Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Das Rheingold / Struckmann Clark von Kannen Braun Youn de Billy Barcelona Opera|
Actors: Bertrand de Billy, Falk Struckmann, Graham Clark, Gunter von Kannen, Lioba Braun
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
The first of the four operas that comprise Wagner's Ring cycle, Das Rheingold has a narrative that serves as the backstory of the ensuing saga of deceit, greed, and betrayal. It opens underwater, with the Rhine maidens tri... more »
The best Rheingold to date
Dr. J. J. Kregarman | Denver, Colorado United States | 04/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a fine show this is! Here we have a production that really adds to one's understanding of the ring and is gripping. The singing and conducting are more than adequate but not all have been to every reviewer's liking. Some thought Loge and Albrecht particularly well done and the Wotan somewhat weak. Others completely reversed this judgement. For me all presented refreshingly new ideas about their characters and all were well sung and well acted. Of course there are faults. The opera is spread over two disks and changing disks requires reprograming. But then the sound is excellent."
G. Stefan Lazar | San Francisco, CA USA | 06/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was definitely looking forward to this release. But after watching it, I have to put it in the "good but....." category.
The good -- I liked the production. It was very high tech and moved fluidly with none of those "this doesn't make any sense" ideas. The Alberich, Loge and Mime with excellent. If you know the Bayreuth Kupfer version, you'll see similarities in the production and direction. And I do agree with another reviewer who thought there was much clarity around the story line.
The not so good - the rest of the singers were acceptable but no shining stars and I'm just not sure what to make of Struckmann's Wotan. While I think the notes are there, too often his tone sounded unfocused and forced. But the biggest problem for me was the overall lack of real emotion. Yes, it can be "cold" as another reviewer stated but then there is an emotion that is conveyed even with that -- too often this performance was bland and the characters just not convincing. Given the overwhelming emotion in the Bayreuth Kupfer production I don't know what happened here. Were the singers just poor actors, was it the fault of the director OR was it the orchestra direction? De Billy's conducting was lackluster at best -- it wasn't a Solti supercharge, it wasn't a von Karajan sense of musical line, it wasn't anything distinctive, it was........just there. I certainly hope the orchestra has replaced some of their horn section since this performance. I know it was live but there were more flubs in this one performance than should ever be acceptable.
All that being said, would I still buy it, yes. If you love Wagner, you get just about everything you can, the good, the bad, and the somewhere in between. And on a separate note, that's why I'm fascinated by the Stuttgart "Ring" on TDK. I absolutely hate and love some of the concepts in it but they challenge my thinking and many of the singers gave supercharged emotional performances. I would have given the Barcelona performance a 3 1/2 stars but I can't. Okay, now it's onward to Die Walkure and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will get better.