, 2010, 03:15:49 PM
Let me know what you think, I hope you enjoy it.

Mike

I have it on order as well.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on March 21, 2010, 06:22:08 PM
Bruce, We should go on commission if we can off-load some copies. I did not go into the singing in detail, the review is really overlong anyway. But as we have each indicated, it is excellent.

Mike


I'll happily third that indication!  It's really wonderful.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on March 21, 2010, 11:22:03 PM
Excellent news. I hope the buyers get as much pleasure from it as those of us who already have the discs.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 01, 2010, 12:08:48 PM
There are roughly 60 hits within our search engine for 'Eugene Onegin'; and yet none of them devote more than a line or so to what is one of the masterpieces of Russian opera, of all opera.

I have been watching the 2007 Robert Carsen MET production on DVD. Not often can the cameras catch a night where everything goes this well. Bruce Hodges saw four of this run of performances, including the one that was filmed. On each of the other three occasions there was a problem with one of the cast, or Gergiev was substituted by a less able conductor. But here we have it, captured on the best possible night and anyone interested in great opera performances should secure it.

Tchaikovsky wrote Onegin at a pivotal point in his life. During the conception of it, he contemplated marriage, disastrously embarked upon it and worked on the piece through the fallout of the failure. There is always suggestion that Tchaikovsky was investing himself in his work and exposing his psyche, especially in his later symphonies. But in this piece the claim seems to hold water. Not in the specifics of the story, rather in the direct way he communicates passion and loss and disappointment. Onegin as outsider, observer...ultimately as a failure in his emotional life.

Pushkin made Onegin more arrogant than he appears in the opera, where he is disdainful and spoilt, rather than cruel and cold. Tchaikovsky does not give him a great deal of music. I suspect his singing time in Act 3 exceeds his music in Acts 1 and 2 combined. He gets an arioso, but not, as do Tatiana, Lenski and Gremin, a full blown formal aria. In that respect it is a little how Mozart treats Don Giovanni. As there, everyone else revolves around the main character and we learn as much about him from the way they react to him, as we do from his own words and actions.

The music is glorious, not padded out but economical. At the very end, Onegin is rejected, Tatiana walks away and he is left devastated. He utters a very few words and the curtain falls, no extended aria of feeling or of farewell. The end comes like a guillotine and is all the more brutal for it. Verdi pulls the same masterstroke at the very end of Rigoletto where Guilda's body is discovered....grief, emotional collapse; what more is there to convey? The end.

The production is minimalist in its look. A few chairs, a couple of slim tall treetrunks in scene 1. The duel scene takes place on an entirely empty stage, the rim of the sun comes up silhouetting the duellists, then Lenski's dead body. There is nothing to distract from the crucible of the drama.

It takes talented singing actors to hold the attention on such a bare stage, no opportunity for stage business, the singers stand exposed to the drama and their ability to communicate it. Hvorostrovsky, Fleming and Vargas all riveted and inspired the audience, who roared their appreciation at the end.

This may be Hvorostrovsky's best role. It suits his slightly disengaged stage persona and he has the magnetism to pull your attention to him even when he is doing almost nothing. In this production, he shoots his friend dead. At once the polonaise starting Act 3 begins and Hvorostrovsky, numb, impassive allows himself to be undressed and dressed by servants in preparation for the ball. The body of Lensky is carried past him, the set itself is also dressed around him with a square of chairs and the mood of grief and loss is brought forward those three years into the new Act in a seamless and legitimate way.

Instead of watching dancers try to cope en-messe with that fast polonaise, its exuberance acts as a counterpoint to the self destructive emptiness evident within Onegin. This is such intelligent direction and it stokes up the emotions of the audience, rather than gives them the chance to dissipate and be distracted by what is usually second rate dancing.

As I have indicated, despite such bare sets, this was not at all a non-production. The prelude to act one finds Onegin sitting in a chair at the centre of a darkened stage. He is reading the letter Tatiana will send to him. He leafs through it in a perfunctory way, distracted, irritated. As he turns the pages, pressed autumn leaves fall out onto the ground. Then more leaves start to fall from the sky and he looks up as thousands and thousands descend around him. A potent and disturbing symbol, his future foretold. He looks perturbed.

There are many such touches and the counterpart in the final act is to see Tatiana's contrasting and grief-stricken reception to Onegin's belated letter with his own declaration of love. As in his scene, she sits on a chair in the centre of an otherwise bare stage.

When, earlier, love does finally hit Onegin, the staging and lighting conspire to provide it with the quality of a bolt of lightening.

The production is so strong because the relationships and the motivations are so well worked out and are displayed without at all being semaphored. The jealously of Lenski is set up masterfully. Olga is so flighty she cannot concentrate on his loving gift of the poems he has written for her. It is plain she wants a more tangible present. She is all too open to the flirting that Onegin indulges in, so as to torture Lenski. We see a classic relationship between the plain poet and the magnetically glamorous friend, the one who can attract women by merely being, whereas his own grip on the woman he loves is palpably tentative. Lensky's unease and slide into pathological jealousy is all too understandable.

They all sing up a storm. The big moments are a total success. Everyone's acting superb, as much in repose as in action. One instance, the song written for Tatiana's name day by Triquet is provided with genuine beauty and yearning by Gergiev and his singer, far from the comic ditty it is so often presented as. During it, Tatiana sits, and you can watch her restraining the conflicting emotions that pass through her. I do like to see an actor think, hardly moving a muscle yet so much is conveyed.

For a lot of this pinpointing we have Brian Large to thank, his TV direction is exemplary. He allows many full stage shots and homes in on the telling detail without being right down the throats of the singers.

Gergiev fires up the orchestra, it has sweep, but great tenderness is not left out. The playing is wonderful and Tchaikovsky's thumbprint woodwind lines come out clearly.

We had that debate recently about whether DVDs might be better than being there....I don't think so. This set provides a different experience of the production, legitimate and powerful in its own right. But I would so like to have been with Bruce at the House and seen it and sensed the audience around me. But what we have is treasure. It will become a classic, well, it already is one.

Mike

Man, you posted this on St Patrick's Day, and our CIO is an Irishman.  Thanks for the review, for I have been looking for a good DVD of this 'un.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 01, 2010, 12:12:04 PM
Well then if you enjoy it, so does good come from bad, yet again. It would not have been highlighted today had there not been all that nonsense on another thread.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: karlhenning on April 01, 2010, 12:20:16 PM
I have found the rose which grew forth from the merde.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidW on April 01, 2010, 03:07:24 PM
Yup added to my netflix queue, I suppose I actually could take the same approach with what I asked about concerning modern Mozart operas come to think of it! :D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 01, 2010, 10:28:45 PM
Good to see you here David.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on April 11, 2010, 04:32:23 AM
This was my first ever opera DVD

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DOatcvWIL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and I was disappointed mainly because I didn't like Karita Mattila's Amelia. Makes me sound shallow but I didn't like her clothes, makeup or hair! And Lucio Gallo's Paolo wasn't evil at all he was just a pantomime villain.

Then I got this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514VCBMBS8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I know marvinbrown really liked it but I was disappointed again. In this production, before Boccanegra discovers that Amelia is his daughter he lusts after her which I found unpleasant. I know in the story there's the scene where Paolo is goading Adorno to kill Boccanegra & he hints that the Doge wants Amelia for himself & refers to Boccanegra's infamous pleasures. (presumably referring to his unmarried love affair with Maria 25 years earlier which in 1339, would have branded him a lech, but there's nothing elsewhere to suggest he's a lecherous old man now).

Anyway, undaunted I got this one

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512oB9QLYRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and it's wonderful! I love it all but especially all scenes with Boccanegro & Fiesco, when Boccanegra discovers Amelia is his daughter (the look on his face when he asks "In Pisa tu?" and "Dinne... alcun là non vedesti?") and the meeting of Fiesco and Paolo on his way to the scaffold. Te Kanawa, Agache, Opie & Scandiuzzi for me are perfect.




Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Lethevich on April 21, 2010, 06:01:41 PM
Just a heads up - Naxos Direct UK is still on its New Year's sale and has some opera DVDs reduced (and free shipping inside UK - unavailable shipping externally :():

http://www.naxosdirect.co.uk/page/new%20year%20sale (the bottom end of the right column)

Nice to see the von Otter Carmen on offer, it's a very good production.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on April 21, 2010, 08:13:21 PM
Just a heads up - Naxos Direct UK is still on its New Year's sale and has some opera DVDs reduced (and free shipping inside UK - unavailable shipping externally :():

http://www.naxosdirect.co.uk/page/new%20year%20sale (the bottom end of the right column)

Nice to see the von Otter Carmen on offer, it's a very good production.

Thanks Lethe
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: MDL on May 02, 2010, 02:55:35 PM
I've just finished watching Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun again.

(http://www.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/101279.gif)

I haven't watched this DVD for a few years. I first heard the Philips LP/CD recording  (made around the same time as the film in 1969) back in 1982; I've played the audio-only recording to death and know it back to front and inside out, so even though I was hugely impressed by the DVD, released a few years ago, it ended up in the seen-that-got-the-T-shirt-let's-try-something-new pile.

But I'd forgotten what a terrifying, traumatising piece of work the film is. OK, the singers are miming to a soundtrack, and they sometimes forget to open their mouths when they're meant to be singing, but that's understandable given the complexity of the score, the action and the staging.  But most of the cast really throw themselves into their roles, and the clammy, claustrophobic staging (with probing, nervy camerawork that spares the viewer nothing) is suitably gruelling.

It's not nice, but in this era of resurgent religious fundamentalism, it's a timely warning.


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: abidoful on May 02, 2010, 11:48:52 PM
The first opear Szymanowski composed (besides some juvenalia). (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MiwUzxDkL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 08, 2010, 04:31:18 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v20/Wendelle/recordings/lulu.jpg)

About damn time!

Alban Berg: Lulu

1980 Live from the Met telecast

Lulu: Julia Migenes
Geschwitz: Evelyn Lear
Alwa: Kenneth Riegel
Painter/Negro: Frank Little
Dr. Schön/Jack: Franz Mazura


Conducted by James Levine
Directed by John Dexter

It's on the Met's own label, and I guess only available from their website (http://www.metoperashop.org/product/detail/1000004733.aspx), and for what they charge for delivery, Levine should bring it to your doorstep himself, but I'd buy it at twice the price.  I've been waiting for this one forever (OK, 30 years).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: jhar26 on May 09, 2010, 03:36:20 AM
(http://www.anaclase.com/dvds/articles/cimarosa1.jpg)

This is maybe my favorite opera buffa from the classical period from a composer other than Mozart. Just like Mozart Cimarosa is equally skilled at writing ensembles as well as arias and just like Wolfie he knows how to use the orchestra to maximum advantage, at least going on the evidence of this opera. I've never heard any of Cimarosa's other operas, but if they are anything near as good as this one I'm definitely interested in checking them out.

The performance on this DVD is delightful. It's well acted and for the most part very well sung. Warmly recommended to those who love Cosi Fan Tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro. Not that it reaches quite THAT level of genius, but it probably comes closer than any other work of the era by a composer who's name ain't Mozart..
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on May 09, 2010, 10:14:19 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v20/Wendelle/recordings/lulu.jpg)

About damn time!


About damn time, indeed!  Thanks for posting this--had no idea it was available, and am doubly, even triply glad that Dexter's production has been immortalized on video (not to mention that cast, and Levine's reading of the score). 

Just listened to the live broadcast with the latest Lulu crew yesterday--marvelous--and am going to see it live on Wednesday.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 22, 2010, 03:01:38 AM
This deserves a prize for something, but I am not quite sure what.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoXTLWwy8SI

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 22, 2010, 11:31:29 PM
This deserves a prize for something, but I am not quite sure what.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoXTLWwy8SI

Mike

Holy mackerel that is hilarious. Dima's outfit/airbrushing reminds me of the front cover of this opera DVD:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wZE2ScrwL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 23, 2010, 03:07:37 AM
How does a singer manage in a get-up like that? I don't mean the dress.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 23, 2010, 11:19:39 AM
How does a singer manage in a get-up like that? I don't mean the dress.

Mike

It must be all computer post-production graphics. You're not going to tell me that at 50 he still has abs like that...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 23, 2010, 12:57:56 PM
There was a production of the Ring a few years ago where the Rheinmaidens all wore fat suits and sang 'nude'. Apart from looking grotesque, it must have got so hot. The suit being worn on that cover looks very ackward in terms of restricting movement.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 23, 2010, 02:18:51 PM
There was a production of the Ring a few years ago where the Rheinmaidens all wore fat suits and sang 'nude'. Apart from looking grotesque, it must have got so hot. The suit being worn on that cover looks very ackward in terms of restricting movement.

Mike

Oh, I see, you mean Ercole. (I was still reeling from S&M Dima.) Certainly seems very ungainly. I've been reading about the singers in the LA Ring complaining about the ridiculous outfits and headdresses they had to wear and how impossible it was to sing in them while wobbling around on an angled stage.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-ring-problems-20100514,0,6390533,full.story (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-ring-problems-20100514,0,6390533,full.story) 

On the whole however singers nowadays seem to put up with no end of indignities.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 24, 2010, 09:07:30 AM
Yes, I have read about that production. The director seems to deal out contempt to the singers.

I especially enjoyed the following remarks:

'L.A. Opera defended Freyer. "The psychological dimension is outsourced to other forms of expression, like the lighting."'

'Koelsch also said that the safety of the stage is a "huge priority" and that injuries are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.'

'The bulky costumes co-designed by Freyer and his daughter make even walking awkward, and the masks required for some performers partially impede their vision and hearing.'

Mike

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 24, 2010, 10:35:22 AM
Basically a huge monument to Rediedirectorial arroagance. And I don't even live in LA so I can boycott it (although I'd kill to see a live Ring, not going to happen in little New Zealand)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 24, 2010, 11:02:29 AM
Well, you did get Lord of the Rings.  8)

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on May 24, 2010, 11:06:37 AM
Yes, I have read about that production. The director seems to deal out contempt to the singers.

I especially enjoyed the following remarks:

'L.A. Opera defended Freyer. "The psychological dimension is outsourced to other forms of expression, like the lighting."'

'Koelsch also said that the safety of the stage is a "huge priority" and that injuries are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.'

'The bulky costumes co-designed by Freyer and his daughter make even walking awkward, and the masks required for some performers partially impede their vision and hearing.'

Mike

This production has the same problem:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51txCdW1q3L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Absurd, intrusive sets and effects that prevent the singers from portraying the emotions of their characters.
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on May 24, 2010, 11:13:17 AM
I know you saw the first part of it and that was enough. From the snatches I have seen it is not as alienating as the LA concept. But it does liik pointlessly busy.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on May 24, 2010, 11:23:35 AM
I know you saw the first part of it and that was enough. From the snatches I have seen it is not as alienating as the LA concept. But it does liik pointlessly busy.

Mike

Saw the first part, then did some skipping around.  Can singers act while wheeling around the stage in modified construction vehicles?

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nXki07i36m8/RoOTbOD6DEI/AAAAAAAAAH0/T-hbt8QyKjs/s400/rheingold3.jpg)

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 24, 2010, 11:42:32 AM
I know you saw the first part of it and that was enough. From the snatches I have seen it is not as alienating as the LA concept. But it does liik pointlessly busy.

Mike

Hehe this is in the post. Can't actually resist another Ring, whatever I may say about boycotts...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on May 29, 2010, 02:52:18 AM
So far i have bought 2 Blue-ray discs- the Gotterdammerung from Valencia with Mehta and the Manon with Villazon and Netrebko.  I must admit they look great on a large screen but the productions have been a little lacklustre.

I found the Valencia Gotterdammerung slightly underwhelming. Anyone else feel this?  Not sure if it is the characters moving on cranes and riding Segways.  For some reason i just did not feel moved.  Listen/watch varnay on youtube sing the immolation seen and you will know what i mean. Or am i being unfair?

The Manon with Netrebko and Villazon also looks gorgeous to watch but Villazon i find an acquired taste to watch.  He seems to over-act seriously and it drives me nuts.  He also sings too loud and does not vary his tone enough.  Is hardly believeable.  Again i am forced to watch youtube for Beverly Sills and Henry Price to see the sparks really fly OR even better hear Ramon Vargas or Stephen Costello sing the role .


Not such good luck then so far with blue-ray.  Any good productions to recommend??
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on May 29, 2010, 05:38:14 AM
So far i have bought 2 Blue-ray discs- the Gotterdammerung from Valencia with Mehta and the Manon with Villazon and Netrebko.  I must admit they look great on a large screen but the productions have been a little lacklustre.

I found the Valencia Gotterdammerung slightly underwhelming. Anyone else feel this?  Not sure if it is the characters moving on cranes and riding Segways.  For some reason i just did not feel moved.  Listen/watch varnay on youtube sing the immolation seen and you will know what i mean. Or am i being unfair?

The Manon with Netrebko and Villazon also looks gorgeous to watch but Villazon i find an acquired taste to watch.  He seems to over-act seriously and it drives me nuts.  He also sings too loud and does not vary his tone enough.  Is hardly believeable.  Again i am forced to watch youtube for Beverly Sills and Henry Price to see the sparks really fly OR even better hear Ramon Vargas or Stephen Costello sing the role .


Not such good luck then so far with blue-ray.  Any good productions to recommend??

If you live in USA please join Netflix and take advantage of large opera catalog to view......
 
Very Best Blu rays I own so far are:
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RLWHAk-uL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51vwW-1Nq9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rG7cIMLlL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
The La Traviata is a modern "euro trash" production with stripped down almost bare stage production, but here I think is works quite well.
 
Some brilliant updated touches and Netrebko has never sounded better, her best performance I have heard to date........Netrebko plays a much more powerful assertive Violetta, an updated modern women touch
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on May 29, 2010, 06:13:07 AM
Thanks for that.

But after the Mirelle Delunsch La Traviata DVD i am not sure i can ever need a different DVD of La Traviata.  I saw bits of the La Traviata you mentioned and it just seemed so fake and unreal.....Netrebko just did not look/act like a woman dying
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on May 29, 2010, 07:30:06 AM
Thanks for that.

But after the Mirelle Delunsch La Traviata DVD i am not sure i can ever need a different DVD of La Traviata.  I saw bits of the La Traviata you mentioned and it just seemed so fake and unreal.....Netrebko just did not look/act like a woman dying

Netrebko Blu Ray should not be your primary reference version, but very fun modern alternate take on things!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tObmRv67g (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tObmRv67g)
 
I mentioned this in the Verdi thread, new Gheorghiu La Traviata for $6.50 at Amazon USA.....even though I prefer her early version with Solti
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OcA9FIy3L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DarkAngel on May 29, 2010, 07:33:48 AM
Thanks for that.

But after the Mirelle Delunsch La Traviata DVD i am not sure i can ever need a different DVD of La Traviata.  I saw bits of the La Traviata you mentioned and it just seemed so fake and unreal.....Netrebko just did not look/act like a woman dying

I have Rameau Platee DVD with Mirelle giving a daring performance.......but have not seen her La Traviata
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on May 29, 2010, 07:57:06 AM
I found the Valencia Gotterdammerung slightly underwhelming. Anyone else feel this?  Not sure if it is the characters moving on cranes and riding Segways.  For some reason i just did not feel moved.  Listen/watch varnay on youtube sing the immolation seen and you will know what i mean. Or am i being unfair?

The Manon with Netrebko and Villazon also looks gorgeous to watch but Villazon i find an acquired taste to watch.  He seems to over-act seriously and it drives me nuts.  He also sings too loud and does not vary his tone enough.  Is hardly believeable.  Again i am forced to watch youtube for Beverly Sills and Henry Price to see the sparks really fly OR even better hear Ramon Vargas or Stephen Costello sing the role .

Agree on both counts.  Got the Rheingold from the same series and only made it 10 minutes into the video before I had to turn it off.  After skipping around I concluded it only gets worse.

Villazon gives me the impression of being mentally deficient.  What I've seen in the press indicates that he has ruined his voice and his career is over.  I'm crossing my fingers.   >:D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: MDL on June 01, 2010, 11:51:35 PM
Saw the first part, then did some skipping around.  Can singers act while wheeling around the stage in modified construction vehicles?

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nXki07i36m8/RoOTbOD6DEI/AAAAAAAAAH0/T-hbt8QyKjs/s400/rheingold3.jpg)

I see the BBC budget cuts are starting to bite on Doctor Who.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Franco on June 18, 2010, 06:42:19 AM
I am awaiting delivery of the Bartoli/Harnoncourt Don Giovanni and Cosi

(http://thehut.pantherssl.com/productimg/1/100/dvd/79/664279_DV_M_F.JPG)

I am guessing these are good performances, but I was wondering what other DVDs of Mozart Da Ponte operas people like.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 18, 2010, 05:40:30 PM
If that is the Gifry/Bartoli Don from many years ago i would not bother.  I love this opera but i did not like this production-i mean i found it boring.  My favourite Don dvd? umm i would still go for the Glyndebourne DVD with Gilles Cachemaille, Steven Page as a modern production. The newer DVD from the Netherlands opera with Pietro Spagnoli  as the Don is really strange and some might find boring but it does all hang together somehow. I used to really like the Drottninholm video but have not found it on DVD yet??

What about Le nozze?  I really love the Paris DVD with Peter Mattei, Christiane Oelze, Lorenzo Regazzo, and Christine Schafer.  Really quirky production but great singing and really makes quite a lot of sense. I have quite a few DVDs of this opera and apart from the newer Covent Garden one i really only can get into this one.

Cosi i am not a great fan off.  I have several versions and the only one i really enjoyed was from the Netherlands opera where it was set in a summer camp for teenagers. Its conducted (all 3 were) by ingo metzmacher.  It came as a triple Da Ponte set but you can buy it separate.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on June 21, 2010, 06:23:24 AM
Watched this:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CYnbLwQHL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

and was not impressed.

Inva Mula was ok as Mimi, but Aquiles Machado was absurd presence on the stage, like an overstuffed sausage that could talk.  His singing was competetent but not remarkable.  Laura Giordano looked the part of Musetta, but her voice was strangely unpleasant.  Capitanucci was a servicable Marcello.  The sets were quite traditional, Cobos was competent in the pit.  In the end, it was a very standard production which just didn't come alive for me.

 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Franco on June 23, 2010, 06:49:57 AM
The Bartoli/Harnoncourt twofer of the Don Giovanni/Cosi arrived yesterday and I put Cosi in the player only to discover that despite what seems to be an otherwise good production, the director uses a projector to display photographs of the characters onto a large screen during the scenes and it is extremely bothersome.  Not only is it anachronistic with the period staging, it is completely unnecessary since the stage business of looking at photographs is not a problem needing a "solution", especially one so stupid.

Once I get past this distraction, though, I'm sure to enjoy the production since the singing is wonderful.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on June 23, 2010, 06:52:40 AM
The Bartoli/Harnoncourt twofer of the Don Giovanni/Cosi arrived yesterday and I put Cosi in the player only to discover that despite what seems to be an otherwise good production, the director uses a projector to display photographs of the characters onto a large screen during the scenes and it is extremely bothersome.  Not only is it anachronistic with the period staging, it is completely unnecessary since the stage business of looking at photographs is not a problem needing a "solution", especially one so stupid.

Once I get past this distraction, though, I'm sure to enjoy the production since the singing is wonderful.

That Don Giovanni is my favorite by far.  The staging you describe of Cosi sounds insufferable.  What a shame.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Fëanor on June 25, 2010, 02:21:19 PM
I got this version of Die Walküre for my first opera on Blu-ray -- and I'm loving it.
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PAOkkg%2BFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) ... see Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/DIE-WALKURE/dp/B002S8ON8M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1277504286&sr=1-1)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 25, 2010, 10:07:25 PM
I am very tempted to buy Walkure and the Gotterdammerung. I was not going to go near them, mainly because I don't usually get much out of Mehta's performances, but the reviews I have read are pretty unanimous that his conducting is a distinct plus.

I have watched bits of it on Youtube. The cranes will take a bit of getting used to, but in fact they are almost the same technique that was used to manipulate the Rheinmaidens in the very first production in Bayreuth.

The cast seems to be unusually strong and it looks like a good contrast to my much loved Copenhagen Ring.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on June 26, 2010, 01:23:18 AM
Just watching Gotterdammerung from this cycle, having seen the other three. I really enjoyed all the visual pyrotechnics although was alittle daippointed by the forest scene in Siegfried - I'd have liked it to look a little more lyrical to underline the idea of Nature . The cast is good on the whole. with the standouts Mattis Salminen and Jennifer Wilson. Lance Ryan was totally fixated on the conductor but might improve as he gets more experienced.

It's defnitely a good contrast to Copenhagen, I feel that is a "domestic" family drama Ring, whereas one of the visual themes in this Ring is the differences between the different classes of beings - gods on cranes, Walsungs as feral cave dwellers (Sieglinder actually sniffs Siegmund when she meets him, very wolf-like), humans in suits. It's more mythical, less intimate in a sense.

OMG Siegfied is singing suspended upside down from a crane as I'm typing. Gotta go.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 26, 2010, 01:39:39 AM
You will have to tell us whether he survives. Directors do ask a lot of their singers. Some music schools teach the stand and deliver, proper breathing etc methods of sound production; then take the students into the kind of set-ups they may encounter on-stage. So, how to breathe yet sing well while simply moving about, or whilst crouched, or bent over touching your toes, or lying on your back with a weight on your stomach. I suppose suspended upside down from the ceiling will now have to be added.

Yes, I pick up on your comments that the concept is in contrast to the very intimate family-dynamic exploration in Copenhagen. It again points out, that as in Shakespeare, these works can be endlessly explored.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on June 26, 2010, 12:41:38 PM
You will have to tell us whether he survives. Directors do ask a lot of their singers. Some music schools teach the stand and deliver, proper breathing etc methods of sound production; then take the students into the kind of set-ups they may encounter on-stage. So, how to breathe yet sing well while simply moving about, or whilst crouched, or bent over touching your toes, or lying on your back with a weight on your stomach. I suppose suspended upside down from the ceiling will now have to be added.

Lance Ryan did an amazing job, you would hardly have known the difference, but it was possibly the silliest and most pointless piece of direction I have ever seen in an opera, and that is saying something.

I think the Rhine-maidens deserve a special award for being able to sing straight after popping up from holding their breath in a tank of water. This will also need to be added to the list.

Yes, I pick up on your comments that the concept is in contrast to the very intimate family-dynamic exploration in Copenhagen. It again points out, that as in Shakespeare, these works can be endlessly explored.

There are moments of intimacy in this Ring. Jennifer Wilson as Brunnhilde portrays the gradual tug of attraction for an extremely ardent Siegfried (read: practically tearing her clothes off), and her anguish at no longer being and independent person, very movingly. But fundamentally it is grand spectacle, and of course the live audience would be constantly dazzled by the visual pyrotechnics.
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 26, 2010, 12:43:52 PM
Yes, it looks like a Ring to see at the cinema.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on June 26, 2010, 06:34:15 PM
The valencia Ring might be better when watched whole- i dipped into Gotterdammerung and was left unmoved. For example, the norns at the start of the copenhagen Ring- 2 women sat in the audience and 1 in the box-each holding copied of the booklet from previous nights performance- you know for the first time -this scene made sense. Compare that to the suspended norns in the valencia Ring...i was so bothered by them being suspended and the music just seems to be so dull that i fast forward.

Then take the immolation scene. In the copenhagen ring this is another coup- very emotional and maked great sense. In the Valencia ring it might have been better in the theatre but i found that firstly were they wearing mics? Whilst the screen of flames looks good i found the moving of brunnhilde on a crane all a bit odd. The Rhinemaidens at the end -well watch the Amsterdam Ring if you want to see it better.
All told i find this a good Ring but nothing to rave about
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 26, 2010, 11:05:40 PM
Oh, those Norns in the Copenhagen Ring were to me the most jarring. They looked absurd and basically played the scene for comedy.

I will have to give some of this a proper try and get back to report on it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on June 27, 2010, 12:07:50 PM
For me the suspended Norns made sense - otherwordly beings - whereas the audience Norns really irritated me and when I watch Copenhagen again I'm going to fast forward.

And Brunnhilde on the crane is reclaiming her godly status after being a woman (on the ground) since she fell in love with Siegfried. You have to watch the whole thing for it to make sense.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on June 27, 2010, 12:27:33 PM
I think I would really like this Copenhagen Ring.  But why, in this day and age, is the set not available on Blu-Ray disc?  They recorded it in standard video rather than HD?  What a waste that would be.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 27, 2010, 12:54:19 PM
Well, there is not much to be done about it. Would you feel able to balance the possibility of a really good experience of the performances against compromised, but not exactly poor, reproduction?

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on June 27, 2010, 01:03:09 PM
Well, there is not much to be done about it. Would you feel able to balance the possibility of a really good experience of the performances against compromised, but not exactly poor, reproduction?

If it was blu-ray I would just buy it.  If I knew for a fact that there is no HD version and no blu-ray will ever be released, I would might buy it.  With no definitive information, I will not buy it.   However, I find it pathetic that Decca, the label which used to be synonymous with technically excellent opera recordings, can't manage to release their product on Blu-ray.  Even MET productions that were broadcast to theaters in HD are being release on standard DVD by Decca (like the recent Thais with Flemming).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on July 02, 2010, 02:44:16 AM
Thanks for the info about the norns and Brunnhilde. How did you know this?  Is there info on the discs or have i missed something.  Will try get the other parts when i go to Europe this summer.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 02, 2010, 02:49:05 AM
Which Ring are you referring to?

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on July 02, 2010, 12:46:44 PM
Thanks for the info about the norns and Brunnhilde. How did you know this?  Is there info on the discs or have i missed something.  Will try get the other parts when i go to Europe this summer.

Sorry, I think I was being too elliptical.

Suspended Norns, Brunnhilde on a crane: Valencia Ring

Audience Norns: Copenhagen Ring

Idea about Brunnhilde reclaiming godly status in Valencia Ring: me. It made sense to me because the Gods are usually standing on a crane, particularly in Rheingold.
But actually, now that I give it more thought, I think that the crane is also supposed to be Grane, Brunnhilde's horse, so I could be wrong. But it certainly parallels the position that the Gods are usually in, makes her more equal to them.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on July 18, 2010, 03:39:48 AM
Back in April, 2003, a Metropolitan Opera performance of Ariadne auf Naxos was taped, but it's never been televised or released commercially, and I'd read somewhere it might never be (something to do with the unions).  amazon.fr now has it listed for release on August 23rd. 

http://www.amazon.fr/Ariane-Naxos-Richard-Strauss/dp/B003UC49XO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1279452555&sr=1-3

So maybe there's still hope for the Salome with Mattila (from the first run of the production) and Wozzeck which have also been in limbo.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 18, 2010, 03:55:51 AM
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7253.40.html

Reply 43

Not a version I will be going for, despite critical acclaim of earlier performances.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on July 22, 2010, 10:54:53 AM
Have you got a DVD version of Ariadne you would recommend?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 22, 2010, 01:44:00 PM
Mmm...I will point one out, rather than recomend it. I have Bohm with Janowitz on DG. Everything about it is terrific; except that it is a mimed version. It almost works, but it is not my ideal in terms of an all round experience. Though, I do like it.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,142.msg153620/topicseen.html#msg153620

Mike

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on July 22, 2010, 01:50:13 PM
I love the Jessye Norman/Battle/Levin/Met one - Norman is at her absolute peak here and Battle is so ideal as Zerbinetta - absolutely crystal clear and coquettish to a tee. Some complain that the "opera" (as opposed to the Vorspiel) part is too static, but I think it works just fine. The other singers are mostly good also - especially the composer, though the tenor seems a bit strained.

http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Strauss-Ariadne-Troyanos-Metropolitan/dp/B000068UXJ

Just glancing at the reviews - people largely seem to agree.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on July 22, 2010, 01:53:14 PM
Battle won an award int eh UK for the part. I should think that would be an excellent version. I am always suspect of Levine, so have not gone for it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: jhar26 on July 26, 2010, 01:32:11 PM

So maybe there's still hope for the Salome with Mattila (from the first run of the production) and Wozzeck which have also been in limbo.
I would LOVE to have Mattila's Salome on DVD.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on August 16, 2010, 11:42:36 AM
DVDs due for release on 13th September in UK and October in US.

Don Carlo


Don Carlo: Rolando Villazón
Elisabetta di Valois: Marina Poplavskaya
Rodrigo: Simon Keenlyside
Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
Princess Eboli: Sonia Ganassi


(http://www.simonkeenlyside.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Verdi-Don-Carlo-DVD.jpg)

Faust


Faust : Roberto Alagna
Mephistopheles : Bryn Terfel
Marguerite : Angela Gheorghiu
Wagner : Matthew Rose
Valentin : Simon Keenlyside
Siebel : Sophie Koch
Marthe Schwertlein : Della Jones

(http://www.simonkeenlyside.info/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Gounod-Faust-DVD.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on August 16, 2010, 12:26:45 PM
I saw a broadcast of the Faust live, it was terrific. A great production, lively and very well sung. I thought it would never be issued as I read that Alagna wanted a fee that the film company could not possibly meet.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on August 28, 2010, 11:55:21 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41u87dw8T0L._SS400_.jpg)

One of the main themes of Otello/Othello is alienation. It is about someone who is an outsider; at home as a soldier, at sea in the choppier waters of a society that has only accepted him up to a point. A black man who marries a pale, blond aristocratic beauty. Now, it is a fairly standard combination that you see walking the streets, but in Shakespear's time, in Verdi's time, it provided a frisson and that background dug away at Otello like an open-cast mineworking.

Well, this production sidesteps this tension entirely. Can Salzburg be in the grip of political correctness? I have read over recent years references to sensitivities around having black singers white up. So we get the absurdity of a black Octavian, white powdered wig and all. Here we have an Otello who looks like a burly Russian builder having spent two weeks sunning himself on the Black Sea. They have fed his paranoia with a personable pretty-boy Cassio, one who would have been an excellent ticking bomb to an insecure black man with a beautiful white wife.

Not only was Otello sporting mid-brown hair, but it seemed to have blond highlights at the front. Bizarre, as in the documentary about the production, his hair looked almost black. For me a very important element, the background mainspring for what happens and why, is omitted.

So, what do we have.

We have Muti absolutely on peak form in charge of a Rolls Royce orchestra, the Wienner Philharmonika. The depth of sound is a wonder, the low strings have no trouble with that difficult opening to the final act. Muti finds drama, fire and tenderness. The great Act 3 ensemble is not the one we are used to. No, not the butchered version Karajan imposed last on Salzburg, rather the revision Verdi wrote for Paris. I prefer the original which is more direct and has an inevitability that this longer version misses.

The revelation of the night was the lyric-spinto soprano Marina Poplavskaya. She was new to the role of Desdemona, I cannot imagine it being more perfectly inhabited. She was not a mere passive doll, but a passionate, tender woman who shows the fundamental shock and confusion as her life suddenly tilts. Lambent eyes, she uses a lot of subtle facial expressions. She is utterly beautiful and her opening to the final act was the core of the performance, complete concentration from both sides of the stage lights. At the right time the audience showed her how appreciative they were. It is a warm voice with dark colours towards the bottom. She can float a soft phrase and project it, but not for show, but expressively. Judge for yourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x2zzCSVCcc

She is slated for this month's Pappano Don Carlos DVD and I will be ordering it. There is next to nothing of her available, I predict that that will shortly change.

The Jago was Carlos Alvarez. I liked him, he is a natural stage animal, but he was so clearly plotting and winnowing away, that as a friend to anyone, his manner did not strike true. He was unable to beguile the time by looking like it; from the back of the gods, he screamed 'villain'. One interesting production point was that for his Credo, he drew the stage curtain and confided his bile from the front of the stage directly to the audience.

Otello was sung by Aleksandrs Antnenko, of at least Russian heritage, he speaks excellent German in the accompanying documentary. He is also a good deal more mobile in his facial expression off-stage. On stage, he raised his eyebrows, but otherwise, his face might have been botoxed. It was his first stab at the role. He has heft, the bottom half of the voice is dark, the higher you go the harder the tone is. He looks uncomfortable and although he managed the vocal demands, he shows no inclination to savour the words. Remember Vickers's use of the word 'Gloria' when close to the end, so much expressed in one word, here it was just a hook for a note.

Well, this piece is already too long and I have given no idea of the production. It all takes place on one set with no furnature. This works well for the public scenes, but the final act, set in a bedroom, is handled in that vast bare space, the singers on a tilted pier-like perspex floor. As much of the final act was in close-up, that outdoor effect was largely eliminated.

There are moments of symbolism, the stage splits early on exposing a chasm and in death the two protagonists lie one either side of that chasm. There are other such things, but they are hackneyed and obvious. The costumes are superb, the lighting atmospheric. 

I will watch it again for the many pleasures. The quest for the perfect performance goes on, and probably will never finish.

One last carp; the English subtitles are sparse. When Otello greets Lodovico his asides cursing Desdemona are absent from the screen, you need to know the piece to get the best from the DVD

Mike.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 01, 2010, 01:44:33 PM
Has it been that long since somebody bought an opera DVD?  :o

Among many performed, praised, and loved Richard Wagner's operas he wrote more, not so familiar and condemned to the dust bin by most critics and opera lovers alike. Now there came this inventive, intelligent director, Philip Stölzl who rescued one of Wagner's early works, Rienzi and the Berlin Deutsche Oper performed it early this year and even recorded it to make it available on DVD.

Finally! A version of Rienzi enjoyable to watch and listen to! Carrying the performance from beginning to end, is, as Rienzi, Torsten Kerl an artist I have first appreciated in Die Tote Stadt ably partnered by the soprano Camillla Nylund and the conducting of Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Wagner titled the opera Der Letzte der Tribunen and Stölzl vaguely but cleverly, portrayed tyrants of the past, like Mussolini and Hitler, et al. We are familiar with the overture, but Stölzl created a great moving picture you'll always remember when hearing it.

A DVD you will not ban to the dust bin!  8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 01, 2010, 10:45:51 PM
Well, Lis, thank goodness you are back. Welcome. Not sure I can be tempted into Reinzi, the bits I have heard are not that memorable. Though no doubt a good productrion can make it worthwhile. Have you got any verdion od Die Feen?

I have reviewd an opera DVD subsequent to that Otello, Don Carlos....perhaps I dumped it into the Verdi thread. I have the new Faust on DVD. But no chance to watch it yet.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 02, 2010, 03:14:40 PM
Aulis Sallinen! In 1978 one of Finland's top composers, gave the opera worldThe Red Line a gripping story about the first parliamentary elections in Finland, the gripping story experienced by the poor crofter Topi and his family. A man who never had anything to say about life, is being given the chance to vote, to influence his life. Arguments between The Party and The Church along The Red Line, are but one of the issues in Topi's life; there is the bear decimating his flock of sheep. Sallinen based his opera on the novel by Ilmari Kianto, and in the words of the director Pekka Milonoff, came close to composing it as a Gesamtkunstwerk.

There is sublime humour, romance and tragedy. In the second act scene the choir is asking if it is spring in Finland. The romantic Sallinen doesn't let them answer directly, but he tells of the flowers in the meadow laughing! Lovely music, yet in the closing scene Sallinen's music is so tragic, it causes the conductor Mikko Franck to admit, a tear is rolling down his cheek every time he conducts a performance of The Red Line

The opera is carried by the baritone Jorma Hynninen, who has sung the premiere performance in 1978 at age 38, around 110 times in opera houses all over the world, yes even at the NY Met, as well as this one in 2008, recorded on an Ondine DVD.

Put your toe into one of Finland's beautiful lakes and test Aulis Sallinen supported by a strong cast in a very special opera.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on November 06, 2010, 10:40:30 AM
My latest purchase

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YrThsD7gL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Reviews have said too many leaves & too many chairs but those didn't bother me. Vargas was perfect as the nerdy poet, Fleming plays the naïve country girl to perfection & her letter scene is poignant & tragic. Her subsequent transformation to haughty, confident Princess who then breaks down & admits she still loves Onegin is stunning.

Hvorostovsky is in fine form vocally & brilliant as the cold hearted adventurer but his joy when his heart melts isn't convincing. His smile reminded me of a James Bond villain.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 09, 2010, 06:56:49 AM
One more Don Giovanni.

Every time I buy another new DVD release of Don Giovanni I promise myself, this will be the last one. But I can't help it if there is another ingenious director coming out with a new idea of this Mozart masterpiece! In 2008 Claus Guth did it for the Salzburg Festival!

With the support of the conductor Bertrand De Billy and a cast of outstanding singer/actors, we now have the Unitel-Classica DVD of the July//August performance at the Salzburg Mozart Haus. Guth was not hampered by the small stage at this venue, he put the entire action into a forest, doing away with the "traditional pseudo-Seville squares and palaces" - quote from the insert - . The performer's contemporary outfits fit perfectly in the woodland setting, all out for a stroll, a wedding, romancing, seducting, picknicking actions. A bus stop building does not interfere with the woods at all, it gives the opportunity for everyone to wait in it, climb up on it, jump down off it and even nap on top of it.

Guth made one radical change in the very beginning of the opera - should I really give away the surprise? Sure, opera DVDs aren't exactly hot sellers here! - The Commendatore pulls out a gun and shoots Don Giovanni in the abdomen and then dies. This wound plays a significant vehicle for Christopher Maltman's brilliant acting as the Don. - Friend Tom classifies Maltman as another barihunk. There seem to be a great number of new talented baritones populating our opera stages! - Erwin Schrott as Leporello is a perfect match for Maltman, portraying the servant as a companion and friend, not as the customary bumbling sidekick. His brilliant acting and singing was a surprise for me, I only knew him as Mr. Netrebko. He doesn't need her to become a star on the opera stages of the world.

Maltman and Schrott carry this performance so ably supported by De Billy, a performance cut of it's sometimes boring last scene of the surviving cast preaching about the evils of humans. Don Giovanni has his last encounter with the Commendatore, a luxury casting of Anatoli Kotscherga, and dies of his wound, disappearing through the forest floor, not even holding the hand of his assassin!

It's different. Not really. The essence of Mozart's opera is covered very well; I didn't miss the cuts at all, the chances for the lovely ladies to show off their talents both in singing and acting are all there, as are the roles of Don Ottavio and Masetto.

Read in this month's Opera about yet another Don Giovanni at the Opera Cologne with Christopher Maltman; if it comes out on DVD, based on the review, I actually might skip this one.  :o
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on November 09, 2010, 07:02:21 AM
Too many opera DVDs to even keep track of them all!  Lis, thanks for the Don Giovanni review, but thanks even more for mentioning the Sallinen!  Since it seems unlikely that it will show up here ( :'(), that particular DVD becomes almost mandatory. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 07:11:15 AM
Interesting-sounding DG, Lis. Thanks for that. As you know, I am a traditionalist in terms of opera, but this one sounds worth seeing. So few that I read about have that attraction. Seems odd that you would have to point out that Leporello and DG seem more like companions here; when I first read the libretto I thought that's how it would/should be, but there seem to be only hints of tha in the various productions I saw subsequently. So this should satisfy that idea in my head then. :)  Yes, I'll have to look into this. Thanks again,

GB 8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 09, 2010, 08:27:31 AM
 --Bruce
[/quote] "that particular DVD becomes almost mandatory.

Whole-hearted agreement with you on that, but how can we convince people that there is more to the music of Finland than Sibelius? And that there is this truly outstanding actor/singer Jorma Hynninen, rarely seen or heard outside of Europe, I would call the top vocal interpreter of finnish music, his Rautavaaras for example. He is also a super Macbeth! Conductor Mikko Franck was not the only person shedding a tear during the last act of The Red Line[/i!]
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 10, 2010, 12:01:53 PM
I am tempted by both the discs Lis....but just having bought a set of four tyres, I think indulgences will have to wait. The Maltman DG that you review has had praise elsewhere. I think Jens may have reviewed it in some detail. Not sure I like the idea of the final ensemble being cut though.

Might just go have a look at Amazon, you never know whether there may be a bargain source on their marketplace.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 10, 2010, 08:18:36 PM
Mike, can you tell me when Jens reviewed the Salzburg Don Giovanni? Did he do it here? I tried to find his blogs in vain.

I am wondering what your Finnish friend Juha is thinking of Sallinen and The Red Line!

Lis
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidW on November 10, 2010, 08:23:51 PM
I don't know if this is what you're looking for...

http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2346 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2346)

 :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 10, 2010, 08:28:38 PM
Thanks, David!   :-*
I have been at that site, but there is nothing about the Don Giovanni, thought maybe there is another blog or site where he posts.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidW on November 10, 2010, 08:31:34 PM
Well it says "Amid the good, the so-so, the obtuse, and the insultingly dreadful, there was one production that was a revelation, pure and simple. Opera as it should be. Perhaps the best conservative opera production I have ever seen: Claus Guth’s Don Giovanni, ‘new and improved’ with the now competent, enlivening conducting of Yannick Nézet-Séguin."

Is that what you're looking for?  Or is it wrong performance?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 10, 2010, 08:56:52 PM
Oh Dear!   :-[  I only saw the year 2010 in the title and skipped it because the DVD is from the 2008 performance. I wasn't aware Salzburg improved on the older production and brought in a new talent in Jannick Nézet-Séguin - not that Bertrand De Billy is unsatisfactory! - If the 2010 version is conservative I wonder what slightly naughty scenes they deleted. Watered it down?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on November 11, 2010, 10:23:18 AM
This too is Aulis Sallinen!

The Palace, on the ArtHaus DVD, is from the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1995. Kalle Holmberg directed it and the Festival orchestra is conducted by Okko Kamu. Looking at photos of the Savonlinna Festival always tempts me to book a trip to Finland and attend the performances there: An old castle/fortification totally surrounded by water; very romantic.

This opera is a complete opposite of The Red Line, from high drama to satiric comedy and takes some understanding, tolerance and open mind. I am not there yet, but I was drawn to it not only because it's from Sallinen, but the libretto has been written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, one of the quartett of Germany's best contemporary writers. - Günter Grass, Siegfriend Lenz and Martin Walser are the others. - It's an Enzensberger creation alright, his sarcasm softened by Sallinen's music, light, varied, at times atonal, at times jazzy, rocky even.

In this opera too there is a main character carrying the performance, Sauli Tillikainen as Valmonte is the one for this opera. No doubt his wide smile constantly pasted on his face is demanded by the director, just get's a bit tiresome for my taste. Maybe repeat watching will make me accept it. For the first viewing yesterday I concentrated on the overall action, vaguely based on the overthrow of Hailie Selassie in 1974, but also shades of Mozart's Entführung aus dem Serail, use of the characters names like Constance/Konstanze, Valmonte/Belmonte, Petruccio/Pedrillo. Jaana Mäntynen, the emporer's wife Constance, has a very pleasant soprano expressing clearly variations of emotions with her voice.

From the insert: "The story of The Palace is not a fairytale but rather a pessimistic satirical commentary on how power is wielded in our modern world."

In interesting production asking for more viewing than just one, or maybe I have to better disengage my mind from Sallinen's highly dramatic The Red Line.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: listener on November 16, 2010, 12:23:30 PM
duplication of a post elsewhere, but pertinent
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/11/la-operas-recovered-voices-productions-released-on-dvd.html
Naxos releases this month on DVD  BRAUNFELS  The Birds
ZEMLINSKY  The Dwarf (Der Zwerg) and ULLMANN  The Broken Jug
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on November 16, 2010, 01:39:18 PM
Have both of those blu-ray releases in my cart.  Waiting for competition to heat up and beat the price down a bit.  They're still a bit pricey.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: johnshade on November 18, 2010, 10:26:16 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51h4A%2BTgSJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

"Newly restored and digitally remastered from the original 35mm 1962 film,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf stars in this film of  Der Rosenkavalier; Karajan conducts. This a Salzburg Festival production. This filmed version was hailed by The New York Times as Superb."

This DVD is excellent! A must for those who like Der Rosenkavalier (my guilty pleasure since I saw a Met production in 1958).

JS
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on November 19, 2010, 10:05:45 AM
Any reaction to this one?

Rigoletto, a new DVD release featuring Damrau.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iAMCGcOsL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 20, 2010, 06:18:06 AM
Verdi: Don Carlo: Live Covent Garden Pappano, Villazon, Poplavskaya, Keenlyside, Furlanetto, Ganassi. 2008.

I ordered this the instant I saw that Poplavskaya was in it. Beautiful and with a lovely voice and stage presence. She was superb in the Simone Boccegnera and in the Muti Otello. I hope she records Guilda.

I then went to the various crits of the live performances and concluded that I had made an error. Villazon was variously described as....clearly loving himself.....only acting with his eyebrows.....singing without subtlety.

Well, I just don't understand what the critics were seeing and hearing, but it must have been on nights other than the one recorded. Villazon provides a committed and beautifully sung performance, the emotional core of the evening. He does not tire and certainly acts boldly and with a deal of subtlty. When put against that superb stage animal Keenlyside, it was the latter who sometimes looked hesitant, a kind of occasional fumbling in his stagecraft, even though vocally he was as always a rock, (of the right kind.)

The production is uncluttered, with the sets stylised, costumed for the authentic time and wonderfully lit. The whole drama flowed and a highlight was the three way confrontation between the King, Posa and Carlo. White hot and highlighting the skills of Furlanetto, who although very much in the Autumn of his career, provided a totally satisfying and rounded portrait of the depressed king. He even displayed tenderness to the Grand Inquisitor, here clearly a mentor rather than an opponent.

So to the women; I found Poplavskaya to be slightly disappointing in the vocal department. This role was a size too large for her voice in its current state. She was unable to provide unbroken phrasing utilising the full voice from middle to upper register. So a number of phrases were disturbed by her need to 'place' the note on upward leaps and provide volume, rather than sweep up to the high lying phrases.

It was not exactly effortful, careful rather. She looked and acted as well as ever, no cardboard cutout; but this was not the role progression I had hoped for. But disappointment is only relative, there was still a lot to enjoy in her singing.

As to Ganassi, stock Italianate mezzo work, capable and with all the notes, her acting was all laid on from the outside. Simply not in the same class of singing actor as the rest of the principles. She moves stiffley and looks self conscious.

The conducting was superb, full of fire and bringing out colour and that wistfulness, even sadness that lies at the heart of this score. 'Love thwarted.' could be a subtitle, though Verdi provides a very lively look at politics, but it is the sheer emotional disappointments everyone experiences that provided the main theme. The one exception is that deep fraternal devotion between Posa and Carlo, the only unblighted relationship in entire complex work....which anyone not knowing the story will nevertheless be unsurprised to learn is doomed.

I love this opera as much as any, this is a very fine version indeed. I am glad I was not put off by first reading those negative newspaper crits. As can happen and does here, clearly the DVD filming largely eliminated the things that were not admired and amplified those that were.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on November 20, 2010, 12:14:34 PM
Any reaction to this one?

Rigoletto, a new DVD release featuring Damrau.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iAMCGcOsL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is a very interesting production and it worked for me.

I've got several Rigolettos & didn't really need another but was intrigued by the prospect of nice, sweet JDF singing this role. His is very very good & his performance includes several notes which I don't think are in the original score presumably to show case his talent.  Looks a wally with a mullet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mullet_%28haircut%29) though.

Damrau is exceptional & plays Gilda perfectly as a scheming and manipulative girl who is desperate to escape. Couldn't be faulted. I really liked Željko Lučić in Macbeth & was eager to see him in this. His smooth mellow sound was at times deliberately harsh & his portrayal is bold and savage.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sospiro on November 20, 2010, 12:31:19 PM
Verdi: Don Carlo: Live Covent Garden Pappano, Villazon, Poplavskaya, Keenlyside, Furlanetto, Ganassi. 2008.

I ordered this the instant I saw that Poplavskaya was in it. Beautiful and with a lovely voice and stage presence. She was superb in the Simone Boccegnera and in the Muti Otello. I hope she records Guilda.

I then went to the various crits of the live performances and concluded that I had made an error. Villazon was variously described as....clearly loving himself.....only acting with his eyebrows.....singing without subtlety.

Well, I just don't understand what the critics were seeing and hearing, but it must have been on nights other than the one recorded. Villazon provides a committed and beautifully sung performance, the emotional core of the evening. He does not tire and certainly acts boldly and with a deal of subtlty. When put against that superb stage animal Keenlyside, it was the latter who sometimes looked hesitant, a kind of occasional fumbling in his stagecraft, even though vocally he was as always a rock, (of the right kind.)

The production is uncluttered, with the sets stylised, costumed for the authentic time and wonderfully lit. The whole drama flowed and a highlight was the three way confrontation between the King, Posa and Carlo. White hot and highlighting the skills of Furlanetto, who although very much in the Autumn of his career, provided a totally satisfying and rounded portrait of the depressed king. He even displayed tenderness to the Grand Inquisitor, here clearly a mentor rather than an opponent.

So to the women; I found Poplavskaya to be slightly disappointing in the vocal department. This role was a size too large for her voice in its current state. She was unable to provide unbroken phrasing utilising the full voice from middle to upper register. So a number of phrases were disturbed by her need to 'place' the note on upward leaps and provide volume, rather than sweep up to the high lying phrases.

It was not exactly effortful, careful rather. She looked and acted as well as ever, no cardboard cutout; but this was not the role progression I had hoped for. But disappointment is only relative, there was still a lot to enjoy in her singing.

As to Ganassi, stock Italianate mezzo work, capable and with all the notes, her acting was all laid on from the outside. Simply not in the same class of singing actor as the rest of the principles. She moves stiffley and looks self conscious.

The conducting was superb, full of fire and bringing out colour and that wistfulness, even sadness that lies at the heart of this score. 'Love thwarted.' could be a subtitle, though Verdi provides a very lively look at politics, but it is the sheer emotional disappointments everyone experiences that provided the main theme. The one exception is that deep fraternal devotion between Posa and Carlo, the only unblighted relationship in entire complex work....which anyone not knowing the story will nevertheless be unsurprised to learn is doomed.

I love this opera as much as any, this is a very fine version indeed. I am glad I was not put off by first reading those negative newspaper crits. As can happen and does here, clearly the DVD filming largely eliminated the things that were not admired and amplified those that were.

Mike


I agree with your comments.

In UK we were lucky enough to see this on TV last Christmas & I've watched my copy lots of times since. Several people I know say they wished it had been recorded on a night Kaufmann had sung Carlo but I think Villazón is perfect for the rather pathetic Prince. I really like Marina Poplavskaya -  she was fantastic in Boccanegra. Nice interview (http://www.operanews.com/operanews/templates/content.aspx?id=17635) with her.

My recorded off the TV copy isn't brilliant so I may well get the commercial version as well.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on November 20, 2010, 12:42:43 PM
Thanks for linking that article; I knew nothing about her. I hope her voice has continued to develop and I would be keen to hear whatever she appears in.

At the same time as I bought the Verdi, I got the Gounod Faust also a Covent Garden production. I saw the live broadcast of that and am glad to have it preserved. I will write it up shortly.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2010, 07:03:25 PM
One more Don Giovanni.

Every time I buy another new DVD release of Don Giovanni I promise myself, this will be the last one. But I can't help it if there is another ingenious director coming out with a new idea of this Mozart masterpiece! In 2008 Claus Guth did it for the Salzburg Festival!

With the support of the conductor Bertrand De Billy and a cast of outstanding singer/actors, we now have the Unitel-Classica DVD of the July//August performance at the Salzburg Mozart Haus. Guth was not hampered by the small stage at this venue, he put the entire action into a forest, doing away with the "traditional pseudo-Seville squares and palaces" - quote from the insert - . The performer's contemporary outfits fit perfectly in the woodland setting, all out for a stroll, a wedding, romancing, seducting, picknicking actions. A bus stop building does not interfere with the woods at all, it gives the opportunity for everyone to wait in it, climb up on it, jump down off it and even nap on top of it.

Guth made one radical change in the very beginning of the opera - should I really give away the surprise? Sure, opera DVDs aren't exactly hot sellers here! - The Commendatore pulls out a gun and shoots Don Giovanni in the abdomen and then dies. This wound plays a significant vehicle for Christopher Maltman's brilliant acting as the Don. - Friend Tom classifies Maltman as another barihunk. There seem to be a great number of new talented baritones populating our opera stages! - Erwin Schrott as Leporello is a perfect match for Maltman, portraying the servant as a companion and friend, not as the customary bumbling sidekick. His brilliant acting and singing was a surprise for me, I only knew him as Mr. Netrebko. He doesn't need her to become a star on the opera stages of the world.

Maltman and Schrott carry this performance so ably supported by De Billy, a performance cut of it's sometimes boring last scene of the surviving cast preaching about the evils of humans. Don Giovanni has his last encounter with the Commendatore, a luxury casting of Anatoli Kotscherga, and dies of his wound, disappearing through the forest floor, not even holding the hand of his assassin!

It's different. Not really. The essence of Mozart's opera is covered very well; I didn't miss the cuts at all, the chances for the lovely ladies to show off their talents both in singing and acting are all there, as are the roles of Don Ottavio and Masetto.

Read in this month's Opera about yet another Don Giovanni at the Opera Cologne with Christopher Maltman; if it comes out on DVD, based on the review, I actually might skip this one.  :o

Well, not often will you find me here in Orpyland, commenting on a production, but I just finished a holiday treat of watching this DVD and found it every bit as enjoyable as you might have expected from the above review. Being a hidebound traditionalist, I embarked on this adventure with a feeling of being somewhat intrepid. But my fears were allayed very shortly on by the excellent singing, the brilliant playing of the WP, and the rather quick realization that the simple set was really perfect for all the action.

Not being expert at comparing performances, the best I can say is that Maltman was as good as the hype I've read about him, and Schrott was the most interesting Leporello I've ever seen. Some comedic touches had me laughing, like Leporello cooling a warm situation with Masetto and Zerlina by pulling out a joint the size of a Cuban Perfecto. A touch that probably didn't occur to Mozart, but which would have amused him, I'm sure. :)

In any case, this was a commendable performance that I'm pleased to have seen it. I hope you do too.

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Franz Schubert - D 940 Fantaisie in f for Piano 4-Hands
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on November 26, 2010, 07:57:57 PM
Well, not often will you find me here in Orpyland, commenting on a production, but I just finished a holiday treat of watching this DVD and found it every bit as enjoyable as you might have expected from the above review. Being a hidebound traditionalist, I embarked on this adventure with a feeling of being somewhat intrepid. But my fears were allayed very shortly on by the excellent singing, the brilliant playing of the WP, and the rather quick realization that the simple set was really perfect for all the action.

Not being expert at comparing performances, the best I can say is that Maltman was as good as the hype I've read about him, and Schrott was the most interesting Leporello I've ever seen. Some comedic touches had me laughing, like Leporello cooling a warm situation with Masetto and Zerlina by pulling out a joint the size of a Cuban Perfecto. A touch that probably didn't occur to Mozart, but which would have amused him, I'm sure. :)

In any case, this was a commendable performance that I'm pleased to have seen it. I hope you do too.


You might also like this one:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41p%2Bwa8spAL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
which features Schrott as Figaro; overall well done and well sung, with the production suggesting some indefinite time period between 1930 and 1980, and the touches of Regietheater are well subordinated to the action and not very numerous to begin with, although I should mention for the faint of heart that Act I starts off with Schrott in an a-shirt.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on December 07, 2010, 11:13:11 AM
 Massenet and Mozart

A plethora of DVDs arrived here, so far I watched only two of them, one is the eagerly waited for video of José von Dam's last Don Quichotte of his career at the Opera De Lamonnie in Brussels on May 2010. Nigel on another forum gave us his wonderful review - ehem: The conductor on the DVD is Mark Minkowski - and I was prepped for a moving, moist eyed, if not actually tear-shedding, performance. Sorry to admit, but it left me waiting for the impact, instead I was left dry-eyed. It must have been the sets, costumes and general direction taking away all the charm and emotions I experience when listening the a CD of van Dam's Don Quichotte. Maybe I was expecting too much, but at the first sight of this landscape resembling a Washington D.C. landfill, my expectations dampened. No rusty, clanking armour for the Don, what looked like an archivist's gray work coat had to be it; the few pieces of armour attached to his right arm didn't do it. The encounter with the windmills was lively and well done, but it made me worry José would fall out of his wildly swinging chair.

Maybe a second, or third watching will turn on the tears, not too much hope for it happening though. I'll just lisen to the CD again and have me a good cry!   
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on December 07, 2010, 04:26:23 PM
Mozart and Massenet.

Two Mozarts in the plethora, but only one watched so far, another Le nozze di Figaro. Can one ever have enough of them, just like the Don Giovannis. Good directors with a splendid, high caliber cast can make new ones just as exciting as any previous old ones. This on directed by David McVicar is another winner because the cast is special! Erwin Schrott, Gerald Finley, Dorothea Röschmann, Philip Langridge! Of course Miah Persson is a very lively and entertaining Susanna, she can sing and act quite well, it's just that I have never seen or heard her before, have to get used to her.

Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, in a 2006 performance, four years ago, when Erwin Schrott was still round-faced and a tiny bit chubby, glancing at Pappano quite frequently. No complaints about his strong and solid bass-baritone, plus his lively acting; McVicar might have something to do with it though! I was actually more interested in seeing and hearing Finley as the count. I met him in the Britten film Owen Wingrave years ago and then in Saariaos watery love story. Yes, I know he is Mr. Atomic, but my mind is not yet completely clear on  this performance. Now I have met the very funny Finley! That man can play with lots of humour, a variety of expressions on his face and in his voice! Röschmann is as effortless a soprano she always is, those lovely Mozart notes seem to come naturally from the lady's vocal chords. A had to look twice to recognise Langridge as Basilio in the unusual wig and make up, but the voice was there, his sure and secure tenor he is famous for.

The production is in traditional sets and costumes with a very short, the director's inspirational moment, when Finley puts on small rimless glasses, points of white shirt collar poking up to his black, wavy wig. "That's Franz Schubert!" I gasped; a perfect resemblance of Franzerl!

This afternoon comes the other side of the second Le Nozze in my plethora, Schrott in the contemporary 2007 Zürich production. - Any more nozzes DVDs floating around to watch? -
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 07, 2010, 05:11:42 PM
Mozart and Massenet.

Two Mozarts in the plethora, but only one watched so far, another Le nozze di Figaro. Can one ever have enough of them, just like the Don Giovannis. Good directors with a splendid, high caliber cast can make new ones just as exciting as any previous old ones. This on directed by David McVicar is another winner because the cast is special! Erwin Schrott, Gerald Finley, Dorothea Röschmann, Philip Langridge! Of course Miah Persson is a very lively and entertaining Susanna, she can sing and act quite well, it's just that I have never seen or heard her before, have to get used to her.

Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, in a 2006 performance, four years ago, when Erwin Schrott was still round-faced and a tiny bit chubby, glancing at Pappano quite frequently. No complaints about his strong and solid bass-baritone, plus his lively acting; McVicar might have something to do with it though! I was actually more interested in seeing and hearing Finley as the count. I met him in the Britten film Owen Wingrave years ago and then in Saariaos watery love story. Yes, I know he is Mr. Atomic, but my mind is not yet completely clear on  this performance. Now I have met the very funny Finley! That man can play with lots of humour, a variety of expressions on his face and in his voice! Röschmann is as effortless a soprano she always is, those lovely Mozart notes seem to come naturally from the lady's vocal chords. A had to look twice to recognise Langridge as Basilio in the unusual wig and make up, but the voice was there, his sure and secure tenor he is famous for.

The production is in traditional sets and costumes with a very short, the director's inspirational moment, when Finley puts on small rimless glasses, points of white shirt collar poking up to his black, wavy wig. "That's Franz Schubert!" I gasped; a perfect resemblance of Franzerl!

This afternoon comes the other side of the second Le Nozze in my plethora, Schrott in the contemporary 2007 Zürich production. - Any more nozzes DVDs floating around to watch? -

That one looks pretty good, Kaergaard. I know Miah Persson quite well, actually, as I've heard her sing a couple of disks worth of Mozart arias and Lieder. I found her and her voice to be most attractive. I don't know Finley though, he sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip. I think the other one you are talking about must be the one that Kishnevi is talking about above. Curious how you find that one to be. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Aviv Quartet - Hoffmeister Op 14 #3 Quartet in d for Strings 3rd mvmt - Minuetto
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on December 07, 2010, 06:47:34 PM
Gurn: It's a Michael Volle variety show with Erwin Schrott  trying valiantly to make it into a Mozart opera!  >:(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 07, 2010, 07:05:47 PM
Gurn: It's a Michael Volle variety show with Erwin Schrott  trying valiantly to make it into a Mozart opera!  >:(

:D  Ah well, so it goes. If Mozart's music can't save it, then it is totally over the top! Thanks for that info, K.... :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Milan Chamber Orchestra \ Caldi  Carbotta (Flute) - Zanchietta (Basset Horn) -
Rolla Sinfonia in Bb for String Orchestra 2nd mvmt - Rondo: Andantino
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on December 07, 2010, 08:41:15 PM
:D  Ah well, so it goes. If Mozart's music can't save it, then it is totally over the top! Thanks for that info, K.... :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Milan Chamber Orchestra \ Caldi  Carbotta (Flute) - Zanchietta (Basset Horn) -
Rolla Sinfonia in Bb for String Orchestra 2nd mvmt - Rondo: Andantino

I beg to differ there.  I think it's a fairly entertaining production, and while it's probably not competing for "reference recording" status, it bears rewatching, which can't be said for some other productions.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 08, 2010, 05:36:18 AM
I beg to differ there.  I think it's a fairly entertaining production, and while it's probably not competing for "reference recording" status, it bears rewatching, which can't be said for some other productions.

OK, that's cool with me. Clearly a difference of opinion (and I don't even have one!). I might scoop it up anyway, although the other one with Schrott sounds like it might be more my cuppa tea. :)

8)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on December 08, 2010, 08:54:33 AM
It all has to do with the direction by Sven-Eric Bechtolf compared to that of McVicar. Bechtolf turns the jealous, demanding wife beater into a cabarett performer, performing silly magician's tricks even while singing the most beautiful Mozart arias,  - Volle singing them so truly Mozartean, such a waste of an outstanding tenor! -

No reason for Marcellina to drop and then slip back on her skimpy bloomers and also showing us her belly button and bum. There is nothing in her role to justify these silly actions.  :-[
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on December 08, 2010, 08:21:40 PM
It all has to do with the direction by Sven-Eric Bechtolf compared to that of McVicar. Bechtolf turns the jealous, demanding wife beater into a cabarett performer, performing silly magician's tricks even while singing the most beautiful Mozart arias,  - Volle singing them so truly Mozartean, such a waste of an outstanding tenor! -

No reason for Marcellina to drop and then slip back on her skimpy bloomers and also showing us her belly button and bum. There is nothing in her role to justify these silly actions.  :-[

The magician's tricks seem to serve as punctuation/commentary on the Count's actions and thoughts, so I didn't see them as being irrelevant.  The only truly odd moment was the Count showing up in the last act in a bear costume. Haven't figured that one out yet.  How did he know Don Basilio needed a stage prop for his aria?  But otherwise I felt it was well thought out--and the stage direction clearly showed him as a jealous wifebeater and generally nasty guy for whom there is little cause for sympathy.

As for Marcellina's striptease--well, she needed to do something during her aria, so why not show her wild side?  (And, since she had a child out of wedlock, she obviously had a wild side, however well hidden it might be.)

Granted, the McVicar sounds much more traditional, but I think the Bechtolf, with its limited Regietheater,  worked pretty well.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on December 11, 2010, 05:41:24 PM

Sony Classical's releasing several recent Met Live in HD performances on January 25th:

John Adams' Doctor Atomic (http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Atomic-Adams/dp/B004EU7W5S/ref=sr_1_6?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292116817&sr=1-6) features several of the same singers as in the DVD that's already available, but in a new production by Penny Woolcock, conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Buttefly (http://www.amazon.com/Madama-Butterfly-Puccini/dp/B004ECFW7Q/ref=sr_1_9?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117429&sr=1-9), with Patricia Racette, Marcelo Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, Patrick Summers conducting.

Salome (http://www.amazon.com/Salome-Strauss/dp/B004ECFWAI/ref=sr_1_8?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117547&sr=1-8) with Karita Mattila and Juha Uusitalo, Patrick Summers conducting.

Simon Boccanegra (http://www.amazon.com/Simon-Boccanegra-Verdi/dp/B004ECFW94/ref=sr_1_7?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117694&sr=1-7) with Domingo in the title role, Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordani, and James Morris, Levine conducting.

Amazon's currently listing Salome for $17.49, the longer operas for $20.99.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on December 12, 2010, 10:20:24 AM
So the Met finally released the Mattila Salome, letting us wait for at least three years. Well now they can  :P me you know where!  :D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on December 12, 2010, 09:21:05 PM
The Matilla Salome is indeed electrifying-just watch the clips on youtube for proof of that. Not sure about the rest though. Maybe the Doctor Atomic will be worth a look but there is already a DVD of this right?  Was it filmed in the Netherlands?  Was expensive DVD when i looked.

Not sure i want Giordani belting his way through Madame Butterfly nor Domingo clinging on and breathless in Simon Boccanegra. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on December 12, 2010, 09:27:31 PM
The Matilla Salome is indeed electrifying-just watch the clips on youtube for proof of that. Not sure about the rest though. Maybe the Doctor Atomic will be worth a look but there is already a DVD of this right?  Was it filmed in the Netherlands?  Was expensive DVD when i looked.

Not sure i want Giordani belting his way through Madame Butterfly nor Domingo clinging on and breathless in Simon Boccanegra.

Annoying that these High-Def productions are being issued on DVD rather than Blu Ray disc. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on December 13, 2010, 12:37:24 PM
Sony Classical's releasing several recent Met Live in HD performances on January 25th:

John Adams' Doctor Atomic (http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Atomic-Adams/dp/B004EU7W5S/ref=sr_1_6?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292116817&sr=1-6) features several of the same singers as in the DVD that's already available, but in a new production by Penny Woolcock, conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Anthony Minghella's production of Madama Buttefly (http://www.amazon.com/Madama-Butterfly-Puccini/dp/B004ECFW7Q/ref=sr_1_9?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117429&sr=1-9), with Patricia Racette, Marcelo Giordani, and Dwayne Croft, Patrick Summers conducting.

Salome (http://www.amazon.com/Salome-Strauss/dp/B004ECFWAI/ref=sr_1_8?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117547&sr=1-8) with Karita Mattila and Juha Uusitalo, Patrick Summers conducting.

Simon Boccanegra (http://www.amazon.com/Simon-Boccanegra-Verdi/dp/B004ECFW94/ref=sr_1_7?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1292117694&sr=1-7) with Domingo in the title role, Adrianne Pieczonka, Marcello Giordani, and James Morris, Levine conducting.

Amazon's currently listing Salome for $17.49, the longer operas for $20.99.

Thanks for this heads-up.  I'm happiest to see the Butterfly, since Minghella's incredible production really deserves to be archived.  (Although I haven't seen the filmed version, and hope that the filming does justice to the production.)

And it's good to have the Salome available, as well, although I wish they'd released the version from 2004 rather than Mattila's later appearance; she just sounded better in the earlier one, and Gergiev was conducting.  And unless they restored the brief nudity in the "Dance of the Seven Veils" after the HD broadcast, that, too, has been excised.  But still, worth seeing.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on December 17, 2010, 12:31:51 AM
I wonder why the Salome is advertised as on two discs?

It is not a version I would want to see again; the cinema transmission was a very mixed blessing indeed. I agree Bruce, her earlier performances would probably have been a wiser release.

I still have the Covent Garden Faust to finish, but so far, terrific with many highlights. Also waiting for an airing I have the Thielemann Rosenkavalier from Munich.

Christmas holiday fare I hope.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on December 17, 2010, 06:38:27 PM
Also waiting for an airing I have the Thielemann Rosenkavalier from Munich.


Mike

I think you'll like that one: it's the sort of production where all the details dovetail in the right way.

BTW, the production itself seems to be travelling around Europe.  You can see a couple of stills from it on Joyce DiDonato's blog--she was singing Oktavian in Madrid.
http://www.joycedidonato.com/2010/12/02/is-there-an-off-switch-for-this-thing-she-asked-about-her-brain/
(http://www.joycedidonato.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/der-rosenkavalier-javier-del-real21.jpg)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on December 18, 2010, 10:13:18 AM
I had no idea that Octavian was part of DiDonato's repertoire. No doubt, being the singer she is, it will be excellent. The box of the opera and the photos above make it look kind of Busby Berkley. No doubt I will find out soon enough.

I am listening to a live relay from the Met of Don Carlos. I see it is a 'new production', but the photos on the BBC site are of the same sets as for Covent Garden; so perhaps it is a shared production with a number of the same singers.

Above I reviewed the Covent Garden DVD with Marina Poplavskaya who although I like her a lot, I felt her voice too light or unready for the part of Elizabeth. In the intervening couple of years it is clear her voice has become that one size larger and where I complained of her breaking the line to reach up to high notes in a phrase, from Act 1 of the live performance, I can hear the phrasing is now unbroken and the extra weight at the bottom of phrases allow her to use them as the springboard upwards to those top notes.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on December 18, 2010, 10:28:30 AM
I am listening to a live relay from the Met of Don Carlos. I see it is a 'new production', but the photos on the BBC site are of the same sets as for Covent Garden; so perhaps it is a shared production with a number of the same singers.

Above I reviewed the Covent Garden DVD with Marina Poplavskaya who although I like her a lot, I felt her voice too light or unready for the part of Elizabeth. In the intervening couple of years it is clear her voice has become that one size larger and where I complained of her breaking the line to reach up to high notes in a phrase, from Act 1 of the live performance, I can hear the phrasing is now unbroken and the extra weight at the bottom of phrases allow her to use them as the springboard upwards to those top notes.

Mike

Yeah, the production's new to the Met, but it is that same Covent Garden one you saw.  I saw the "live in HD" performance last week (same cast as today, but with Alagna and Furlanetto as Carlo and Philip) and liked it a lot.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on December 18, 2010, 08:58:19 PM
I had no idea that Octavian was part of DiDonato's repertoire. No doubt, being the singer she is, it will be excellent. The box of the opera and the photos above make it look kind of Busby Berkley. No doubt I will find out soon enough.


Mike

DiDonato is not on the DVD: the part of Oktavian is sung there by Sophie Koch. The production has a sort of 1930s tone to it, but it's not Busby Berkeley in the least, although I can see why the still photo of Oktavian presenting the Silver Rose might, in isolation, suggest otherwise. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 01, 2011, 11:48:37 AM
Finally finished Faust.

This is a DVD version of a live broadcast from Covent Garden June 2004. I gather the delay in its issue was caused by the tenor demanding more money than the company was then prepared to pay. I wonder who blinked? With the current state of EMI finances, I somehow doubt that it was the company.

Alagna as Faust
Gheorghiu as Marguerite
Terfel as Mefisto
Keenlyside as Valentin
Sophie Kotch as Siebel
Covent Garden forces conducted by Pappano
Issued on EMI

The setting has been altered from 16th Century Germany to the mid 19th Century of Paris. This works tremendously well, I can't see any jarring here and it brings it close to the Paris in which it was written. Arguably the 19th Cent Parisian ought to be rather less superstitious than medieval Germans, but the intense sulphuric atmosphere works well in what looks like a mock-up of St Sulpice and the grimy, salacious 19th Cent atmosphere of the Parisian demimonde is played up.

The production is terrific and you can see where the money was spent. It is big boned with huge solid sets, dance routines and panash. All the principles sing terrifically and act well. For me I don't quite buy Gheorghiu as the ingenue; but her singing is excellent.

Terfel is a scene stealer, even when he is standing still. In the last act church scene there is a large group statue with its back to us, Marguerite prays on the steps of it. We know from the story that Mephistopheles and his demons will prevent her from finding peace; the statue slowly swivels round, Terfel looking more than lifesize comes down from the plinth to disturb and distress her. It is one of many coups.

This came up fresh as paint, not at all the old creaking crowd pleaser. The ballet was done superbly, a cruel pantomime shown to disturb the by now drug dependent Faust. Mind you, the exceptionally hirsute Terfel in an enormous low cut black bombazine dress and tiara was a sight any Faust would assume to be hallucination if not actually drug induced.

Fun and wit the dark side very much played up, it is I think as good a Faust as you will find.

Mike
 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 01, 2011, 01:24:28 PM
Also waiting for an airing I have the Thielemann Rosenkavalier from Munich.

I love this DVD - A very nice production with some wonderfully moving singing and acting. The best bits are the normal best bits of the opera - last half of act one and the last half of act 3 - really very moving and just ravishing. The sets and costumes look wonderful in my opinion - modern and clean, but still nicely suggesting the opulence of the Marschallin's palace and lifestyle. The act2/act3 langours are still langours, but that almost goes without saying.

There are a few other caveats. Koch is a bit... strange as octavian occasionally, her mouth apparently with a life of its own - it just so rubbery and flexible that it actually becomes distracting. She's hard to understand as a result (I can't begin to imagine German being spoken like that), but quite powerful. She overracts, but maybe that translates better on stage rather than close up, and its also quite apt as shes playing the ardent young lover. It actually makes a great and telling contrast to Fleming's subtle, more realistic acting at the end of the first act, and clearly shows why the Marschallin is having second thoughts about this boy. Fleming's acting is a bit annoying in the opening scene (she is meant to be happy, but it's all a bit camp), but thereafter her Marchallin has a real dignity, and a convincing aristocratic carriage - she's clearly in charge and commands the stage in an understated way.

Damrau as Sophie is quite sweet, the big vibrato kept on a leash. There's no obvious reason why Mohammed is here a  Pierrot figure instead - he's in a weird way "outside" of the drama, connecting with the audience too... not sure what they were trying to do there.

The Orchestra under Thieleman are superb.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

I can't stand the chocolate box kitschery of the Met production - all those frills and pastel shades - the music's already providing this, why do it again with the set and costumes?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 01, 2011, 07:15:57 PM
I'd love to see Mattila do The Makropulos Case. I can't think of anyone more ideal, vocally, temperamentally, or look wise since Elisabeth Söderström.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcReU-pb5lQ

This production looks great too. DVD?

She has that extraordinary look to her where you can't really place her in terms of nationality, or age wise either - she looks both old and quite young at the same time; also - is she beautiful, is she not? Again she seems to be both.

I really wish I'd seen the ENO version last September which was apparently superb and got rave reviews. Does anyone know if it's coming back any time soon? The ENO are loathe to repeat things I know.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 07, 2011, 09:51:27 AM
I have now watched through the Thielemann Rosenkavalier. The best elements are Fleming, the orchestra and conducting. I liked the production, the sets were impressive without being too distracting. The presentation takes place in 'another space' very effective. An immensely steep set of stairs appears and half way up it the scene takes place in almost darkness with the couple magically lit.

Damrau was very good, her voice kept under control and that vibrato kept tight. So she was not the trial I feared. The crowd clearly admired Koch more than I did and like Guido, I found the rubber lips a distraction.

I was surprised the audience showed next to no appreciation of the Ochs of Franz Hawlata, I thought he was excellent both his singing and acting. Perhaps the characterisation made the crowd uncomfortable. Though the time scale was indeterminate, it might have been anywhere from the thirties to the fifties. This Ochs would have fitted comfortably into the Nazi party.

Some of it was taken very slowly, but it never felt indulgent. The conductor lets rip during the exposure of Ochs in the last act where the echos of Elektra were allowed to completely overwhelm the singers on stage.

I enjoyed it a lot, but swap Flemming into the Kleiber version for Jones and I would happily live with that version and no other.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 22, 2011, 03:34:18 AM
This is incredible:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SasmMCsyr1A

Theres loads of other clips too , all of which are stunning. See 5:38 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAPuVDZ2a3I&feature=related

 How did I not know about this before?! It seems to have been released only recently. I wish I had a blu-ray player at home!!

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 22, 2011, 03:41:16 AM
This is incredible:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SasmMCsyr1A

Theres loads of other clips too , all of which are stunning. See 5:38 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAPuVDZ2a3I&feature=related

 How did I not know about this before?! It seems to have been released only recently. I wish I had a blu-ray player at home!!


Well Karajan really did conduct this opera well, but having some of the top singers of his age didn't hurt either (Jurinek, Schwarzkopf, Rothenberger).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 22, 2011, 04:04:12 AM
I have the famous Karajan 1956 recording of course, but this seems to be in even better sound, and the picture quality is just beautiful. And as you say, the principals are truly stellar.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 22, 2011, 04:13:37 AM
It is good to see this surface. I can still recall being taken to the cinema as a child to see it. It seems only to be in blu-ray, which is no good to me. I have watched some of the links on Youtube. I assume the disc is a good deal sharper than what I have just watched.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 22, 2011, 05:15:09 AM
This is incredible:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SasmMCsyr1A

Theres loads of other clips too , all of which are stunning. See 5:38 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAPuVDZ2a3I&feature=related

 How did I not know about this before?! It seems to have been released only recently. I wish I had a blu-ray player at home!!



I have this in its last DVD incarnation, issued on Sony, which seemed to have been taken from a very bad video. Picture and sound quality are atrocious. These clips on youtube are in another world. That this wonderful, historic performance now exists in such splendid condition is indeed a reason to rejoice. I fear I need to now buy a Blu-ray player.



Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Tsaraslondon on January 22, 2011, 05:56:51 AM
Well Karajan really did conduct this opera well, but having some of the top singers of his age didn't hurt either (Jurinek, Schwarzkopf, Rothenberger).

I managed to find the final trio on youtube too, which led me to investigate a couple more trios; Fleming, with Battle and Von Stade (in concert), and also with Graham and Schafer; and then  Te Kanawa with Troyanos and Blegen. All of them were pretty good, but there is something indefinably aristocratic about Schwarzkopf and Jurinac that sets them apart from their colleagues (though it has to be admitted that Te Kanawa looked absolutely stunning in the excerpt I watched). Rothenberger too was, to my mind, much more successful at conveying the innocence of the young Sophie, and sings with a silvery purity not available to the other two. Maybe I'm seeing this old Karajan/Czinner film through misty eyes, but for me it takes the palm. Czinner also has the virtue, rare among modern day producers, of letting the music speak for itself. He does not invent unnecessary extraneous business to cover the bits when the singers aren't actually singing.



Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on January 23, 2011, 09:20:33 AM
Meistersinger àla Katharina Wagner.

Act I done. Watched. Listened. LOVE IT!

Now of course from then on it might turn in the opposite direction, I don't promise it will be the best Meistersinger I ever saw, and I won't go into detail either, save that for a complete review, but honestly, don't you Wagnerians agree with me that the first act, at least the middle part of the first act, is not excactly riveting. Masters et al in Sixties suit, shirt and tie, seat themselves around the huge conference table, more like the local Glee Club meeting. Sachs in black trousers, loose black shirt, sleeves rolled up, top three buttons undone, barefoot, takes his seat. Pogner - Artur Korn - goes into his long explanations, Sachs gets up, lights a cigarette, sits on a bench, definitely very bored.

I broke out in laughter when I saw that. It's so natural, a true picture of a lot of get-togethers, Chamber of Commerce, you name it. Only now Sachs could not light his cigarette, he would have to step outside to have his smoke. Hawlata smoked at least four more during the first act, and he looked like he either is, or was a smoker.

Btw.: Stolzing is not a singer, he is a painter, painter of pictures of vaguely recognisable naked women. Horror among the Masters!

More to follow, but so far Hawlata's Hans Sachs stole the show, Michael Volle's Beckmesser close second! Klaus Florian Vogt is a very attractive Walter von Stolzing, singing good, acting a bit too agitated, but maybe that's the way Katharina wanted him to act. Love his pants with Fleur-De-Lis design!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 23, 2011, 09:35:58 AM
Lis, I have always found that scene to be a real problem for me in Act 1. I wish Wagner had edited it heavily; but as always with him, everyone has to be heard in great, lecturing detail.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on January 23, 2011, 10:04:07 AM
Meistersinger àla Katharina Wagner.

Act I done. Watched. Listened. LOVE IT!

Now of course from then on it might turn in the opposite direction, I don't promise it will be the best Meistersinger I ever saw, and I won't go into detail either, save that for a complete review, but honestly, don't you Wagnerians agree with me that the first act, at least the middle part of the first act, is not excactly riveting. Masters et al in Sixties suit, shirt and tie, seat themselves around the huge conference table, more like the local Glee Club meeting. Sachs in black trousers, loose black shirt, sleeves rolled up, top three buttons undone, barefoot, takes his seat. Pogner - Artur Korn - goes into his long explanations, Sachs gets up, lights a cigarette, sits on a bench, definitely very bored.

I broke out in laughter when I saw that. It's so natural, a true picture of a lot of get-togethers, Chamber of Commerce, you name it. Only now Sachs could not light his cigarette, he would have to step outside to have his smoke. Hawlata smoked at least four more during the first act, and he looked like he either is, or was a smoker.

Btw.: Stolzing is not a singer, he is a painter, painter of pictures of vaguely recognisable naked women. Horror among the Masters!

More to follow, but so far Hawlata's Hans Sachs stole the show, Michael Volle's Beckmesser close second! Klaus Florian Vogt is a very attractive Walter von Stolzing, singing good, acting a bit too agitated, but maybe that's the way Katharina wanted him to act. Love his pants with Fleur-De-Lis design!

I wish I could figure out what DVD you are talking about.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on January 23, 2011, 10:31:09 AM
It's this one at Arkiv on sale. Amazon doesn't have it listed yet:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=12732&name_role1=1&comp_id=3419&genre=33&bcorder=195&name_id=21499&name_role=3
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 23, 2011, 03:33:41 PM
It is on Amazon. People hate it!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wagner-Die-Meistersinger-Nurnberg-Blu-ray/dp/B0046HCONY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1295825593&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Die-Meistersinger-Blu-ray-Wagner/dp/B0046HCONY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1295825352&sr=8-9

Ms. Wagner got heavily bood when she came on stage at the end.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on January 23, 2011, 03:38:33 PM
It is on Amazon. People hate it!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wagner-Die-Meistersinger-Nurnberg-Blu-ray/dp/B0046HCONY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1295825593&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Die-Meistersinger-Blu-ray-Wagner/dp/B0046HCONY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1295825352&sr=8-9

Ms. Wagner got eavily bood when she came on stage at the end.
The Amazon US review could have been penned about about Sofia Coppola.  Lis makes it sound much more entertaining. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 23, 2011, 03:42:44 PM
Here's an in depth review:
http://www.operatoday.com/content/2007/08/katharina_wagne.php

I wonder if they cut all the booing out of the DVD or not?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on January 23, 2011, 07:58:13 PM
Here's an in depth review:
http://www.operatoday.com/content/2007/08/katharina_wagne.php

I wonder if they cut all the booing out of the DVD or not?

It amazes me how many persons accept the opinion of professional, paid, critics - and single amateur posters at music fora - instead of using their own intelligence to make a judgement, buying the recordings of discussed opera, concert, et al,.

It would also stop the wondering about booing in the DVD issue.   :-X
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on January 24, 2011, 01:08:14 AM
Not oall of us have unlimited funds and can't buy every DVD that takes our whim. The idea is that you listen to people who you know have similar tastes and sensibilities.

Additionally, if something is pure schlock, it would pain me to support it by giving the people responsible  money for it.

Also, sometimes, these things are just fun to read.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: abidoful on January 24, 2011, 07:13:13 AM
Not oall of us have unlimited funds and can't buy every DVD that takes our whim. The idea is that you listen to people who you know have similar tastes and sensibilities.

Additionally, if something is pure schlock, it would pain me to support it by giving the people responsible  money for it.

Also, sometimes, these things are just fun to read.
QFT
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 24, 2011, 08:23:21 AM
Quoted from the in-depth review:

'And therein lies my problem. For all of the eccentricities of the production, and my cheeky comments aside, it mostly “worked” okay. Save a couple of bad choices, the focus was where it needed to be. The concept was consistent, clear, and controlled. And I thought The Beck’s Adam and Eve performance art debacle to actually be a comment on the sort of “Konzept” that can derail a production just like this very one we were seeing. In short, I think the woman not only has some creative ability and directorial skill, but also perhaps, considerable wit.'

Mike

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: bigshot on February 07, 2011, 01:02:18 PM
Perhaps considerable wit... I like the "perhaps".
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on February 07, 2011, 01:40:55 PM
Perhaps considerable wit... I like the "perhaps".

I change the "perhaps" to "for sure". Katharina Wagner displays her sense of humour on more than one occasion, directing this Die Meistersinger but always with a purpose, with a meaning, not just humour for humour's sake.

I appreciate 'knight's recognition of KW's talent. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on February 07, 2011, 03:08:31 PM
I have read quite a bit on this production and it seems that it does leave people thinking. Rather than being subversive for the sake of notoriety; it has quite a bit to say about art and how the iconoclast can be absorbed int the establishment. Clearly from what has been written the director has ability and insight.

At some point I will get around to buying it.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: MishaK on February 11, 2011, 08:34:24 AM
Not oall of us have unlimited funds and can't buy every DVD that takes our whim. The idea is that you listen to people who you know have similar tastes and sensibilities.

Ideally, you don't have to rely on similarity of taste. A good reviewer ought to be able to describe the characteristics of an individual interpretation and production in value-free terms, such that you know what you are getting if you buy the disc and can ascertain in advance the likelihood of your enjoying the performance, whether or not the reviewer shares your aesthetics or not. It's the bad reviewer who faults performers for not adhering to his own personal preferences without giving the reader (at least first) a description of what is actually going on.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on February 12, 2011, 11:21:20 AM
Finally we'll have another one of Philip Glass's operas on DVD and we sagebrush hermits can enjoy his stunning creation without envying you metropolitans!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JX8UB0?ie=UTF8&tag=thopdvli-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004JX8UB0
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: bigshot on February 15, 2011, 01:00:00 AM
I'm finally getting around to ballet, and I bought a few blurays to dip a toe in the water. Watched the first one tonight- Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet by the Royal Ballet. I'm hooked. Amazing choreography and even more amazing acting. The sword fight at the end of act two was spectacular!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Tsaraslondon on February 15, 2011, 02:39:12 PM
I'm finally getting around to ballet, and I bought a few blurays to dip a toe in the water. Watched the first one tonight- Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet by the Royal Ballet. I'm hooked. Amazing choreography and even more amazing acting. The sword fight at the end of act two was spectacular!

Of all versions of Prokoviev's ballet, I love Kenneth MacMillan's choreography for the Royal Ballet the most. It has been filmed at least 3 times, but all are excellent. The most recent has Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rioja as the star crossed lovers. There are also earlier versions with respectively Wayne Eagling and Alessandra Ferri and with Fonteyn and Nureyev. My affections remain with the Fonteyn/Nureyev, who danced the premiere (though it had originally been conceived for Lynne Seymour and Christopher Gable), but all three versions are excellent. And of course the most recent benefits from better recording techniques.

As an alternative, you might like to see the Lyon Opera Ballet's updated version of the piece, which I found riveting viewing. This is modern ballet, with liberties taken with the score (it is truncated to a mere 85 minutes), but what is left is brilliantly conducted by Kent Nagano. If you can forget traditional preconceptions about the ballet, it is well worth a visit.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Guido on February 21, 2011, 04:52:19 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4E3gX6L7z8&feature=fvst

That is all.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: yashin on April 01, 2011, 08:04:56 PM
Looking forwards to getting hold of the following DVDs at somepoint.

Britten's Death in Venice -from La Fenice released on the Dynamic label. This is an opera i have never seen but i do have a cd with philip Langridge and conducted by the late Richard Hickox.  Has anyone seen this production?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXjuprJb9w8

The La Sonnambula with Eglise Gutierrez looks like it might be worth looking at. Check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUZYh4e6qwU

I bet you will play it over and over.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: cassandra on July 14, 2011, 10:19:22 AM
Looking forwards to getting hold of the following DVDs at somepoint.

Britten's Death in Venice -from La Fenice released on the Dynamic label. This is an opera i have never seen but i do have a cd with philip Langridge and conducted by the late Richard Hickox.  Has anyone seen this production?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXjuprJb9w8

I saw the production in Venice. I had (still do) loads of reservations about the production. The world is now so hung up on paedophilia that impacted on this production. There is a confusion between satiated lust and unrequited love for an underage person. Consequently Tadzio was one hell of a muscled young man. There was no confusion between childhood and adulthood (I recommend Germaine Greer's book "Mad About the Boy"), where the young male is almost androgynous. However, I found the dancer was wonderfully aloof. He inhabited his world brilliantly.

That apart, we go to the production itself. The multiple roles were all overtly or uncomfortably hinted at gay personages. The production seemed to have an agenda of homosexuality as a canker, certainly not something I remember when I read Thomas Mann (in German, though I'm buggered if I could do it now) at school. There was more ambivalence there, and I am sure the Aldeburgh production I saw at Covent Garden was also ambivalent. There's enough symbolism at work without getting out a trowel.

I assume the audience at La Fenice were not, on the whole, Venetians. I have experienced some aqua alta in Venice, but not so much that a gondola could float by the front of San Marco. I had to restrain my giggles at that point.

Some positives. The singing and dancing was good. Although the orchestra seemed unfamiliar with Britten's later idiom, there was good ensemble work. Most of the sets were excellent, giving a period feel of the 20s or 30s (later than in the movie).

I know I will never see a perfect production of Death in Venice, the right singers are retired or dead or yet to be born. As long as there is the burdensome phobia about adult and child relationships (even where it is unrequited) we will not see the cleverness of the original production. (A small digression, why is it OK for Madam Butterfly to have sex while underage?).

Quite honestly, although the Glyndebourne production with Robert Tear is older, misses a few tricks and the format is 4:3, it is better. Also it has the second best baritone I have heard or seen in the multiple roles, Alan Opie. Do you really need to ask who is the best?

Deborah Warner's ENO production should (despite some shortcomings) go to DVD.

And just for the record, Death in Venice is one of my favourite works of all, though you might have got a sneaking suspicion that is the case.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on July 27, 2011, 03:10:47 AM
 I see that the Met DVDs of Lulu (Migenes/Mazura/Riegel/Lear), Cav & Pag (Domingo/Troyanos/Stratas/Milnes), Otello (Scotto/Vickers/Macneil),  and the "family" version of The Magic Flute (Matthew Polenzani, Ying Huang, Nathan Gunn, Erika Miklosa, Rene Pape), all conducted by Levine, which have only been available from the Met Opera Shop, are being released by Sony Classical.  mdt.co.uk lists them at £14.40 (£12.00 ex.vat) with an August 15 "predicted release date".  Amazon.com lists them without a price or release date, but you can "sign up to be notified when this item becomes available".  Perhaps they'll evenutally release the marterial from the Levine box?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on December 26, 2011, 01:11:29 AM
Christmas is a time I can catch up and take some time to watch full performances rather than dip in and out. For a number of months I have had a Traviata waiting in the wings. This one has Fleming, Villazon and Conlon coming from Los Angeles. The Video direction is in the safe hands of Brian Large. The recording comes from 2006.

It is a traditional production, sufficiently sumptuous that the show is all but stopped by applause for the scenery. I enjoyed the performance with the exception of Renato Bruson whose wobble almost ruins what is one of the emotional hearts; when Violetta is convinced to act against her own interests. His dried out tone left me wondering how he then was still getting high profile bookings.

Villazon was in fine committed form, this was recorded before his vocal problems became an issue.

The rest of the singing and acting was very good indeed. Act 1 did initially seem to find Fleming with less facility in getting round the notes than expected; though she warmed up and gave the set pieces meaning as well as reaching the written notes. Her act 2 was moving and act 3 was good, but hardly heartbreaking. She still looked and sounded healthy. As in Thais, Fleming was made to look like the most beautiful of dying heroines. It must be all but impossible for a singer to manage to sound ill, yet not lacking in technique. Callas did it and I guess that imprint is one most sopranos will shy away from.

In that last act the stage was dominated not by the singers but by the highest and largest bed you can conceive of. The death itself looked fumbled. But there was a lot to enjoy. Conlon is sensitive and really is first rate in shaping and supporting. There was no dragging, the music flowed beautifully.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 16, 2012, 02:11:17 PM


  Dear all,
 

   I just saw this new recording on BluRay of Verdi's opera Il Trovatore.  Has anybody seen this? Comments are welcome:

 



  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 16, 2012, 08:52:21 PM

  Dear all,
 

   I just saw this new recording on BluRay of Verdi's opera Il Trovatore.  Has anybody seen this? Comments are welcome:

 
  marvin

I bought the regular DVD about a month ago, along with the Met Fanciulla del West that was released at the same time, but haven't gotten around to watching either of them yet.  I did see the Trovatore when it was on television, and liked it a lot.  I didn't like the Fanciulla nearly as much (and I already had two other versions on DVD), but it was cheap and I'm weak.

In the U.S., at least, initially these are supposed to be sold exclusively at Target (though you can get them from an Amazon seller, if you're willing to pay a lot more).  The Target where I got mine doesn't have a classical section, so they were filed with the pop CDs, right next to Madonna's latest release.   :'(
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 17, 2012, 06:27:13 PM
I bought the regular DVD about a month ago, along with the Met Fanciulla del West that was released at the same time, but haven't gotten around to watching either of them yet.  I did see the Trovatore when it was on television, and liked it a lot.  I didn't like the Fanciulla nearly as much (and I already had two other versions on DVD), but it was cheap and I'm weak.

In the U.S., at least, initially these are supposed to be sold exclusively at Target (though you can get them from an Amazon seller, if you're willing to pay a lot more).  The Target where I got mine doesn't have a classical section, so they were filed with the pop CDs, right next to Madonna's latest release.   :'(

  Thanks Wendell.  Il Trovatore is one of the very few operas out there that has not been properly served on DVD.  I was put off by the other DVD recording from the MET with Pavarotti, what's with all those steps??  Anyway it's nice to see new recordings emerge.

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on May 17, 2012, 06:57:13 PM
  Thanks Wendell.  Il Trovatore is one of the very few operas out there that has not been properly served on DVD.  I was put off by the other DVD recording from the MET with Pavarotti, what's with all those steps??  Anyway it's nice to see new recordings emerge.

  marvin

I didn't mind the steps, but I did mind the hammy acting of the chorus, which I assume was the director's fault, and Pavarotti gave a vigorous demonstration of his lack of acting abilities (compared at least to other tenors).  If I replay it, it will be with the screen off, so I can simply listen to it (the non-visual components seemed pretty good).

BTW, although this won't affect Marvin or other non Americans,  the MET DVD versions sold by Target are missing some stuff found in the full-price version--the extras, I think.  (Read about it in a review of the Turandot DVD, on Classics Today or MusicWeb. Since I have the DVD of the same production when it was broadcast with Domingo as Calaf,  I didn't really pay attention to the details of that one.)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 18, 2012, 02:59:54 AM
BTW, although this won't affect Marvin or other non Americans,  the MET DVD versions sold by Target are missing some stuff found in the full-price version--the extras, I think.  (Read about it in a review of the Turandot DVD, on Classics Today or MusicWeb. Since I have the DVD of the same production when it was broadcast with Domingo as Calaf,  I didn't really pay attention to the details of that one.)

I checked the Trovatore, the only extra is about 7 minutes of Renée Fleming interviewing the four principals during the intermissions.  But even that's more than you often get from DG, and pretty much the same as what's on the Decca release of the Met Thaïs with Fleming.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on August 07, 2012, 04:19:01 AM
I see Deutsche Grammophon releasing the Met's Robert LePage Ring on DVD and Blu-Ray on Sept. 11th.  The documentary on the production, Wagner's Dream, is also coming out separately on that date.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on August 10, 2012, 03:09:49 PM
I see Deutsche Grammophon releasing the Met's Robert LePage Ring on DVD and Blu-Ray on Sept. 11th.  The documentary on the production, Wagner's Dream, is also coming out separately on that date.
I'm polishing my credit card already.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on October 22, 2012, 09:53:29 AM
Now I know it!!  :o

Jonas Kaufmann is the creation of an exceptionally gifted Robot Engineer! I finally watched the NY Metropolitan Die Walküre. - The one with the much maligned contraption. - I have watched live and listened to on records, a great number of Siegmunds, convinced of Siegfried Jerusalem's superiority, until yesterday. The Siegmund I saw and heard is not a real human! Nobody in the past ever sang like Jonas Kaufmann and nobody ever will in the future! As if his voice were not enough, the engineer gave the voice a body none of those previous ones had; simply perfect, no blubber, just six feet of Adonis-like body and facial features.Still not enough? This Kaufmann/machine can act! I hear the Canadian tenor's fans vociferous protest; their man acted like a Cigar-Store Indian.

Looking forward to many more performances by this marvelous creation!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: DavidRoss on October 22, 2012, 02:48:05 PM

Glad to see at least one other member liked the new Met Ring! (Nice to see you around, Lis. :) )
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on October 22, 2012, 03:15:41 PM
I was too patient to see my favourite part of The Ring, started with the Walküre, skipping over Das Rheingold. Immediate admiration of Lepage's idea of a man being chased through the woods, trees, trees with bark, what's wrong with that? All the rest of Die Walküre set is inventive, inspirational and it fits perfectly. Maybe I'll have different thoughts after I have seen the rest of this Ring, but after his Walküre, I can't see Lepage really going off into scenic disasters. - (David: I have been here, but not posting too much!)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Scarpia on October 22, 2012, 04:12:12 PM
The new Met Ring looks attractive, but it ain't cheap. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on October 22, 2012, 07:03:07 PM
ArkivMusic had it on sale, about forty bucks less than original release price. I don't know if it's still available. -

Just checked: Reduced from $147.98 to $109.99 - Still on sale!!
Title: Met's "Nixon in China" coming on DVD & Blu-ray
Post by: Wendell_E on October 29, 2012, 03:17:10 AM
According to the amazon.com listing, Nonesuch is releasing both formats in one package, for just $20.99.

http://www.amazon.com/Nixon-In-China-DVD-Blu-Ray/dp/B009FB3YE4/ref=pd_ys_cs_all_10
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on April 20, 2013, 05:55:38 AM
Six months since the last post, so forgive me for waking anyone up!  ;)

Is there a particular supplier one turns to for great DVDs and Blu-Ray (particularly in Europe)?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 20, 2013, 06:17:55 AM
I tend to stick with Amazon or their marketplace suppliers. I try to keep the number of places holding my credit card details to a minimum.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mamascarlatti on May 05, 2013, 09:05:08 PM
Presto Classical, based in the UK, are an excellent supplier of DVDs and CDs. I get a parcel every month!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on May 06, 2013, 07:59:59 AM
Good.

I've used both for music and suspected they might also be the best for DVDs...

Any other thoughts?
Title: Re: Opera on DVD (Which to Choose?!)
Post by: huntsman on June 07, 2013, 05:07:36 AM
Right -

Everyone uses Presto or Amazon for DVDs....god to know.

I would like to buy my first three Opera DVDs this week. With your experience, which specific versions would you recommend?

 Price is of no concern, as I will simply save longer if necessary...

 ;)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 12, 2013, 11:43:15 PM
Excellent suggestions and thank you for your help!

Some of these are a little obscure for me, but perhaps with time I will begin to appreciate them in their entirety.

I'll return now to 'Talk Classical' to see if they can add to this exhaustive list...
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 13, 2013, 12:42:56 AM
Excellent suggestions and thank you for your help!

Some of these are a little obscure for me, but perhaps with time I will begin to appreciate them in their entirety.

I'll return now to 'Talk Classical' to see if they can add to this exhaustive list...
Hey now. It can be easy to miss a post in the opera section since there usually aren;t many. But suggesting DVDs is a difficult thing when there is no focus - does language matter? Any preference or style you prefer? Are you looking for something that is just a good opera or something with bells and whistles? How important is the quality of the picture? Are you familiar at all with opera (or are you just starting out)?

For a beginner in opera, I'd go with Marriage of Figaro (Te Kanawa/Cotrubas/von Stade), Hansel and Gretal (Fassbender/Gruberova), and La Boheme (probably Pavarotti/Scotto). Beyond this, there are some wonderful DVDs, but more information would help narrow things down a bit.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 13, 2013, 02:36:10 AM
Heh heh!

Hi mc ukrneal -

Yes, opera is sadly under-supported in the music realm, but thank you for your suggestions.

I'm totally open in my search, but really wanted to pin people down to their best 'three' just for interest and also to help me in my search.

We sadly have exactly zero operas annually in my city, and unless I learn more via the 'net, I'm stymied...

Someone suggested torrents and YouTube as a source, but I want to start with some really good productions....the three you mention sound great!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 13, 2013, 03:26:25 AM
But suggesting DVDs is a difficult thing when there is no focus - does language matter? Any preference or style you prefer? Are you looking for something that is just a good opera or something with bells and whistles? How important is the quality of the picture? Are you familiar at all with opera (or are you just starting out)?

Just what I was thinking.  And it's hard to pick just three.  Anyway, here's one each from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries:

Handel: Giulio Cesare.  David McVicar's Glyndebourne production, conducted by William Christie, with Sarah Connolly, Angelika Kirchschlager, and Danielle de Niese.

Verdi: Otello. Zeffirelli's Metropolitan Opera production, conducted by James Levine, with Vickers, Scotto, and MacNeil.

Janáček: From the House of the Dead.  Patrice Chéreau's Aix Festival production, conducted by Boulez.

I haven't seen the Hänsel und Gretel production mc ukrneal recommends, but I can second his other choices.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 13, 2013, 04:05:29 AM
Heh heh!

Hi mc ukrneal -

Yes, opera is sadly under-supported in the music realm, but thank you for your suggestions.

I'm totally open in my search, but really wanted to pin people down to their best 'three' just for interest and also to help me in my search.

We sadly have exactly zero operas annually in my city, and unless I learn more via the 'net, I'm stymied...

Someone suggested torrents and YouTube as a source, but I want to start with some really good productions....the three you mention sound great!
Well the three operas I suggested are all good starting operas. Boheme is 4 acts of 30 min each with beautiful melodies. Ideal. Hansel has beautifu music in German, so you'll get another style in a story that is familiar to you. Figaro is the longest, but is hysterically funny with great music/songs. So these are great to start with.

After that, we have lots of possibilities - Donizetti, Wagner, Handel, Monteverdi, Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, etc. There are multiple good versions on DVD for all the major operas.

I like Wendell's Otello suggestion too (I haven't seen the other two).
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 13, 2013, 05:36:45 AM
I realise of course that it's all terribly subjective, but I'm sure that the cream will generally rise to the surface...

In addition to yours, mc ukrneal, I particularly like Wendell_E's Janacek suggestion, as this is unknown to me and totally unexpected. My main problem is that I have to import all DVDs (no-one sells them in my country) and I want to ensure that I get operas that people can recommend personally.

I'm sure as people chime in, my shopping list will grow proportionately... :)
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on June 13, 2013, 08:05:37 AM
Verdi: Otello. Zeffirelli's Metropolitan Opera production, conducted by James Levine, with Vickers, Scotto, and MacNeil.

Janáček: From the House of the Dead.  Patrice Chéreau's Aix Festival production, conducted by Boulez.

I can heartily second both of these, which incidentally, represent two very different ways of approaching an opera production. Zeffirelli's is lavish; Chéreau's is quite spare. Both are excellent.

And I've recommended this elsewhere and often, Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, in this production originally done at the Holland Festival. You couldn't ask for a better "pit band" - the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons - and the singers are all excellent.



But this one, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, might be my single best recommendation. The director captured all the principals in outstanding form, and Robert Carsen's minimal production is gorgeous, done mostly with light. Valery Gergiev and the Met Orchestra are superb.



--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on June 13, 2013, 09:24:03 AM
But this one, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, might be my single best recommendation. The director captured all the principals in outstanding form, and Robert Carsen's minimal production is gorgeous, done mostly with light. Valery Gergiev and the Met Orchestra are superb.

I'll second that one.  In fact, I debated for a while on whether to list it, or the Otello, as one of my three picks.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on June 13, 2013, 06:48:34 PM
I don't have an extensive library of DVDs, but some of the favorites
--the Zeffirelli/Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot featuring Domingo (there's a second, much newer DVD of the same production featuring different singers, so don't be too confused)
--Netrebko in Anna Bolena
--another Metropolitan Opera DVD of their current production of Hansel and Gretel. which is intelligently and moderately staged with updated scenery and costumes, and some bows to Regietheater,  but those bows are done intelligently and in some cases beautifully (the angels guarding the children as they sleep in the forest become a dream banquet of Sendak like chefs and animal headed waiters, for instance).  Don't have it as a DVD but saw it on American TV.
--Rosenkavalier with Fleming, Damrau, and Koch in a production that's superb for the singing, scenery and costumes, and acting.  It's updated to suggest a time period between 1930 and 1960.  Jonas Kauffman turns comic for his turn as the Italian Singer, and IIRC it's conducted by Thielemann.
--Rossini's Cenerentola with Joyce DiDonata and Juan Diego Flores in a production from, IIRC, Barcelona.

I saw the Otello  Wendell listed as a live production, with a different cast (Sherill Milnes was Iago, but I don't remember who sang the other leads), on tour in Atlanta--at that time the Met did spring tours in select American cities--and it was a memorable production, indeed--literally, since as I write this my mind is running over the opening scene in full detail, even though it's been about thirty five years since I saw it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 13, 2013, 10:50:39 PM
Ah -

The stone is now starting to roll - thank you!

I ordered the Eugene Onegin last night on BluRay from Amazon, so now my extensive collection is successfully launched!  ;)

I will try to stream the suggestions the forum offers at first, and then purchase BluRays if I really love them. I read somewhere that there are now over 1500 different productions on DVD (presumably less on BR) so I will have to be circumspect... >:D
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 14, 2013, 10:54:16 AM
Ok. I went through what I have or have seen (mostly from my library) and the ones I liked most (besides those already mentioned) are:

- La Traviata (Domingo/Stratas/Levine/Zefferelli)- this is a film adaptation (with 15-30 minutes excluded), but the visuals are good. Domingo is excellent.
- Turn of the Screw - I don't know which one to recommend (I don;t think the one I like most ever made it to DVD), but this is a real horror story as operas go and well worth seeing!
- La Cenerentola (Von Stade/Abbado) - Von Stade is outstanding, but good production all around
- Rosenkavalier (Schwartzkopf/Jurinac/Rothenberger/Karajan) - I've heard it is much improved picture on Blu-ray, but the singers are just amazing. A classic.
- Rake's Progress (Ramey/Haitink) - Bit of a strange opera, but great performance - another classic
- Don Giovanni (Te Kanawa/Van Dame) - I think Te Kanawa is just a natural in Mozarrt
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on June 14, 2013, 11:30:52 AM
--the Zeffirelli/Metropolitan Opera production of Turandot featuring Domingo (there's a second, much newer DVD of the same production featuring different singers, so don't be too confused)

--another Metropolitan Opera DVD of their current production of Hansel and Gretel. which is intelligently and moderately staged with updated scenery and costumes, and some bows to Regietheater,  but those bows are done intelligently and in some cases beautifully (the angels guarding the children as they sleep in the forest become a dream banquet of Sendak like chefs and animal headed waiters, for instance).  Don't have it as a DVD but saw it on American TV.

Happy to second these two, too. Turandot is almost worth it just for the production alone, possibly the most lavish the Met has ever presented.

And I saw Hansel and Gretel around the time they made this DVD (from the live broadcast). The forest scene Jeffrey describes is beautiful and quite touching (the woman with me was in tears) and you also get the great Philip Langridge (R.I.P. - he died just a year or so after this was made) as the Witch - he's hilarious. Overall, the production is a bit darker than some might expect, but to me it freshens the impact. And again, the Met Orchestra (with Vladimir Jurowski) plays Humperdinck's score beautifully. I had never seen (or heard) the opera before, and quite liked it.



--Bruce
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 17, 2013, 09:34:23 PM
I agree with Bruce on Onegin and that it is possibly the best DVD I have. Here is my review of it. I am sure you will enjoy the disc.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,116.msg399452/topicseen.html#msg399452

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 17, 2013, 10:28:00 PM
I agree with Bruce on Onegin and that it is possibly the best DVD I have. Here is my review of it. I am sure you will enjoy the disc.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,116.msg399452/topicseen.html#msg399452

Mike
That is really a wonderful write up (that I somehow missed the first time around) and I wanted to run out and buy it the second I finished! Bravo!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 18, 2013, 07:14:24 AM
Great stuff!

I purchased it purely on trust and I can't wait to get it now!

Less risky perhaps, I also ordered what I think is the first opera I ever saw, viz Carmen, with Domingo and Migenes, a production I adore, so now my BluRay collection is off and running...

I'm busy researching some of the others mentioned, La Cenerentola and Rosenkavalier are two, and I found Don Giovanni on YouTube, which was wonderful.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 18, 2013, 09:16:54 AM
MC, thanks for your comment. Do let us know what you think of it. I hope i have not given too muuch away about the production.

Huntsman, I agree, that Carmen was very good, filmed rather than a stage performance, but it was really involving.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 18, 2013, 09:30:24 AM
Not to test tour patience, but here is a long post which discusses Handel. The DVDs of both are at the top of my list and the Caesar one has been reccommended by several of us. The Theodora is almost a kind of St Matthew Passion experience.

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2077.msg300552.html#msg300552

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: huntsman on June 19, 2013, 10:06:45 AM
Hey Mike -

Those two reviews were really insightful, thank you.

It is so much easier choosing something when your contemporaries give you something to get your teeth into. I am really at the birth of my Opera 'period' and it's wonderful!
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Brewski on June 19, 2013, 11:05:04 AM
IMHO the DVD format (and LaserDisc, but that format never became widely popular) has been a great boon to opera; if you can't experience one live, this is the next best thing.

Another fave: this production of Peter Grimes. The flat, monochromatic set (which I loved) didn't win universal accolades, but there is no doubt that the singing - particularly of Anthony Dean Griffey in the title role, and the spectacular Met Chorus - is worth it.



--Bruce

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on June 19, 2013, 12:28:37 PM
Well, it has Runnicles in charge, how could it be less that terrific? I may be tempted to this.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: kaergaard on June 19, 2013, 02:42:54 PM
Too many great ones to list, but in my opinion only a recording of a live performance is preferable. Yes, even with any tiny trumpet geekser or a tenor's struggle. Compare the DVD of the live recording of Il trovatore] with Placido Domingo where he turns his back to the audience and reaches for the throat spray under his red cape to achieve the famous high C of Manrico's call to arms to the much overpraised Solti Ring. , the studio performance where all minute inconsistencies have been erased, corrected, replaced by numerous immaculate repeats; a showy product as perfect as a can of sardines.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Jeffrey Smith on June 19, 2013, 06:09:08 PM
IMHO the DVD format (and LaserDisc, but that format never became widely popular) has been a great boon to opera; if you can't experience one live, this is the next best thing.

Another fave: this production of Peter Grimes. The flat, monochromatic set (which I loved) didn't win universal accolades, but there is no doubt that the singing - particularly of Anthony Dean Griffey in the title role, and the spectacular Met Chorus - is worth it.



--Bruce

Yes!  That's another MET broadcast I've seen on PBS which I thought was extremely good;  I had forgotten that it was available on DVD.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 14, 2014, 06:02:11 AM
Is anyone familiar with the (relatively) new Tosca on DVD with Gheorghiu/Kaufman/Terfel with conducting from Pappano? It has gotten good reveiws, but wanted to see if anyone here had seen it.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on April 14, 2014, 09:03:39 PM
I saw this broadcast. I just could not take Gheorghiu at all seriously. She has become a parody of a diva and her acting is plastered on self consciously from the outside. The naturalness that was evident in the Solti Traviata at the start of her stardom has been replaced be a stilted, self regarding style. I decided not to buy it despite everything else being first rate.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sanantonio on May 14, 2015, 10:53:03 AM
I subscribe to the Met Opera on Demand as well as Medici.tv - of course the Met has many filmed opera performances, many in HD video, historical as well as recent, and is a huge resource of operas.  Medici.tv has over 80 operas from other companies, mostly European, including three of my current favorites which are Robert Wilson productions.  So far, I've watched, Pelleas et Melisande, Madame Butterfly, and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.  Generally the singers and orchestras sound good - but the real treat are the stripped down but fascinating stagings.  I find them very effective, but they require singers who can act as well as pull off the stylized movement, not to mention singing the roles. 

Some people find them too stark and contrived but I love them.  I plan on purchasing Aida, since it is not available from any streaming service I've found, and as many of the others that I can find.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on May 14, 2015, 01:05:43 PM
I subscribe to the Met Opera on Demand as well as Medici.tv - of course the Met has many filmed opera performances, many in HD video, historical as well as recent, and is a huge resource of operas.  Medici.tv has over 80 operas from other companies, mostly European, including three of my current favorites which are Robert Wilson productions.  So far, I've watched, Pelleas et Melisande, Madame Butterfly, and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo.  Generally the singers and orchestras sound good - but the real treat are the stripped down but fascinating stagings.  I find them very effective, but they require singers who can act as well as pull off the stylized movement, not to mention singing the roles. 

Some people find them too stark and contrived but I love them.  I plan on purchasing Aida, since it is not available from any streaming service I've found, and as many of the others that I can find.

Unfortunately on DVD, apart from what you already mentioned, there is only Wilson's Gluck - Orphee and Alceste.

There is complete complete staged Bach St John's Passion on youtube.

Also on youtube are clips from Ring cycle, Norma, Die Dreigroschenoper, Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien, possibly more, none of which seem to be recorded.

Met archives might have Lohengrin he did there some years ago, also Einstein possibly? 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 15, 2015, 03:22:04 AM
Met archives might have Lohengrin he did there some years ago, also Einstein possibly?

Neither of those was ever telecast, or taped.  A 2014 Théâtre du Châtelet performance of Einstein was available online for a while, but not anymore.  Perhaps it'll turn up on DVD one day.  Actually, I see there is a pirated version available. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: sanantonio on May 15, 2015, 04:18:06 AM
Einstein on the Beach is one Robert Wilson production I am not interested in.  I have the CDs that I don't listen to and that's enough. 
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Spineur on January 20, 2016, 01:19:18 PM
I have about 3 dozen DVD/blue rays of operas, I watch more on Mezzo and I also has a subscription on Medici TV.  I found these to be poor substitutes to the real thing so I travel and attend to ~ 8 operas live a year.  The spatialization of sound the dynamics on intensities, the 3D staging, cannot be found in a blue ray nor in cinema retransmissions of the MET performances.  From my collection this is the one I would pick as the best, mostly because of Danielle de Niese  magnificent performance as Cleopatra.  I have also seen her in les indes galantes were she is also marvelous.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 24, 2016, 01:08:32 AM
Spineur, That performance is one of my own favourites, along with Theodora from the same company. Here is a link to a much earlier discussion.



http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2077.msg300552/topicseen.html#msg300552

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Spineur on January 29, 2016, 02:40:08 PM
Thanks !  Great review !! I find GMG intimidating at times.  When you see the discussion on Beethoven piano sonatas has something like 200 pages !! That's one week of hard work to read all this !!

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: knight66 on January 29, 2016, 11:32:12 PM
No need to sweat it; just dip in and out of long threads and you will quickly get to grips with increasing elements. No one expects someone to make sure they don't repeat a point or question that was brought up six months and 50 pages ago.....enjoy.

Mike
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Spineur on December 06, 2016, 05:09:02 AM
Here are the opera on DVD I enjoyed most this year (out of the 22 I purchased)









In addition I recorded a Kovanchina under the direction of V. Giergev (Mezzo TV) which I thought was as good or better than the Abbado from the Vienna opera.  It hasnt been released on DVas far as I know

Honorable mention for the reissue of Martinu Greek passion, and Anthony Minghella MET production of Madame Butterfly.  The Wozzeck broadcasted by Arte was also quite good, if you like Berg operas.

On CD, Bloch Macbeth as a fun discovery



and Alexandre Tansman "Le Serment" a real flop.






Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Drasko on December 06, 2016, 08:33:10 AM

In addition I recorded a Kovanchina under the direction of V. Giergev (Mezzo TV) which I thought was as good or better than the Abbado from the Vienna opera.  It hasnt been released on DVas far as I know

The early 90s production or something newer? The one from early 90s has been briefly available on DVD (I have it), but it wasn't the greatest audio/video quality and had no subtitles. This was it:

https://www.amazon.com/Khovanshchina-Valery-Gergiev/dp/B0006I0SK8
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Spineur on December 06, 2016, 09:18:25 AM
The early 90s production or something newer? The one from early 90s has been briefly available on DVD (I have it), but it wasn't the greatest audio/video quality and had no subtitles. This was it:

https://www.amazon.com/Khovanshchina-Valery-Gergiev/dp/B0006I0SK8
This was a hires (with great sound) live broadcast from the Marinsky theater (not the Kirov), so it is newer.  If I juge from the cover, the staging and the costume look also different.

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 16, 2017, 09:55:54 PM
Anybody seen this? Is the machine as distracting as i have read and does it get tiresome after long viewing sessions? It is difficult for me to judge from the short clips on youtube. Than you all for your help:

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 17, 2017, 02:20:44 AM
Anybody seen this? Is the machine as distracting as i have read and does it get tiresome after long viewing sessions? It is difficult for me to judge from the short clips on youtube. Than you all for your help:



I saw it "Live in HD" in movie theatres. I found the machine less distracting than inadequate to portraying the various settings. It does have its moments, but the hours... Aside from the physical production, there's nothing much revelatory, or outrageous about the directing. It's a fairly conventional production, with a gimmicky set.

Voigt, a singer I admired earlier in her career, is also inadequate. It's not surprising that after this Ring, her only Met appearances were in a five Wozzecks the following season, and she seems to have retired, if not officially, then for all practical purposes.

There are just a lot of better Rings out there.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on May 17, 2017, 05:34:35 AM
I saw it "Live in HD" in movie theatres. I found the machine less distracting than inadequate to portraying the various settings. It does have its moments, but the hours... Aside from the physical production, there's nothing much revelatory, or outrageous about the directing. It's a fairly conventional production, with a gimmicky set.

Voigt, a singer I admired earlier in her career, is also inadequate. It's not surprising that after this Ring, her only Met appearances were in a five Wozzecks the following season, and she seems to have retired, if not officially, then for all practical purposes.

There are just a lot of better Rings out there.

  Thank you Wendell-E   8) for your quick response. It is a real shame that you found the machine  inadequate in portraying the various settings as so much money and hype went into its making.  I should mention that I am a HUGE fan of the first MET Levine ring cycle (1989-1990) as I love traditional productions.  I thought this new release would be a huge step forward in realising Wagner's very elaborate vision (technology saving the day sort of thing).  Then I started looking at clips on youtube. Initially my eyes didn't take too well to this new technology. How do I explain this........  I could always see the "planks" irrespective of what was projected on them. I thought this will always look inferior to a set built on stage as in the first Levine ring cycle.   Your comment regarding the inadequacy in portraying the various setting confirms what I feared. 
 

  marvin
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: Wendell_E on May 17, 2017, 09:55:19 AM
I should mention that I am a HUGE fan of the first MET Levine ring cycle (1989-1990) as I love traditional productions. 

Yes, I've got that one as well, and certainly prefer it to the new one.
Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 22, 2017, 06:39:02 AM


  This.....is nothing short of SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!

 



  A movie so well done, and so true to Wagner's intentions (I curse every director who has altered Wagner's music dramas, oh yes no need to name names, we all know who those scoundrels are!) and the sound my God the sound........ if I had known about this recording I would have bought it a long time ago.  Be gone Harry Kupfer and your stupid take on Der Fleigende Hollander! And damn you for ever considering such inane concept:


 

Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: ritter on July 22, 2017, 02:59:58 PM
....

  ...I curse every director who has altered Wagner's music dramas, oh yes no need to name names, we all know who those scoundrels are!... ........   Be gone Harry Kupfer and your stupid take on Der Fleigende Hollander! And damn you for ever considering such inane concept:


 


Strange how we all see things differently. I think Harry Kupfer's Dutchman staging is superb, remains essentially close to the letter of the libretto while shedding some great psycholgical insight on the work, and has moments of spectacular beauty. I saw it live in the Festpsielhaus in 1979 and was bowled over, and revisited it on DVD many years later and enjoyed it just as much. I think its status as a classic of Wagner staging is well deserved. And I'm not really that much of a fan of Kupfer (his Bayreuth Ring, and Berlin Salomé and Tristan--I saw the latter two live as well--are not really that special IMHO).

Thanks in any case for the tip on the film version from Munich...I'm tempted to look it up.  :)

Cheers,


Title: Re: Opera on DVD
Post by: marvinbrown on July 23, 2017, 04:00:45 AM
Strange how we all see things differently. I think Harry Kupfer's Dutchman staging is superb, remains essentially close to the letter of the libretto while shedding some great psycholgical insight on the work, and has moments of spectacular beauty. I saw it live in the Festpsielhaus in 1979 and was bowled over, and revisited it on DVD many years later and enjoyed it just as much. I think its status as a classic of Wagner staging is well deserved. And I'm not really that much of a fan of Kupfer (his Bayreuth Ring, and Berlin Salomé and Tristan--I saw the latter two live as well--are not really that special IMHO).

Thanks in any case for the tip on the film version from Munich...I'm tempted to look it up.  :)

Cheers,

  What I did not like about the Kupfer is how everytihing appears to be happening  in the mind of Senta.  It is as if she is imagining it all, she collapses at the end and the lights go off.  I found it all anti-climatic.  And then you have all these "sailors"?? dressed in white costumes with masks....huh? its all very confusing and I did not appreciate it at all nor could I connect with the ending. 

  Try to watch the film version from munich, yes it was recorded in 1975 but the transfer to dvd is remarkably well done....and the ending is absolutely gripping!

  marvin