Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cult Opera of the 1970s|
Actors: Lortzing, Offenbach, Wagner, Berg, Menotti
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Ten Filmed Operas from the Hamburg Opera
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 11/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This big box contains DVDs of ten complete operas, filmed during the fabled reign of artistic director Rolf Liebermann at the Hamburg Opera during the 1960s and 1970s. These are films, not live performances, and the singers are lip-synching to their own recorded singing. The original sets from these productions are used but the action is opened up a bit and there is considerable use of close-ups. I reviewed most of these when they were single releases. The box includes Mozart's Marriage of Figaro Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro, Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun Penderecki - Die Teufel von Loudun, Beethoven's Fidelio Beethoven - Fidelio, Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Wagner - Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Berg's Wozzeck Berg - Wozzeck, Mozart's The Magic Flute Mozart - Die Zauberflote, Lortzing's Zar und Zimmermann Lortzing - Zar und Zimmermann, Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld Offenbach - Orpheus in der Unterwelt, Weber's Der Freischütz Weber - Der Freischutz, and Menotti's Help, Help, the Globolinks Menotti - Help, Help, The Globolinks.
On the whole the performances are pretty good. In some instance much more than that -- Giorgi Tozzi's Sachs, Nicolai Gedda's Tamino, Tom Krause's Count in 'Marriage of Figaro', Toni Blankenheim's Wozzeck, Arlene Saunder's Eva in 'Meistersinger' and Edith Mathis as Ännchen in 'Freischütz', to name a few. We see some later internationally acclaimed singers at the beginnings of their careers: Hans Sotin, Edith Mathis, Richard Cassilly, Lucia Popp, et al. Sound is mono, but good mono. Visually these films are sophisticated but they are in early color TV color, a little oversaturated or even garish at times. All of the operas are sung in German, but the films come with subtitles in the main European languages, including British English.
And the price is certainly good if you're in the market for these particular productions or these particular operas. I don't think any of them could be one's only version of any of the operas, with the exception of 'Meistersinger', which is the best overall I've ever seen.