Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier / Te Kanawa Howells Haugland Bonney Solti Schlesinger |
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Actors: Kiri Te Kanawa, Aage Haugland, Anne Howells, Barbara Bonney, Georg Solti
Directors: Brian Large, John Schlesinger
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Kultur Release Date: 01/13/2004
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Theodore Shulman | NYC | 08/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for one video ROSENKAVALIER I bet this is the one. (Unless you're a die-hard Eliz. Schwarzkopf groupie.) It's very unusual to get a cast like this with four born-for-their-parts singing actors and zero weaknesses. ALL the minor actors reward close observation. Valzacchi and Anina are as interesting in their way as the principals. (Valzacchi is played by the British celebrity tenor Robert Tear.) Watch the Italian Singer's pantomime argument with his accompanist and his vocal competition with Ochs. The actual singer (Dennis O'Neal) is not Italian but is a Verdi superstar.
The late Aage Haugland is the best actor I have ever seen as Ochs (including Kurt Moll and Otto Edelmann). He really gets his character's special blend of vulgarity and innocence across. He can make his eyes twinkle when he smiles, like a giant baby, and put the smile into his voice. Vocally his sub-woofer is a little pinched but his overall bigness and mastery of relaxed bellowing technique more than make up for it. (He was well-known as Hagen and Ivan Khovansky and also played Klingsor.)
The women are great too. Kiri Te Kanawa's Feldmarschallin is a major MILF and Barbara Bonney is as pert and sexy as a Bond girl. Anne Howells is totally believable as a teenage boy and very earnest. All three have excellent musical intelligence and technique. The differences in voice types enhance the ensembles.
Solti's conducting is brisk and refreshing. The sets and costumes are traditional and gorgeous. The camerawork is great.
Der Rosenkavalier was one of the first operas I learned and I've heard it and seen it a fair number of times and this is definitely the most satisfying total Rosenkavalier experience I've had if you discount the special pleasure of being at a live performance.
NOT A "MUST-HAVE," AND CERTAINLY NOT "DEFINITIVE"
Paco Rivero | Miami, FL | 05/17/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This British staging of Rosenkavalier is saddled, in my opinion, with Anne Howells as Octavian. Ms. Howells is a fine singer, but her voice sounds too old for the role. I prefer that both Octavian and Sophie be sung by fresh voices with the bloom of youth about them. Even if the singers are not young, we must get a sense of young love, which is totally lacking in this Covent Garden production. Young love is what Hebert von Karajan's reading, also on DVD, delivers in spades. During the duet between Octavian and Sophie (when they first meet at the beginning of Act I), there's no comparison between Barbara Bonney and the heavenly high notes that Karajan manages to squeeze out of the ingenue, Janet Perry. She goes so high that she's inaudible at one point. This Covent Garden Rosenkavalier rightfully boasts of Solti's and Te Kanawa's star power; on the other hand, Karajan is a much better conductor of this opera, and as Marschallin I prefer both Anna Tomowa-Sintow (for Karajan) and Gwyneth Jones (for Kleiber). I also much prefer Kurt Moll's Ochs to Aage Haugland's. There's a review on the Karajan product page that claims that this Solti Rosenkavalier is better. Don't you believe it. If sets and costumes are what you like, then you might prefer this Covent Garden staging, but if the music is what you care about most, then make sure to choose Karajan (it's also cheaper): Richard Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier / Tomowa-Sintow, Baltsa, Perry, Moll, Herbert Von Karajan- Wiener Philharmoniker, Salzburg Opera. Karajan's Rosenkavalier isn't just slightly better; it's orders of magnitude better. I've also seen both of Kleiber's on DVD and Karajan beats them, too. To my ear, Karajan brings out the splendor in the music in a way that neither Solti nor Kleiber even come close to. Sorry, guys."
A must-have Rosenkavalier!
Phyllis Neumann | San Francisco Bay Area | 11/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My local opera group just viewed this fabulous production of Der Rosenkavalier. Everyone left in a dream-like state. What an amazing production it was! The staging at Covent Garden went way over the top in keeping as close to the times in both elaborate costumes and opulant sets. Kiri Te Kanawa's role as the Marschallin was spectacular -- smooth, sensitive and charming. She was absolutely exquisite. Octavian, played by mezzo-soprano Anne Howells, was also delightful. But the surprise came with Aage Haugland as Baron von Ochs. He was absolutely outrageous. His fabulous bass voice and acting skills really stole the show. There could not have been a more perfect melding of Strauss' glorious lush music, superb singing, believable acting and wonderful staging. I give this performance 5 stars without question. Add it to your music library."
A superb Der Rosenkavalier
James W. Eiler | Boca Raton, FL USA | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Several times during this Rosenkavalier I was brought to tears by the sheer beatuy of the cast and production. Just gorgeous!"