Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Knig Stephan Opera in Zwei Akten|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Musicals & Performing Arts
Rare Opera by Erkel in beautiful production
Paul E. Hartman | Los Angeles | 11/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Hungarian television production from almost 30 years ago is transferred successfully to DVD here. This is Erkel's last completed opera, the story of the historical figure King Stephen in Hungary's history. It is filmed in full costume indoor and outdoor sets, with horses galloping, near-battle scenes with large crowds, Church scenes, and an outdoor Hungarian royal wedding, all beautifully filmed. As this is a television production done as a movie, there is no concert stage, and consequently no audience present, unlike most other opera DVDs. The actors, well cast in the roles, sync to the music. All of the vocal roles are well sung, and the orchestra and chorus are of a high standard. There are no Act breaks, and the whole thing is completed in just over 90 minutes. (The box states that this is an opera in two acts, though other sources list it as being in four acts.) The music is up to Erkel's high standard, though not as intensely dramatic as "Bank Ban", but more inspired than "Hunyadi Laszlo". If you're unfamiliar with Erkel's music, imagine middle period Verdi opera sung in Hungarian. For the best introduction to his music, I would recommend listening to the Hungaroton CD set of "Bank Ban" first.
I would recommend this to all lovers of nineteenth century opera. The DVD doesn't come with a written libretto, but there are of course subtitles available in a number of different languages. I thoroughly enjoyed it."