Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lehar - Der Graf von Luxemburg / Bo Skovhus Juliane Banse Rainer Trost Gabriela Bone Alfred Eschwe Vienna Opera|
Actors: Franz Lehar, Michael Schottenberg, Steffen Rossler, Eva Maria Marold, Operetta
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
How painful - I cannot forgive, because I grew up on magnifi
Karl May | Golden, CO United States | 01/14/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For your own sanity, dear reader, please do not support this edition of one of the greatest operettas! I was so glad I could get it on a DVD! I was sure it would be great - the Vienna Opera - the Viennese should know how to put up a good production... And then, Amazon recommended "Better Together" with Kalman - Die Csardasfurstin DVD ~ Anna Moffo today! (The Anna Moffo Csardasfurstin is quite magnificent!). So I eagerly awaited its arrival, and played it instantly. What a disappointment... Nothing can destroy the great melodies of Lehár - but even the libretto text was vandalized! The customes, the scenery - just showed how a "modern" director wanting to be cute can destroy one of the most fun musicals of all time (since that's what an operetta is - a musical - it is not an opera). This is unforgiveable. The director should choose some other profession. He is not avant-garde, he is not inventive - he just tried to be popular, or 'cool' (=cute). Not on our money, please!
Excellent Lehar to enjoy beside The Merry Widow.
Joseph Barba | Pollock Pines, CA USA | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Count of Luxemburg can stand on its own as an enjoyable operetta. This particular DVD is delightful and proves that Lehar demands singers with exceptional talent and artistry. This outstanding cast deserves your attention. You won't be disappointed."
It could be so good...
Viewer | MA, USA | 12/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Enjoyable operetta and strong cast fortunately are not completely ruined by clueless director (who also "edited" pretty good original script so it lost any logic in its development)."
Good Stuff - Go for It
An Opera Goer | Southern Califorina, USA | 07/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Luxemburg is an operetta that is under performed and under recorded. Being an operetta nut (like me) I am very happy to get this disc.
The Plot for this production had been changed from the early 1900 Paris to Vienna in the 50s. Some names of the peripheral characters and/or their occupations were changed. Most notably, Armand Brissard now is Manfred Prskawetz, a student. Furst Basil Basilowitch now becomes a Russian diplomat; his new name is Konsul Dr. Basil Basilowitch-Kolosov. A hyphenated name was added to go with his marriage to Anastasia Iwanowa Kokozowa (who went by the name of Grafin Stasa Kokozow in the original version). It seems that Lehár's score was being kept intact despite some spoken dialog had been altered to match the theme of the new plot.
The presentation of this production was very well put together; the result was very entertaining. The staging and the way of changing scenes were cleverly done, except the last scene that I felt it was a little sloppy. The principals and the supporting cast did a very good job, both in acting and singing. Through their duets Bo Skovhus (Rene) and Juliane Beans (Angele) really presented themselves as a pair of victimized lovers (and deeply in love). The playfulness of the young pair (Gabriela Bone and Rainer Trost as Julie and Manfred) surely brightens up the whole show. Andreas Conrad and Eva Maria Marold (as the Russian couple) also acted and sang splendidly.
While some reviewers pleased the sound quality of this DVD I found it problematic at times. It is particularly bothersome in the opening scene, and in its repetitions afterward. The chorus sounds muddy. Sometimes Bo Skovhus' voice was too loud and then became not quite audible. It could be due to the positioning of the microphones. It sounds like he was facing the mike and turned away from it. It also happened to Juliane Beans (just not as bad). Perhaps the main source of the problem comes from transposition of the (tenor) key, to that for the baritone. Bo Skovhus is not a stranger to me in operetta. He did a pretty good job in San Francisco's Widow, six years ago. A DVD is available for that production. On CD, he was Count Danilo in the 1995 Deutsche Grammophon Widow, in which Rainer Trost was Camille. I am not able to comment on this CD because I have not yet listened to it.
Rene, in the original score, was a tenor. The sound (or should I say the feel for the sound) is quite different when I compared the music of this DVD to an EMI LP (with Nicolai Gedda as Rene, currently available on CD). For comparison, I watch the DVD on the TV screen and listen to its music through an audio system (the same system I use for the LP or CD). The LP (with a tenor) sounds much better.
In recordings, and also on stage, the role of Count Danilo (its original key was for a tenor) is often played by a baritone. The results have been (more than) satisfying. However, as for Rene the substitution turned out to be less than perfect.
A few words to whose complaining the plot, I think the stories for all operettas and operas are silly to some degree; I just enjoy the music.