Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner Die Walkure |
Copenhagen Ring Cycle Part 2
Actor: The Royal Danish Opera
Director: Michael Schonwandt
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
WAGNER:DAS WALKURE - DVD Movie
So-so staging and casting; terrific acting; VERY imaginative
D. Altschuler | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/04/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recently saw both this Walkure and the new Mehta version. I sold the Mehta, which has some delightful touches but over-all is not nearly as gripping.
But to focus on this Copenhagen version, starting with the negatives: The house cast is fine for a live audience, but the close camera work ruthlessly exposes actors who don't "look" the part as well as the Barenboim and Boulez Rings. This Siegmund in particular is short, stocky, pock-marked, and much too old. That said, he sings well and acts very well. No complaints about the Hunding, Wotan, or Fricka; they are all you need in their respective roles. Sieglinde almost as good.
Brunnhilde a bit old and heavy, but not as much as Siegmund; she carries herself well and is a terrific singing actress. Her face is basically pretty and intelligent (unlike her counterpart in the Mehta production whose round face somehow puffs out the expressiveness needed for drama. I know that is an unexpectedly vivid description, but you may as well know what you get for your after-tax dollars).
The 20th century staging seems to me gimmicky, but one adjusts to it and there are many felicitous touches along the way that make it acceptable.
Sound and picture are very good.
Like with the newer Mehta production, the camera editor is on steroids, stimulants, or some such. Musical and dramatic enjoyment is compromised by camera angles changing every few seconds. These editors evidently do not like opera, and treat it like an 007 action film. (The Mehta is worse in this respect.)
One last point. I have seen almost every Walkure DVD available. The staging and acting of the closing scene on this version is by far the most moving of all. Wotan and Brunnhilde, their fears hopes and determination come alive as never before. This production in general is worth your time, but the final scene will (pardon the cliche) take your breath away. It is exhausting in the best sense. There is one sudden, unexpected gesture in Wotan's farewell that just makes you sit up in your chair. I've seen it several times and it's a stab in the heart every time.
I enjoyed this whole Ring cycle (I'll review the next two when I see them again and refresh my memory), except for Das Rheingold which is too lurid for my tastes."