Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart - Lo Sposo Deluso / L'Oca del Cairo / Abendempfindungen / Rex Tremendus|
Actors: Malin Hartelius, Ann Murray, Matthias Klink, Marisa Martins, Graham Smith
Directors: Michael Hofstetter, Joachim Schlömer
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
MURRAY/HAMRE/SMITH 2 DVD
SOME GREAT SINGING TANGLED UP IN A REGIETHEATER TRAIN WRECK
Jesse Knight | woburn ma usa | 05/24/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"At first I was not going to review this at all. On second thought it occurred to me that as bad as this show is, it does have some redeeming features, if you can put up with the nonsense that interrupts the music. First let me digress.
A railway maintenance foreman told a true story about a train wreck in New England that posed similar salvage problems, in a tangible way, that this production poses.
The train contained wheat flour, canned beer, and maple syrup. When the cars "telescoped" into each other, all the contents were mixed together. Locals started salvaging the beer, as many cans were undamaged. Only the very dedicated people attemped to scoop up the pools of maple syrup that could be found in the flour. Inspectors had the most difficult job, determining the cause of the accident, which was buried under two feet of syrup/flour slurry.
Schloemer, the director of this production mixed everything up in such a way that few will find it enjoyable.
Needless to say this production falls far short of the first night (La Finta Semplice, which is sold separately) for a good reason. There is no possible unifying concept given the odd assortment of short songs and fragments. My conjecture is that Schloemer tryed to cover up the impossible goal with "accidents", of the "accidently on purpose" type. In a sense there is no deception here: Who would buy a ticket on a train called IRRFAHRTEN (erring journey)?
Disc one is a total loss, in my opinion.
There is plenty of dancing in underware, Ann Murray's disappointing voice and second rate glass harmonica music. Murray just did not have a good night, sounding worn and insecure. Her role in this production was to annoy everyone, in my opinion. She did a good job, if that is what Schloemer wanted. I do feel badly that she was used this way.
If disc two were sold separately I would raise my rating to three stars. In addition to the excellent singers from Finta Semplice, there is Marisa Martins, whose voice blends perfectly with Hartelius in the ensembles. Martins' coloratura is excellent, so she is a singer I will be watching in years to come. Hartelius gives a wonderful performance with a wide range of vocal colors, making this a hard disc to pass up, after I return the library copy.
Rather than unifying the two extended fragments (Sposo Deluso and L'oca del Cairo) Schloemer further pulls them apart with an endless series of interuptions, including passing gas jokes and the like. Hartelius wears hot pants and a "kill your lover" tee shirt, making this her worst costume on DVD in my opinion. That she looks good in this outfit is a credit to her good looks. The other singers are also in ridiculous costumes as well. Schloemer seems to be taking cues from Trey Parker's cartoon TV show "South Park".
This brings me to the bonus track discussions with Anna Tenta and Malin Hartelius. Hartelius has some deep insights concerning the role of Rosina on the Finta Semplice bonus track. I have made crude translations, for my own reference, of two prior interviews Hartelius gave in print: Das Opernglas (Ausgabe 5 / 2006) and Migros Magazin (Nr.26, 28 Juni 2005 "MAMA IST EIN STAR"). These contain insights that suggest that Hartelius has a rare gift for explaining how she interprets opera characters and life issues. In light of these, her thoughts on L'Oca del Cairo are lightweight. What could she say given that there is no plan? Her performance is so musical and good humored that it prevails despite a lack of planning on the part of the director. That Hartelius has a gift, when it comes to working with next to nothing, is very evident here. Is this enough reason to buy this two DVD set? That is the question.
Just in case you are thinking about getting this just for the music, and not watching the picture, think again. Schloemer has added prerecorded dog barking and yiping that interupts the music in Oca Del Cairo. Something sounds like it is falling apart during the music as well, but it is off camera so I don't know what it is. The dog is silenced after a piece of fluff is stabbed with a knife and chucked over the railing.
This is not by any means a full disclosure of all the unpleasant interruptions, just those I could describe. Maybe in frustration Schloemer is calling us to examine our craving for the "complete everything". If this is his goal, he has won.
Sound quality is superb, at least in the stereo format,(5.1 not tested) but as a sound recording the interuptions are just too annoying in my opinion."