Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Lehar - Die Lustige Witwe / Schellenberger Gilfry Beczala Gfrerer Prikopa Hartmann Welser-Most Zurich Opera|
Actors: Rodney Gilfry, Dagmar Schellenberger, Piotr Beczala
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Very Lively and Super Friendly Widow
An Opera Goer | Southern Califorina, USA | 02/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Super friendly? Yes, toward Danilo that is. She is totally ready (and even look forward to) to reunite with him. She is very playful, no sign of hostility, and letting him in every step of the way. All she wanted was to hear the L word from him (and finally got it at the end of the operetta). This is not a bad thing, and is rather refreshing. Though it is not quite the same widow as portrayed elsewhere. Other than this, this production is in so many ways differ from those we saw in the U.S. This is not a glamorous widow. She was dressed in ordinary clothing, in all three acts. And of course, the famous Merry Widow hat was also out. The biggest difference is in Act II. In that no body wore a native costume. There is no garden in the widow's estate. The pavilion is not obvious; in fact there is only an entrance door at the very end on one side of the stage (without the building). One might consider these drawbacks but all the stage activities and good music would divert one's attention and not knowing what was missing.
About the singers: Dagmar Schellenberger as the widow, an apt singing actress everybody dear to love. There were complaints about the age of the widow in the San Francisco 2001 production and yearn for a younger one; this is the one for you. Rodney Gilfry as Count Danilo, the Los Angeles native has been doing this role for more than one hundred times in the big houses all over Europe and America. I was in the audience both times when he was singing the same role twice in Los Angeles. And Ute Gfrerer as Valencienne, another singing actress educated in Los Angeles, in addition to her superb singing and acting she dances too. Her performance of the Can-Can in Act III was just absolutely stunning. Overall, this is a very well put together production. I have seen many versions of this operetta, on video (VHS or DVD), on stage or view it from the PBS. With all things considered this video is quite exceptional. If there were a problem that would be in the finished disc as its subtitles are often incomplete. In a string of spoken (or singing) dialog (all in German), there was only a partial of the translations were shown on screen. For instance, when Hanna said if she were remarry she would lose all her fortune. The subtitle would only show the first part and left out the second part. This kind of problem persists through out the entire disc.
An Overlooked Great Production
OpDVDfan | Cape Breton | 02/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This production hasn't received any reviews yet but it should. It's an absolutely fabulous performance and, though the competition is keen, I think the best of all three productions that I've seen (the San Francisco and Morbisch DVDs and this). Stunningly beautiful sets and costumes, great acting and singing. If you like Lehar, you won't be disappointed buying this DVD. We're very fortunate in having three such beguiling performances of The Merry Widow on DVD."
Trust The Reviews!
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 09/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No need for me to provide additional information about this DVD. I am simply confirming the judgment of the two reviews displayed to date:this is a handsome production, bright and scintillating to the eye, with both singing and acting admirably designed to induce one to join the widow and her merry men and women.
In other words, we have here a traditional staging of a lighthearted trifle by a company of skilled craftspeople who successfully accomplish their objective of giving us a good time without contemplation of the realities of Europe then or now."